Since the release of Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good in 1985, Megadeth has been at the forefront of American thrash metal along with Testament, Slayer, Anthrax, and, yes, Metallica.
Many lineup changes in the years that followed resulted in a constantly evolving sound despite the fact that Dave Mustaine has always been the principle songwriter (Mustaine also wrote about half the songs on Metallica’s debut Kill ‘Em All while a member of that band).
Sonically, Endgame is definitely similar to the more recent albums like The System Has Failed and United Abominations but the songwriting has taken a distinct turn away from those. The album marks “Megadave”‘s twelfth studio release and, while it doesn’t have the same intensity and fire as the ‘deth of the first decade, the album still rocks faces and has a few standout tracks.
The album opens with a ripping instrumental titled “Dialectic Chaos” that is a great introduction to what’s to come and leads immediately into “This Day We Fight!”, an awesome throwback to the Rust In Peace/Countdown To Extinction era. “Bite The Hand” and “44 Minutes” also come back to the same period of the early 90s.
“1,320′”, a song about drag racing (there are 1,320′ in a quarter mile) brings a fan back to the early days during the Killing… and Peace Sells period, along with “Head Crusher” (the first single), and the title track “Endgame”.
Now, I’ve mentioned 7 of the 11 tracks and, frankly, those are the ones I really enjoyed. The remaining songs are more reminiscent of the latter era and sound more like the Cryptic Writings and Risk period when Mustaine had taken a stab at something that might be more commercially viable. That’s not to say they’re bad tracks, I’m just not sure they fit with the rest of the album.
At any rate, this is one that won’t be leaving the CD player for a long while.