By Keith Carman
There’s something strange going on with Megadeth’s twelfth studio album Endgame. Riding a fine line between innovation and imitation, it exudes an unusual sense of nostalgic comfort. While previous efforts have been mired in attempts at being grandiose, Endgame strips away pretense…for the most-part. Omitting a few questionable moments, it still rages closer to the band’s early-’90s output than they have in years. No, it’s not an outright thrash metal masterpiece but Endgame still assures us that the important aspects of Megadeth’s personality remain intact, acting as a Jack Of All Trades by referencing high points in the band’s career. The majority of tracks could easily be pulled from some of the band’s best efforts, reaching back as far as the snotty aggression of Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying yet not forgetting the patient, mid-tempo sneer of Countdown To Extinction. And given the decades of ups-and-downs Megadeth has endured, this sort of musical overseeing is better than a half-hearted attempt at revisiting one specific era. Whether or not Megadeth main man Dave Mustaine realizes how close he comes to pilfering his own catalogue, grazing the finer elements of about a half-dozen catalogue tracks is questionable but instantly forgivable. There are worse tracks that could be referenced, after all. In that way, the album succeeds in appealing to all fans, past and present, mostly via the thunderous pace and obliterating guitar solos, proving that even though Megadeth has evolved past their simplistic roots, you can take the thrasher out of thrash but you can’t take the thrash out of a thrasher.
Endgame will be released in Canada on September 15th.