MEGADETH - Endgame
September 16, 2009, 9 years ago
The easiest way to explain exactly how good Megadeth’s twelfth album is to say what it doesn’t do, rather than what it does. Endgame crushes everything else released in the name of heavy metal in 2009 because it doesn’t fail to meet expectations. It doesn’t pretend to be a return to the good old days. It doesn’t miss out any of the stuff that fans of the band are desperately hoping will be significantly represented. It doesn’t sound like the work of a band that have lost their cojones or their grasp of what metal is supposed to sound like, feel like or look like. It doesn’t cave in to the overfed egos of its creators and end up sounding like a compromise or a sloppy rehearsal given a bit of post-production gloss. Most of all, it doesn’t do anything except be a brilliant Megadeth record. Because, after all, that is all that a band as important, enduring and well-respected as this should be doing. Endgame is an album full of brilliant songs. Well-written, crafted songs that bulge to breaking point with amazing riffs, irresistible hooks, blazing lead work and lashings of Dave Mustaine’s customary lyrical bite and bile. It’s an album of straight-ahead arse-kickers like ‘Headcrusher’, ‘Bite The Hand’ and the simply jaw-dropping opening brace of ‘Dialectic Chaos’ and ‘This Day We Fight!’. It’s album of stupendous, satisfying mid-paced crunch, like ‘Bodies’, ’44 Minutes’ and ‘How The Story Ends’. It has an epic title track that would have fit neatly onto Rust In Peace but which still sounds eminently modern and close to that all-important cutting edge. It even has a dark, brooding ballad in ‘The Hardest Part Of Letting Go…Sealed With A Kiss’, that evokes the wild, progressive spirit of Ozzy’s Diary Of A Madman while casually obliterating the notion that Mustaine should be wary of dropping below a certain pace. Most of all, Endgame provides a stark and timely reminder that while certain other bands from the ‘80s are content to repeat themselves or deliver just enough to keep the wolves of cynicism at bay, Megadeth are still driven by hunger, rage and a genuine love and understanding of heavy fucking metal. This year, there is simply no competition. Game over.