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When I first heard that Megadeth were planning to record a new album, I felt really excited. Dave Mustaine and his companions never failed to impress me and have worthfully earned the no.1 position in my favourite bands' list. When I listened to "Head Crusher", the first single of the album, I was sure that their new album will be heavy as hell. After listening to "1,320", the second single, my expectations were very high. These expectations were finally met when I heard the album at its entirety.
"Endgame", the follow-up to "United Abominations", is probably the best album the band has released since the 90's and shows the thrash direction the band has returned to, over the last years. It's also the first album to feature Megadeth's new guitarist, Chris Broderick, who is responsible for the most of the groundbreaking solo work here. His addition to Megadeth seems to have had a very good effect to the band and he proves that he is worthy of this position.
Musically, the band tries almost everything, from acoustic pieces to thrash riffs and super-fast solos, which is what they have always been doing so far. Throughout the album you can find many great riffs and guitar solos that totally steal the show, some of the best choruses the band has ever written, nice melodies, solid and well executed drumming, as well as a very good vocal work by Mustaine. Moreover, the great production gives the songs even more kick. As for the lyrics, Mustaine touches some social/political subjects as always ("44 Minutes", "Bite The Hand That Feeds", "Endgame", "The Right To Go Insane"), explores some battle themes ("This Day We Fight!", "How The Story Ends") and even sings about funny cars ("1,320"), relationships ("Bodies Left Behind', "The Hardest Part Of Letting Go... Sealed With A Kiss") and a medieval torture device ("Head Crusher").
The album starts off with an instrumental, "Dialectic Chaos" (resembling "Into The Lungs Of Hell" from "So Far, So Good... So What!), which really gets you into the album. It continues with "This Day We Fight!", an angry and fast song, that defines the overall sound of the album. Next is "44 Minutes", one of "Endgame's" melodic highlights, which contains the album's most memorable chorus. "1,320" brings a more "old school" feeling to the album, while songs like "Bite The Hand That Feeds" and "Bodies Left Behind" makes you sure that you are listening to a real 'deth record! "Endgame", the title track, which starts off with a somewhat "anxious" intro, lets you know that Mr. Mustaine isn't kidding... "The Hardest Part Of Letting Go... Sealed With A Kiss" shows a more melodic approach, while "Head Crusher" delivers more vicious riffing and a catchy chorus. The album goes on with "How The Story Ends", another powerful song and finally closes with "The Right To Go Insane" which besides being a very good song (with another nice chorus as well), is also a great closing track for a great album.
To sum up, "Endgame" is another great album by the real thrash metal pioneers. It shows that Megadeth still has a lot to offer to the heavy scene after all these years and that they still kick ass as of 2009! If you're a Megadeth fan it's a must-have; for those that aren't fans of the band (yet...), it's still worth listening.