Review Summary: A failed attempt at stardom that needs a second look. In honor of crypto, let's take a second look.
Risk is one of the most beloved games in board game history. It is often lauded for its emphasis on strategy, intelligence, calculation, and of course, "risk." Dave Mustaine was likely playing this board game when he came up with this album, because a guitarist that good has the compositional skills required for the level of strategy the game of Risk demands. 1999's Risk
has become something of a punchline in recent years, but I think it's worth a second look.
So, what do the late 90s make us think of? Well, I think of big jeans. Crazy goth kids. Megadeth tune into the zeitgeist and absorb the feel of the time from the very start of the album. "Insomnia" has crazy samples, awesome keyboard sounds; it really deserves a second look because it evokes the feel of a late 90s goth club. Megadeth were willing to experiment while others took the path of least resistance. "Prince of Darkness" evokes the feel of a dance party in hell. Dave sounds absolutely chilling and menacing as he delivers a spoken word piece that beat Lulu
to the punch by over a decade.
"Enter the Arena" is a pleasant interlude that serves as a nice breather before we get to the next crushing track, entitled "Crush 'Em." Wow, this is evil. This song gets flack from Megadeth poseurs but this is an epic dance song, I start hopping up in down when I hear Dave sing. He reminds me of the Eurythmics. Love the epic bass as well, this track deserves a second look. The next song "Breadline" describes the type of communism we live under now, where grocery stores are empty. Foreshadowing the current times while simultaneously embodying them proves that Dave Mustaine is both a shaman and a man of contradiction, conviction, and pure dedication. He took a "risk," dammit. Isn't that what heavy metal is about? He farts in the face of social norms, and rewrites them for himself.
The rest of the albums follows in a similar fashion, taking risk after risk, living up to its name and the name of the board game that spawned it. Megadeth truly are the Stratego of thrash bands, and while some may say this is not thrash, I was thrashed just the same by the sonic complexities and mesmerizing pop hooks. When metal makes you dance so hard, you have to give it up for it. Please give Risk
a second look.