Saturday, February 21, 2009

Great Band, Terrible Album Pt. 4: Megadeth: Risk

Ah yes, Risk. This is the album that made me start doing this series in the first place. I fucking HATE this album, and I say this as a huge fan of Megadeth. There are a couple of halfway listenable songs on this album, but by and large it is complete and utter shit. Dave Mustaine has had an ongoing grudge against Metallica since they kicked him out of the band in New York in the early 1980's and made him take the bus back to California. Since then, Mustaine and his band Megadeth has battled constantly against their more famous rivals, although Mustaine was actually the more talented guitarist and lyricist. You can actually hear the seething rage in his vocals and you know he is still angry. Metallica would have been an absolutely unstoppable force in metal if Mustaine stayed in the band, but his alcoholism was threatening to consume him.

Megadeth produced several classic thrash metal albums Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?, So Far, So Good, So What?, and one of the all time greatest METAL albums, much less thrash metal, Rust in Peace. But, Megadeth always had an inferiority complex about Metallica, so when they simplified their sound and garnered major mainstream attention and huge record sales, Megadeth did the same, with the stated purpose of outdoing Metallica. Unfortunately, while Megadeth could do thrash better than Metallica, they couldn't do mainstream metal. Countdown to Extinction, while being a decent album, paled in comparison to The Black Album. When Metallica came out with Load, Megadeth tried to further soften their sound to keep up with the record sales of their big brother.

Which leads us to Risk. Mustaine's vocals gained a horrible whiny sound when the music was softened. They had always been a little nasally, but it got much worse here. Marty Friedman was still in the band, but his shredding guitar solos were gone. The lyrics were pathetic, best exemplified by the ridiculous wrestling anthem "Crush 'Em". It's not a bad song to get blood pumping, but serves little to no purpose other than that. The rest of the songs were incredibly weak with very few standouts. Funnily enough, even the band realized how bad this album is and almost never plays any of the songs in concert.

After Risk, Megadeth almost returned to form. They haven't fully recovered yet though. Like Metallica, I don't think they ever will.

No comments:

Post a Comment