Roadrunner, 2009


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


After 25 years of slugging it out on the metal circuit, one had to wonder if Dave Mustaine was beginning to run out of steam.

He had, after all, come back from his dismissal from Metallica to form his own band and achieve greatness in his own right. He had weathered the commercial storm without sacrificing much of Megadeth’s credibility. He had dealt with more lineup changes than the 1978 Chicago Cubs, and even worked through an arm injury which threatened to spell the end to Megadeth. Through it all, Mustaine perservered.

Listening to 2009’s Endgame, Megadeth’s 12th studio outing, there were warning signs that while there might still have been gas in the tank, it was starting to approach “empty.” While this is a technically proficient album that stays true to Megadeth’s thrash roots, it turns out to be a fairly forgettable outing.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Featuring yet another lineup change—out was guitarist Glen Drover, in was Chris Broderick—Mustaine sounds a bit tired on this release. While Mustaine is able to pour his anger into such topics as corporate greed (“The Right To Go Insane”), The Lord Of The Rings (“This Day We Fight”) and the infamous North Hollywood shootout (“44 Minutes”), it sometimes feels and sounds like his heart wasn’t completely into the subject matter. Add into that a pseudo-ballad in “The Hardest Part Of Letting Go… Sealed With A Kiss,” and you’ve got Megadeth in a bit of a state of confusion.

It isn’t that this lineup is bad; Broderick proves to be worth his weight as Mustaine’s six-string foil, and bassist James LoMenzo and drummer Shawn Drover return from the previous effort. So, there’s definite ability and precision in the playing; that was never in question.

Where Endgame slips in comparison to the two prior Megadeth releases is, again, in keeping the listener’s interest. The System Has Failed and United Abominations both had their challenges in that they were facing off against the legendary thrash albums of Megadeth’s career, and while they were definitely solid efforts, they didn’t quite have the same lasting power in the listener’s memory. Endgame, unfortunately, is a step backwards in that regard. Again, the album is very listenable, but there is almost nothing, bar the closing track “The Right To Go Insane,” that stands out and screams at the listener to sit up and pay attention. I don’t see myself going back to listen to this one for fun like I would with the early thrash albums in Megadeth’s library—or even discs like Youthanasia or Cryptic Writings.

Mustaine has precious little to prove at this stage in his career; he’s shown he could rise above all the adversity in his life to lead one of the premier thrash metal bands of all time. Endgame is the slightest suggestion that Mustaine’s energy could have been dwindling a bit, and is a bit of a letdown.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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