Megadeth – Endgame
Megadeth’s stock couldn’t be higher right now. Recent releases have received favourable reviews and their line-up appears to have stabilised. They have a home at Mustaine’s studio, “Vics garage”, and once again they have Andy Sneap producing. Mustaine suggested this could be the best Megadeth album since ‘Rust In Peace’, so how does it stack up?
Megadeth set their stall out early with instrumental opener ‘Dialectic Chaos’. The Mutsaine-Brodderick pairing that we have heard so much about does not fail to deliver here, or anywhere else on the album for that matter! ‘This Day We Fight!’ bursts frantically from the ashes of ‘Dialectic Chaos’. Our first taste of Mustaine’s snarling vocals. A police radio sample runs beneath the introduction to ’44 Minutes,’ before the story of the song unfolds. It’s slow, heavy and deliberate in stark contrast the previous two songs. ‘1,320’ opens with a drag racer and a very cool old-school/nitro boosted Megadeth riff provides another opportunity to feast on the Musaine-Brodderick guitar partnership.
Throughout the album the rhythm section of James Lomenzo and Shawn Drover is unbelievably precise. ‘Bite The Hand’ gives a little more space to play with the rhythms. ‘Bodies’ boasts a really cool chorus, but feels restrained until about 3 minutes in. It’s at this point when it explodes into double kick drums and shredding guitar parts. ‘Endgame’ starts ominously with an almost Orwellian feeling and gives Mustaine an ideal opportunity to spit out criticism of recent US legislation.
‘The Hardest Part Of Letting Go – Sealed With A Kiss’ is a beautiful song tinged with regret. The regret is made easier to bear with some galloping riffs and excellent drum breaks in the middle. It must be said the fact that this is not a soppy love song, more a soppy-psycho-bricks-girlfriend-into-wall song. ‘Head Crusher’ was our first glimpse of ‘Endgame’ and set pulses racing with its blistering speed . ‘How The Story Ends’ sings about destroying every town, maybe Sun Tzu inspired, or just a warning of what will happen when Megadeth tour this album. ‘The Right to Go Insane’ has an unbelievably groovy chorus that sneaks up from nowhere. The frenetic guitar parts ending the album as ‘Dialectic Chaos’ began it.
Strongest material since ‘Rust In Peace’? Probably not, but certainly their best album of the last decade.