By Bob Zerull
Dear Mr. Mustaine,
I have been a diehard Metallica fan since my late teens. For whatever reason, I felt it was my duty as a Metallica fan to not like you or Megadeth. All I knew about you was what I saw on either VH1’s “Behind the Music,” the documentary “Some Kind of Monster,” or edited excerpts from what I’ve read in various metal magazines. Most recently I read that you thought your new album “Endgame” was better than Metallica’s “Death Magnetic.” I must admit I rolled my eyes, but I hadn’t heard “Endgame.”
I’ve been writing for this website for just over a year. I review pretty much all the heavy metal mainstream shows that come to my area. Low and behold on December 7th Megadeth will be playing near my back yard at the River Center in Davenport, IA. Not only is Megadeth playing in my area, but I have an interview with bass player James LoMenzo (Black Label Society, White Lion). Being the sell out wannabe “journalist” I am, I went out and stocked up on Megadeth music, including the new album “Endgame.”
Prior to buying these albums, the only two Megadeth songs I had ever heard were “Symphony of Destruction” and “Mechanix.” The weird part is that I liked both those songs and still never gave you or Megadeth the chance to turn me on. Like I said above, I’m a huge Metallica fan and I loved “Death Magnetic.” After doing some research, I figured out that there was more to you than just comparing “Endgame” to “Death Magnetic.” You essentially said that you like “Endgame” better, but that there are other Metallica albums you like better than other Megadeth albums. For whatever reason, that part seemed to be left off of the article I read.
I always considered Megadeth to be the poor man’s Metallica, but I was an idiot. From the second I heard the opening note of “Endgame” I knew that I was an idiot. “Endgame” kicks off with the track “Dialectic Chaos” which is just one long solo trade-off between you and Chris Broderick. The solos are so impressive yet easy on the ear. Then the album kicks right into “This Day We Fight.” What a great metal song. I can already picture the guys in the pit bouncing off the walls. It has everything I like in a song, a monster riff, great lead guitar and a tight rhythm section.
(Courtesy of Megadeth.com)
The album never lets up. I was trying to think of album highlights and I promise you I cannot narrow it down to three or four. “Endgame” is that solid. The next track slows it down a bit, but not too much. The next three songs pull together great riffs mixed with great solos. The title track “Endgame” and “The Hardest Part of Letting Go…. Sealed with a Kiss” are probably the highlights of the album if I had to choose some. I like the story behind “Endgame.” It deals with the fears that much of America had over Barack Obama creating a New World Order once he was elected into office. “The Hardest Part of Letting Go… Sealed with a Kiss” is partly a song to your wife and partly based on an Edgar Allan Poe poem called “The Cast of the Amontillado.”
I didn’t realize you were this accomplished on guitar. I remember watching a YouTube video with Dream Theater playing Pantera’s “Cemetery Gates” on your Gigantour tour. During the chorus Dream Theater would bring out the singer of one of the other bands on the tour to sing the chorus. They brought you out to play the guitar solo, which at the time I thought was weird because it doesn’t get much better than John Pettruci when it comes to guitar players. After listening to “Endgame” beginning to end at least five times now, I completely understand why they brought you out to play the guitar solo.
Which album is better in my opinion? It’s hard to say. I’m a really big fan of the Metallica formula. That said it’s still a formula. Essentially Metallica wrote “Fade to Black.” Then they rewrote it and called it “One.” Then they rewrote it again and called it “The Day That Never Comes.” I love all three songs and they are definitely their own songs, but they follow the same formula. With “Endgame” I hear a band that is just clicking on every level. The guitars are phenomenal. Musically “Endgame” definitely wins. Metallica probably wins in the radio friendlier department. Like I said above there is a formula to Metallica and the mainstream radio world is very much familiar with Metallica’s formula. When it comes to the metal world, I think Megadeth probably wins out. So what do I think? I love them both for different reasons.
I ask that you accept my apology for buying into your stereotype and believing it. Please forgive me.
Your new fan,
Bob Zerull is a frequent movie and concert goer who talks about his ventures to arenas and theaters more than any person should be allowed to do. Now, he puts them down on paper. Visit: www.cadaverchristmas.com. Email Bob at email@example.com.
By Bob Zerull