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Released: 2009, Roadrunner
Reviewer: Helias Papadopoulos
Editors Note. Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards our 10,000th review and the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any website were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
While almost every single Megadeth album up to THE WORLD NEEDS A HERO met a scene rapt with anticipation, fans eager to explore the enthusiastic guitar pyrotechnics of speed metal innovation that was doubtlessly contained within, it seems that the official fervor surrounding this band dimmed ever since the RUST IN PEACE line-up split up and the poorly received RISK. Megadeth's 2004 album THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED might not have persuaded a whole lot of people that the veteran speed metal act was back — following a two-year hiatus and wholesale lineup overhaul, but UNITED ABOMINATIONS and ENDGAME make the case a lot more convincingly out of the starting gate. The arsenal of Megadeth has been fully reloaded on the thrash greats finest album in years and has the feel and attack of classic Megadeth, based on menacing, inventive riffs, solos and galloping rhythms.
Megadeth's twelfth studio outing doesn't quite reach the peaks of earlier milestones like RUST IN PEACE and PEACE SELLS yet it's clearly the band's best effort since 1994's underrated YOUTHANASIA. But overall, ENDGAME is an heavier, more cohesive and aggressive affair than either SYSTEM or 2001's THE WORLD NEEDS A HERO , and leaves radio-geared misfires like CRYPTIC WRITINGS and RISK far in the dust.
As always Megadeth has been taking the finest elements of thrash and heavy metal and mix them up into a tasty dish of volcanic combustion. However, judging by the various examples conjured by the supreme lineup, ENDGAME topped the previous explorations with ease such as RISK and THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED. Rhythm guitar suckers are going to be inflamed by the intensity of the music, such vigorous attitude not relying on anger management, easily maneuvered towards high ends of insanity it is a thing of beauty nonetheless. Though I would mention that the riffs didn’t always show the true level of their players, it would be false to ignore the power surge mercilessly pounding. Alongside the rhythm guitars, was the rhythm section that proved why it was chosen in the first place. There were a few drumming reprises of the same type of drumming style. I have to admit that I was a bit off from the lead guitar solos. I liked the guest affiliations but the larger part of the solos (except from Broderick’s ones) sounded rather the same with the nearly identical picking style running the same notes over and over. The vocal section reminded me why I like good, rude and crude Heavy/Thrash metal music with raspy tones, somewhat cephalic aggression and even a lot melodic turnouts like ’44 Minutes’, the title track and ‘1320’.
‘This Day We Fight’ continues in the same hard-driving vein as the instrumental opener ‘Dialectic Chaos’ but this time under lyrics, while ’44 Minutes’ the kind of mid-paced tempo and intertwining riffs that could have easily landed the track on RUST IN PEACE. The title track slows things down a bit but Mustaine's message is muddled in a too-confusing morass of spoken-word screeds and his own lyrics, which sacrifice melody so that he can jam in every point he wants to make. The track does feature some excellent lead work, though, as does much of the disc, especially on those first three cuts and later tunes like ‘1320’, ‘How The Story Ends’ and the fiery album closer ‘The Right To Go Insane’ with its exceptional chorus.
The only point at which admittedly felt a slight disappointment is the ‘sleazy’ tracklisting. Not so I missed the irony in his voice Mustaine, nor the feeling of the good old days. This has gone irredeemably. The album has many good points being ‘buried’, or at least look like "little" in impressions, as the pieces are not all the same level and the best moments are those shared between the beginning and the end. Worst option, if not fatal, as there will be many critics who should not notice, as it should , the catchy refrain of "How The Story Ends", the unexpectedly spontaneous ‘Headcrusher’, "squeezed" in the fretboard ‘This Day We Fight!’ and stand in a variety - pointless in my opinion -cons , bypassing the obvious: That the ‘Endgame’ is an album that can be enjoyed and this is something that in the case of Megadeth took really long time to happen The truth therefore is that the formula was successful; ‘Endgame’ is an unabashedly guitar-driven album, stuffed with riffs and leads coming from all directions. The sense of explosive instrumentation under precise control that was a kind of hallmark of early Megadeth efforts is back. Several of the tracks, rather minor in number, didn’t inflict the awesome energetic rage of the greater good but also didn’t narrow my appreciation for more.
1. Dialectic Chaos
2. This Day We Fight!
3. 44 Minutes
5. Bite the Hand
8. The Hardest Part of Letting Go... Sealed With a Kiss
9. Head Crusher
10. How the Story Ends
11. The Right to Go Insane
Dave Mustaine – Vocals, Guitar
Chris Broderick – Guitar
James LoMenzo – Bass
Shawn Drover – Drums
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