Megadeth – Endgame – £8.98 at Amazon UK – This is Megadeth’s 3rd album since their “return” in 2004 with The System Has Failed. It sees a new guitarist join the band, Chris Broderick someone who, according to wikipedia, practised 14 hours a day, and you can tell. This has got to be the most technically impressive Megadeth has ever sounded, with extremely tight, fast paced drumming, very powerful bass guitar (even starting one track with the bass guitar with track 11), excellent solos and seemingly perfect performance from all members. All of the tracks vary in style through the song, and it takes some concentrated listening to fully notice the ability and skill of all musicians.
What I said previously about United Abominations definitely holds true with Endgame as well:
“The album as a whole, with quick “speed” / “thrash” metal, puts a high demand on your stereo, as a slow response or lack of punch, can result in the stereo being left behind.”
Dave’s voice is unique as always, but seems a little less hoarse this time round. Some have commented that Dave sounds angry in this album, and yes the music is very fast and heavy, but in my opinion lacks some of the raw emotion of the (in your face) United Abominations. Endgame is more about pure heavy metal / thrash with less synths, instruments and samples compared to the 2007 album, although saying that Endgame does go very nicely from one track to another with mostly no gaps in between the songs on the CD. As a whole album it works very well, with no obvious flaws or mismatches in the track list, and it is an extremely polished album (unlike The System Has Failed, which had one or two seemingly odd / mismatched tracks). It could seem like there is little variation from song to song in style, which to an extent is true, but it’s when you listen to each individual track that you begin to notice the differences in rhythm and style.
Lots of very good tracks, and some standout awesome tracks, but this time it’s because of the technical brilliance of the way the musicians and singer(s) come together, with excellent solos playing over great riffs, and lots of tempo changes, and variations in each track. The lyrics are not necessarily as raw as United Abominations, and there’s not as much political energy this time round, but it seems as though they’ve moved more towards musical excellence in Heavy Metal / Thrash with this album, and that’s got to be a good thing. Dave Mustaine and Chris Brodericks solos very smoothly roll into each other, and it’s clear they work VERY well together.
I’ve heard it said that you’ve got to listen to the guitar solo on such and such a track, or that the drummer is excellent on this track, and I think this is perhaps one of the most impressive things that you’ll notice when listening to this ablum. No matter what your favourite instrument or player, you can really hear the excellence of each player, be it the excellent guitar solo in 44 Minutes, or the excellent drumming in Head Crusher, or the pounding bass lines in The Right to Go Insane, or the snarling growl of Dave Mustaine’s voice in Endgame, it all comes together in each track, and throughout the album the sheer excellence of each musician is clear. A Definite MUST BUY! 9/10
I’m still waiting for a Megadeth “concept album”, as I think it would be the holy grail if Megadeth could pull it off, perhaps next time?
Full track listings and song descriptions continued below.
1 – Dialectic Chaos – 2 minutes 25 seconds of pure metal with no vocals, makes an interesting start to the album.
2 – This Day We Fight! – High speed, heavy metal, lots of fast solos.
3 – 44 Minutes – starts with police cb radio reports of open fire (211) from an AK-47, simply awesome grinding metal and great solos over great riffs. Great depth of sound and high speed solos.
4 – 1,320′ – high speed, drums stand out in the middle, style changes around the middle.
5 – Bite The Hand – Heavy bass lead riffs begin this track, impressive guitar work while Dave’s singing, sounds like they would have had fun playing this.
6 – Bodies – pounding bass line dominates the start of this track, classic Megadeth style riffs, gets quite musical towards the end, and then finishes with some high speed thrash metal.
7 – Endgame – somewhat dark, old skool, Rust in Peace style track (with some very clear nods to classic Megadeth riffs), with a dark theme and lyrics, and yet sounding extremely fresh, and bringing perhaps a slightly new sound to Megadeth. Dave’s vocals are the most varied on this track so far on the album. It’s also the longest song on the album, with the most political message about end times, and USA’s anti-terrorist laws. Ending seems a little weak simply fading away (I expect it would be more interesting live!)
8 – The Hardest Part Of Letting Go… Sealed With A Kiss – Again, this track continues to introduce a new sound to Megadeth, building up from a musical love song, it kicks into gear half way through, with high speed metal, then brings you back down to the love song at the end with an marching drum beat, and classical guitar playing.
9 – Head Crusher – extremely quick thrash with highly skilled and impressive drumming, “on your knees prisonors, take your positions”, reminds me of “Captive Honor”, and this track just keeps getting darker, and heavier, as the bass guitar begins pounding, and Dave’s vocals get more twisted and snarled. The speed continues as a high speed solo plays over the top. Wow!
10 – How The Story Ends – Impressive solos and guitar riffs.
11 – The Right To Go Insane – Great bass guitar riff starts this track, sets the heaviness of this track off nicely, however, I wonder whether track 11 and 10 should have been swapped around in order. Some great solos and drumming finish this track off nicely.