If you needed any indication as to what Endgame would sound like, you only need to look to MEGADETH’s last album, United Abominations. The band open the album with power and style with the instrumental, “Dialectic Chaos,” which sounds heavily inspired from MAIDEN’s Powerslave. The song is quickly followed by Endgame’s most intense song, “This Day We Fight,” which features the classic MEGADETH fast, thrashing riffs. However, the album then takes on its true form starting with “44 Minutes.” The remainder of Endgame is more in line with the streamlined mainstream metal approach that the band forged in the 90’s. Thus, there are big choruses, more space for the songs to breathe, and an overall pacification of heaviness and intensity. But then again this is the path that Dave Mustaine has chosen to take MEGADETH for the majority of its existence.
The recruitment of JAG PANZER lead guitarist, Chris Broderick, is a good addition to the band’s line up. Broderick is better suited than departed lead guitarist, Glen Drover, with his shredding skills. An example of his skills can be heard on “1,320” in which he and Mustaine trade solos at a frantic pace. However, Broderick’s performance on the album is not a tide turner.
Endgame is by no means a bad album. Though it’s better than its predecessor, it’s still not good enough when you measure it up against MEGADETH’s classic albums nor albums such as Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings. There are quality moments and sour ones. At the end of the day, it’s all up to the listener to decide whether they regard MEGADETH as musically relevant in 2009. (Roadrunner Records)