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I had given up all hope on Megadeth after the rather bland The System has Failed and the atrocity of United Abominations. United Abominations showed that Megadeth still had some potential with the first couple of tracks but I did not think that they would manage to build off of it. When I first heard about Endgame I didn’t pay attention till someone linked me Head Crusher. This was a fantastic song but I remained very skeptical as I expected this to be a one off. I was assured though that the rest of the album was good so I decided to check it out. And I am glad I did, as this is the best thing Megadeth has released since Countdown to Extinction.
The album opens up with some fairly solid guitar shredding. Is Dave trying to prove something here? I’m sure he probably is and it is nice that there is something to motivate him to write a quality album once again. The album then progresses to include a variety of tracks. The thrashier tracks sound like they could have fit on Countdown to Extinction and others are more mid-paced and have a nice groove going. However, there are no throwaway tracks to my surprise as Dave has included so many on albums for years. Even the ballad, The Hardest Part of Letting Go is relatively solid, though it does take a little bit to get going.
Guitar solos are all over the place and this is one of the things that made Rust in Peace so special for me. Megadeth haven’t done this on any of their albums in a long while so it is really refreshing to hear. And you know what? Dave can still play some pretty mean solos. The solos are pretty much standard Megadeth fashion being melodic, and drawn out while sometimes picking up the intensity. The riffs are not bad either with more thrash riffs in Endgame than they have recorded in total since Countdown to Extinction.
Dave’s voice has watered down a bit over the years though nothing like Hetfield. His voice still includes some of the venom, though this only really shines on a few tracks and most of the time he just sings in his standard melodic fashion though somewhat improved over the last few albums.
Unfortunately Head Crusher is really the only track that blows me away. This is in the same style to Tornado of Souls and Hangar 18, and almost reaches them in quality. This Day We Fight!, is a pretty intense thrasher as well. However, none of the others can match these in intensity. The others certainly have their moments, especially Endgame and 1320 but are still enjoyable as they are so catchy and not overly watered down like the tracks on United Abominations and The System has Failed.
If you are expecting a Rust in Peace 2 then you should look elsewhere as this is not it, but this is still a very solid album that any thrasher or fan of heavy metal can be proud to have in their collection. I have regained my faith in Megadeth. Lets hope it stays for a long while.
Standout tracks: Head Crusher, This Day We Fight, 1320, Endgame