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Megadeth - Endgame (CD)

by The Metal Temple Crew at 21 September 2009, 1:29 PM

- - - - - - Mike: 9/10 - - - - - -

First, some seemingly bad news: Endgame is not Rust In Peace part two. The good news is that Endgame is an excellent album, far better than anything MEGADETH could have written had they been trying to copy their past.

While United Abominations had one Thrash song, one great 'DETH song (Washington Is Next) and a bunch of mediocre mid-paced songs, Endgame is an entire album full of everything that makes MEGADETH such an awesome band to begin with. Standouts would have to be Headcrusher, which is a full on thrasher that reminds me of a mix between Take No Prisoners and Poison Was the Cure, and also the fantastic This Day We Fight. Every song has something to offer and The Hardest Part of Letting Go… is something different from anything MEGADETH has done before. I only wish that Drover and Broderick could have been more involved in the writing process.

I was a bit skeptical when Dave Mustaine said that new guitarist Chris Broderick was as good as, if not better than, Marty Friedman, but holy crap, Broderick is amazing! It's obvious that he learned some things from Jeff Loomis during his stints in NEVERMORE and thankfully both he and Mustaine shred it up like there's no tomorrow throughout the entire album. Just listen to the opening instrumental Dialectic Chaos for a wonderful guitar demonstration.

With bassist James Lomenzo and drummer Shawn Drover doing an excellent job on their respective instruments, one has to consider the possibility that MEGADETH has found a lineup that rivals, if not surpasses, the classic lineup of the 90s. The band is on fire and this album will not disappoint fans of the old or the new. And they've done this without a cheap gimmick of copying an earlier album, kudos to them for that. With Endgame, MEGADETH prove their distinction as one of the top bands in Metal today. This is a definite candidate for my end-of-the-year top 5 list; buy or die.

- - - - - - Harry: 6/10 - - - - - -

It took me more than a week to make a conclusion about the new MEGADETH album and I erased things that I wrote about it more than three times. It is not easy to write something for one of your favorite bands (especially when you are expecting a lot of things from them) after a mediocre, in my humble opinion, album Dave Mustaine and his followers have released.

Endgame really confused me. On one hand the work done on the guitars by Dave Mustaine and Chris Broderick (ex-NEVERMORE, JAG PANZER) is the kick in the ass MEGADETH wanted. Almost everything is the way I wanted it to be: great solos and the typical old MEGADETH rhythm guitars. Just what a fan of this band would have expected. There is a turn to the older sound of MEGADETH with the two guitarists' dual stuff by playing one solo after the other and the riffs have that smell of their previous years. On the other hand, I feel that their return to this sound was calculated and not a natural progression. I never have liked when a band tries to please their fans by changing their sound on purpose.
It seems, in my opinion, that it sounds like they are trying to follow that small turn to the old Thrash style that is been taken nowadays and grab a piece of the pie. The album starts with three very good songs, but - as it continues - I feel that there is something missing. Dave's voice is not that strong as it was in the past and unfortunately I felt that it is more flat than it used to be.
I believe that Endgame will be an album that will generate a lot of debates about whether it is good or not. In my opinion it is not a bad album, no way, but I had higher expectations from them. Tracks like 44 Minutes, This Day We Fight and How The Story Ends are very good, but others like The Hardest Part Of Letting Go… Sealed With A Kiss are not. For a new Thrash album it is very good, but for MEGADETH it is, I feel, a mediocre release. That doesn't mean I won't give it another chance in the future, when all this fuzz about the CD goes away, just to see if I judged it correctly.

- - - - - -  Josh: 10/10 - - - - - -

Endgame sees a return to form not only for Dave Mustaine who has injected a massive dose of passion and aggression back into his writing but also a return to the technical precision that we expect and love from MEGADETH. Dave's voice sounds superb, the lyrics have regained some substance and the iconic voice of Mustaine delivers them brilliantly, the best he has sounded in years! Don't underestimate Endgame, this is 11 tracks of fast paced, technical Thrash Metal that puts a firmly placed steel-toe capped boot to the ass of every other band who has released albums this year.

This is in no small part I am sure, toChris Broderick, who seems to have rejuvenated Mustaine's love of thrashing out a bit, don't believe me? The sheer amount of incredible solos in this album says otherwise, this man has made his mark in MEGADETH and he is by far one of the best guitarists to ever be a part of the band. The album opener, Dialectic Chaos, is a testament to this; a 2-minute instrumental track that offers a fast passed and furious introduction to the album which sees the guitar duo trading off solos at such an alarming rate! These guys really know how to shred and if you can make it to the second song and your face is still attached to your skull then you are not listening to it loud enough!

Every song on Endgame is full of riffs that are designed for one thing only, making you lose your mind and wanting to do the toxic waltz. Mustaine has outdone himself with the rhythm work this time.
It's scary how much Endgame sounds like MEGADETH from the 80s. Songs like Headcrusher and This Day We Fight showcase some thrashtastic riffs and great breakdowns, these songs are going to go down a treat live. For fans of 90s MEGADETH expect a healthy dose of melody injected into riffs and choruses. 44 Minutes and 1,302 are the perfect examples of how MEGADETH have found the balance between the So Good, So Far… and Countdown To Extinction period.

This is speedy, it's technical and it sounds exactly like MEGADETH. From start to finish the album left me in a state of shock with a giant smile on my face. Endgame is an adult and mature take on Thrash. Everything sounds clean but aggressive, the level of polish on the production is superb and this album is the perfect mix of high-octane riffs, cool lyrics, shredding solos of the 80's MEGADETH and the melody, emotion and cleaner 90's MEGADETH sound; what else can I say? Buy this album if you like Metal - you won't regret it and you won't hear a better album this year. Rejoice metalers of the world, for MEGADETH have finally returned to the kingdom of Thrash and Dave Mustaine wants his throne back.

- - - - - - Greg: 7/10 - - - - - -

Seeing MEGADETH releasing a new album, I was convinced Dave Mustaine is an efficient product manager; who'd offer a better promotional tool other than his own controversial self? Sorry, anyway; I do not think he's even troublesome anymore. He just seems efficient, way smarter than the average logic-collapse musician around. Endgame is his own game, anyway; but I'll try to focus to the music…something that I have not felt comfortable with MEGADETH's in - at least - 15 years.
I would have bought the album only to the news of Chris Broderick joining Mustaine's camp. The JAG PANZER charismatic guitarist bears three crucial attributes: a) he's a virtuoso of his instrument, b) he's a metalhead when it comes to playing team-written music, c) his flammable performance can make even Dave go nuts onstage. Hence – especially for those who are aware of Broderick's deeds with JAG PANZER – walls of high expectations were built regarding the guitar work. And, truth is, there's some impressive chunky work done over here; both in lead and rhythm parts. If you wanna travel back to the Rust In Peace or Countdown To Extinction days, be their guest. Sure, many songparts, bridges or fills are a nod to the early 90s MEGADETH commercial heyday.
Most of the songs, now, do not even come close to send shivers…you know where…OK, I found myself walking anxiously to the hearing of The Right To Go Insane or Headcrusher (especially the banging bridge part); there's some class hidden over there. Still, the vast majority of the tracklist seems to have been written as a showcase for the guitar duo. Nevermind that the production – while being crystal clear and intriguing, let's admit – is not able to convey MEGADETH's lunatic passion, volume and twist included.
Dave's voice sounds convincing; but can't fool the let-down fan. No way…If he was still a pain in the ass for this conservative world/industry, his teeth would grind turning up to eleven.
Endgame sees Dave Mustaine using elements of his past to promote who he is today. Sadly, this seems to include him promoting himself through saying controversial things. Some of us would rather that he just shut up and play his music.

P.S.: Once again, the guitars on this album are spectacular…

4 Star Rating

Dialectic Chaos   
This Day We Fight!
44 Minutes
Bite The Hand That Feeds
Bodies Left Behind
The Hardest Part Of Letting Go…Sealed With A Kiss
How The Story Ends
The Right To Go Insane
Dave Mustaine - Guitars, Vocals
Chris Broderick - Guitars, Backing Vocals
James LoMenzo - Bass, Backing Vocals
Shawn Drover - Drums
Record Label: Roadrunner Records


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