|Personnel: Dave Mustaine (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, piano); Chris Broderick (guitar, acoustic guitar); James LoMenzo (bass guitar); Shawn Drover (drums, percussion); Chris Rodriguez, Chris Clancy, Chris Clancy (background vocals).
|The release of 2009's ENDGAME brings with it a startling realization: if first-generation thrash metal fans had been polled about which of the genre's "Big Four" -- Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, and Megadeth -- would prove to be the most resilient and consistently prolific over the next quarter century, the only sure-fire consensus would probably have been "well, anyone but Megadeth!" And yet, 12 studio albums and 150-plus songs later -- more than any of the other three have managed -- that's exactly what's come to pass. The group's second release for Roadrunner, whose title apparently refers to "coming full circle" rather than any sort of goodbye, finds the latest iteration of Megadeth-- debuting new guitarist Chris Broderick(ex-Nevermore, Jag Panzer)--working primarily within their technical thrash comfort zone (think PEACE SELLS through RUST IN PEACE), with only a few latter-day elements and rare experimental diversions. As such, deceptively simple guitar-shredding master classes like "This Day We Fight!," "1,320" (surprisingly, written about "funny car" racing), and first single "Headcrusher" are cut from the same bloody cloth as "Wake Up Dead" and "Set the World Afire," while politicized rants such as "44 Minutes," "Bite the Hand That Feeds," and the title cut recall old stalwarts like "Peace Sells" and "Holy Wars."