Megadeth

Megadeth

Risk

Capitol

This album is probably the turning point for Megadeth, the band that most divides the true metal community. The division isn’t along the love/hate lines, but more like observe/ignore. Most of what I’d heard from the metal press regarding Risk was negative; the one positive review, basically proclaiming it the best metal album of the year, came from a reviewer whose opinions I consider informed. Therefore, I listened to the album assuming that all the negative press was wrong.

And naturally, I made the right decision.

Risk isn’t what I’d call a “new direction” for Megadeth, it’s still recognizable as metal and it’s still recognizable that the band hasn’t done anything to dull their edge (unlike that other band whose name begins with an “M”). The CD is enhanced, containing interviews with the band members during the recording sessions. I watched the interviews after listening to Risk about ten times, and my suspicions were confirmed, but…

But my reaction after the first listen was that Risk is an amazing album. It’s the most dynamic Megadeth album, that’s for sure, but it’s also an album showcasing the whole band’s musicianship instead of just balls-to-the-wall metal guitar noodling (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Previous Megadeth albums, spanning from the early Eighties to a couple of years ago, when compared to Risk , seem like turns in a maze. Killing is My Business was great, Peace Sells was great, too. Hanger 18 , etc., all good albums and depending on how much one likes Megadeth, they’re important metal albums, too. I can’t shake a felling of incompleteness, though, after listening to them. Risk is finally a complete album.

The first track, “Insomnia,” gives away that Megadeth was making a radical departure from their typical snarling, sneering metal noodling. OK, so the song is about not being able to sleep, nothing special there, but their mixture of hysterical, melodic metal sitar with snarling, sneering metal noodling rocks like an insane whirling metal dervish. “Prince of Darkness,” hey, a powerful, violent, crunching heavy metal song about Satan. When’s the last time Megadeth pulled out all the stops on one like that, eh? “Crush ‘Em” and “I’ll Be There,” apart from “Insomnia,” give more away about this experiment. I think they’ve reworked KISS’s “I Was Made For Loving You (Baby)” into light industrial metal masterpieces. “Breadline” is the clincher. It’s as pop as they come. I mean, like really pop. It’s danceable, too. They throw in some psychedelic elements and pop guitar solos, and big hit. “The Doctor Is Calling” and, even more so, “Wanderlust,” well, they know what they’re doing, chasing that other “M” band. There are twelve songs in all, with “Ecstasy and “Time” deserving mention as well.

OK, the album is great, I’d decided that myself, then I checked out the video track. Hey, there’s bassist Dave Ellefson talking about listening to albums from the 1970’s they’d normally never listen to in preparation for this record. Then new drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (used to be with Suicidal Tendencies, too) is talking about doing music he’d never done before. I think I caught frontman Dave Mustaine talking about Fleetwood Mac… And let’s not leave out guitarist Marty Friedman, who mentions that Risk will either make or break the band. Hey, they’re taking a risk, get it?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

  • Demons/Demons 2
    Demons/Demons 2

    Synapse Films reissues Lamberto Bava’s epic ’80s gore-filled movies Demons and Demons 2 in beautiful new editions.

  • Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson
    Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson

    Searching for the Disappearing Hour (Pyroclastic Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives