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The Right to Go Insane
They may never be the biggest metal band in the world - that honour will always belong to their perennial rivals Metallica - but Dave Mustaine's Megadeth have long sought to be the most respected. And with Endgame, their twelfth studio album, they are once again asserting their right to be considered one of the best and most consistent heavy groups on the planet.
1,320 is typical 'Deth in its ferocity and breakneck guitar work, and Mustaine's trademark snarl has never sounded angrier. The likes of instrumental opener Dialectic Chaos, which sees Mustaine and new guitarist Chris Broderick (a prodigious, outlandish talent on this evidence) trading thrash riffs at a ridiculously high pace, and 44 Minutes demonstrate their commitment to pushing the modern metal envelope, not through the employment of any flashy tricks or gimmicks, but by perfecting the thrash genre.
They haven't reached their nirvana, as the title track strays a little too close to over-familiar territory (in a bad way), but Endgame is the most reliable and proficient Megadeth album arguably since 1990's Rust in Peace.
The frenetic This Day We Fight! harks back to their earliest days, all tooth-grinding rhythms and lightning guitar work courtesy of Broderick, and The Hardest Part of Letting Go... Sealed With a Kiss is another highlight. Head Crusher takes classic metal subject matter - medieval torture implements - and turns it into something that sounds both fresh and recognisable at the same time.
Mustaine's personal life has been the subject of much attention (he has, relatively recently, renounced debauchery and declared himself a Christian) but throughout Endgame he sounds almost terrifyingly feral. He is the impetus that gives his band the fuel to stay at the top of the metal tree two-and-a-half decades after their inception, and has once again proved himself to be one of the alternative music's most important and prolific figures.