MEGADETH - "Endgame"

Mustaine releases his best album since “Rust in Peace”

For a man who has a whole Wikipedia page dedicated with his feuds with half the metal world all the praise Mustaine voices for Megadeth’s new guitarist Chris Broderick in every interview, seems a little awkward.

All associations with some Bulgarian football clubs’ attempts to portray every questionable international player as superbly skilled player should be put aside. As we all know from the DVD “Blood in the Water: Live in San Diego” this Broderick dude really does shred. And Megadeth’s strength has always been rooted in Mustaine’s ability to surround himself with talent.

“Endgame” wins a lot from that. The album, just like the previous two, is a return to the older sound of the band, this time even more so. All starts with an instrumental intro titled “Dialectic Chaos” where shredding solos follow one another just like in “Into the Lungs of Hell”. Next is “This Day we Fight” that starts right off (kind of inevitable after a two minute intro, duh) and then continues into full on speed metal mode. All who expect a new “Rust in Peace” should wet themselves. What’s weird though is lyrics like “no turning the other cheek like a coward” that kind of don’t fit the all religious Mustaine image… after all the guy wanted to drop Rotting Christ off a tour not long ago.

“Bodies” kicks off with a nice stop’n go riff where the times emptied by the guitar are filled by the bass. In the next verse the guitars fill in the rest of the riff. A lesson in songwriting, take note! And the song itself is kind of like “Angry Again” – quite balanced, completely metal, yet catchy and melodic at the same time. “Head Crusher” you should all be already familiar with and you know it does crush heads. Especially the riff after the 2nd minute left my skull in pieces.

I didn’t start off with Chris Broderick for no reason. The album’s main point are the songs’ solos. And there is a lot of them, and they are everywhere, and they are super. Sometimes though it seems like the writing process went like this: “Hey, Dave, I wrote a hell of a solo, now let’s write a song around it”. Some of the songs seem weird in that sense. For example the title track builds, and builds up to the moment of complete awesomeness that is the solo… and then just fades out as if they had no idea how to continue the song…

Which is not that much of a deal, as if anyone had expected conventional song structures from Megadeth. The music is completely in the spirit of the band’s 80’s albums but Andy Sneap’s crystal production makes it completely adequate for the 21st century. “Endgame” pretty much wipes the floor with the otherwise very good “United Abominations” and is for sure one of the biggest metal albums to come out this year.

Verdict: 5.25 / 6

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