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Album Reviews : Megadeth – Endgame

By on September 15, 2009

Megadeth - EndgameThe ever growing fear of global collapse is greatly approaching us day by day, and its only fitting that Megadeth accompany a soundtrack to the terrifying thought of a world consumed by conditioned hatred, social disorder and a financial crisis ever lurking over the entire planet.

Endgame is Megadeth‘s twelfth studio album and encompasses all the trademarks you’d expect from a genuine Megadeth release.

It’s definitely a step up in terms of ‘United Abominations’, as it adds more venomous vocals and fast attacking riffs in its repertoire. Expanding the already enjoyable listening experience from Megadeth‘s previous album.

In doing so, ‘Endgame’ would have to be considered Megadeth‘s most powerful album to date, both lyrically and musically.

Many of Megadeth‘s past releases have been very poetic, yet at the same time very blatant in there delivery. Lyrics are conveyed in a very literal sense, as Dave Mustaine isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Endgame is no exception as Dave Mustaine now questions the US government’s role in the supposed New World Order (Illuminati), which in the simplest of terms is a world controlled by a one world fascist dictatorship.

The album starts off with a surprising instrumental entitled  ‘Dialectic Chaos’, which took me back to the heydays of  ‘So Far, So Good…So What!’, with the infamous ‘Into The Lungs of Hell’ intro. Surprisingly, ‘Dialectic Chaos’ is very similar in comparison to ‘Into the Lungs of Hell’, yet infuses a more rock and up tempo element, which even verges on that one hit wonder Wolfmother song (you know the one I mean), but thankfully doesn’t sound recycled nor completely terrible like its counterpart. ‘Dialectic Chaos’ is indeed a worthy introduction which adds both numerous rock and metal elements, further showcasing Dave Mustaine‘s musical prowess.

Continuing Megadeth‘s tradition of assaulting all senses, the track ‘This Day We Fight!’ deliveries a barrage of fast attacking riffs, which would be considered the bands strongest and more aggressive to date, thanks to the aid of Chris Broderick (ex-Nevermore, Jag Panzer).

Broderick has indeed been a worthy adversary within Megadeth, as he not only offer’s wave after wave of face melting solos, yet also adds a plethora of versatility and influence which I’m sure has even brushed off on Dave Mustaine in recent times. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Dave Mustaine‘s vocals as they are somewhat unchanged, yet hardly are an issue to long time Megadeth fans.

Many would question Dave Mustaine‘s vocals, even from back in the day. His vocals are an acquired taste to say the least, yet thankfully I’ve grown accustom to his trademark raspy snarl and can easily enjoy any Megadeth release without being on the urge to cringe.

The track ’44 minutes’ adds more melodies to Dave Mustaine‘s vocal delivery, thanks to the aid of the song’s uplifting riff. Much like ‘Die Dead Enough’ or ‘Never Walk Alone’, the music itself pushes Dave’s vocal talents to sound more soulful and melodic throughout the chorus, while still haunting the listener with his trademark rasp lurking in the background. ’44 minutes’ is actually based on true events, in which 2 fully armed men robbed a bank in North Hollywood in the late 90’s and severally injured police and civilians, before being shot to death by SWAT. I’m pretty impressed with this track, thanks to the songs haunting , yet melodic chorus.

Things quickly speed up however after the track ’44 minutes’, as we’re thrown into the blistering ‘1,320’. Solos are in an abundance as both Chris Broderick and Dave Mustaine duke it out to add both amazing variety and variation to their solo techniques and full blown assault. Again, reverting back to old school Megadeth, ‘1,320’ is similar to ‘502’, ‘Rattlehead’ and ‘High Speed Dirt, respectively. The emphasis of speed and adrenaline are clearly present on the track.

‘Bite the Hand’ and ‘Bodies’ add somewhat of filler to the album for me personally, much like ‘How The Story Ends’ and ‘The Right To Go Insane’ at the tail end of the album, yet thankfully continue to push the bands new sound and style, offering a simple yet quite impressive delivery of crazy solos by Mustaine and Broderick, the hypnotizing bass lines of James LoMenzo, and the hard hitting and precise drumming of Shawn Drover. I expect in due time however, that my somewhat questionable love for these 4 songs will blossom, as the album will surely grow on me with each listen in the future.

“….and now we enter, end game.”

The title track ‘Endgame’ would have to be considered the most courageous and powerful song, Dave Mustaine has ever written. Not only is he questioning his governments current political power, yet is making many people question it as well, as the lyrics of the song read much like a newspaper headline and are quite freighting to say the least.

The song’s haunting, yet very powerful lyrics are subjected to the harsh realization that not only America, but the rest of the world are in a dangerous place at the moment, thanks to ex-president George W. Bush signing away America’s freedom and freely allowing a police state to control and detain American citizens within detention centres if they are not implanted with the infamous RDIF chip.

Many skeptics would question the songs integrity,  as it borders on somewhat of a conspiracy theory. Yet, for the many people such as myself who like to research and read up about these subjects, its quite a poignant song indeed. One of my favorites at the moment.

‘The Hardest Part Of Letting Go…. Sealed With A Kiss’ is the only “slow” number on Endgame. The song clearly shows Dave Mustaine‘s love for Led Zeppelin, as the song carries hints of ‘Battle of Evermore’ and even ‘Stairway to Heaven’, respectively. However, the songs quickly shifts into gear and has a somewhat of a middle eastern and orchestral influence, somewhat bordering on Nightwish‘s ‘Bye Bye Beautiful’. The song fits well into the scheme of the album and sounds fantastic.

‘Headcrusher’ is the bands first single off Endgame and is pretty much what you’d expect from the new Megadeth. Fast and repetitious is the name of the game, with hints of ‘Rust in Peace’ and ‘Countdown to Extinction’ adding various layers of solid thrash metal bliss.

I could go on and on about ‘Endgame’, as it not only offers some mind bending musicianship from all fronts, but would have to considered the bands best material to date, since ‘Rust in Peace’ and ‘Countdown to Extinction’.

The album offers an overwhelming array of influences from the bands entire back catalogue, whilst delivering amazing production from heavy metal mastermind, Andy Sneap at the production helm. Endgame is definitely in my top 10 of 2009. 9/10

Band: Megadeth
Album: Endgame
Year: 2009
Genre: Thrash Metal
Origin: Los Angeles ,USA
Label: Roadrunner Records

1. Dialectic Chaos <- Reviewer’s choice
2. This Day We Fight
3. 44 Minutes <- Reviewer’s choice
4. 1,320
5. Bite the Hand
6. Bodies
7. Endgame <- Reviewer’s choice
8. The Hardest Part of Letting Go…Sealed With a Kiss <- Reviewer’s choice
9. Head Crusher <- Reviewer’s choice
10. How the Story Ends
11. The Right to Go Insane


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.