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Review: Megadeth Risk one of the worst albums in the history of heavy metal music
A photo of the CD Risk
The album Risk is a risk taken by the band that did not work out
The band Megadeth was already on a downward spiral as a band with the album Cryptic Writings in 1997, easily one of the poorest efforts of this band. In 1999, the band released the album Risk which is a total kind of experimental album and different from even Countdown to Extinction. Risk represents one of the worst albums in heavy metal (at least it has been that way for me for a long time). There are two songs that we could classify as “good” in the musical sense. They are the very heavy Prince of Darkness and the song Ecstasy.
Risk is an experimental kind of heavy metal album that is just flawed from the beginning
By 1999, the band was a shadow of its former self. Nick Menza was no longer a part of the band being replaced by Jimmy Degrasso on drums. As a music fan, I wonder how it is possible that one of the most famous American bands does so well to start its career only to have such a steep drop in songwriting quality. It is one thing to release an experimental album but it is one thing to take a risk like that and have it not work out. It was a risk to release this album and sadly, it is another one of Megadeth’s weaker albums. From the first song in the album, I got the sense that something was really going to be wrong about this album. And I was proven correct.
A photo of the back of the album cover for Risk
The song Insomnia is indicative of how poor of an album Risk is
The first song Insomnia is a very cheesy attempt to describe someone that cannot get himself to go back to sleep because he is trying to bury his past. He is feeling guilty because of the bad judgement he used and the mistakes that he made. The song can also be an indication of Mustaine’s own troubled past. The song is a total flop! The non-re-mastered version of the song starts with some weird sounds followed by a violin before getting into a song that tries to be heavy. Meanwhile, Dave Mustaine keeps on singing that he can’t sleep. I don’t think that this is the way that Marty Friedman wanted to leave the band. Maybe that was a good thing that Friedman left because he might have known that Megadeth was declining as a band.
The song called Insomnia (not re-mastered)
Megadeth and their decline in the 1990's in brief
By this point they had three straight sub-par albums and even though they would sort of redeem themselves with 2001’s The World Needs a Hero, they finished the decade of the 1990’s on a very weak note.
Weakest album in the career of Megadeth
Which one of these albums is the worst in the career of Megadeth?
Risk has only one very good song: Prince of Darkess
The next song Prince of Darkness is one of the better songs in this album and it is about what Satan has tried to do to mankind. The short introduction called Arena leads into the song called Crush Em. The song describes the kind of environment that is possible when there is a sort of wrestling match in an arena. This is one of the worst songs in the band’s career. The song Breadline is about someone that has no car, no job, and he is now homeless even though he thinks that his life is just fine even though it is not. The song is average at best. The song called I’ll Be There has a guitar tone similar to what the band used back in 1986. However, this does not really make the song good. The song describes lovers that have always been there for each other even when the skies have been dark and there has not been any sunshine (hope). When there is true love, this true love is what can get a couple through both good times and bad. To be honest, Risk is one of the most uninspiring albums that this writer has heard and it will never be as good as St. Anger. At least St. Anger has a musical technicality and ferocity to it that shows that it is a true heavy metal album. The song Seven is another bad attempt by Megadeth to sound heavy but they fail miserably. The song is about someone that has succumbed to greed, gluttony, and selfishness. Risk is still one of the worst albums in heavy metal history and it was the band’s weakest point until 2013. Time: the Beginning and Time: the End are two songs after what has been a really disappointing listening experience and they are songs about the fact that time is our most precious resource and we cannot afford to waste it. The song called Ecstasy makes reference to the same drug that can have detrimental effects on the body. The song has only one very good song in Prince of Darkness while the rest of them are either poor or just average.
Final grade: 60 out of 100 points (D)
After this update, Risk is still poor lagging behind Cyptic Writings and Youthanasia.
The song called Prince of Darkness
© 2017 Ara Vahanian