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2.56 | 69 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1999

Filed under Hard Rock


1. Insomnia (4:34)
2. Prince of Darkness (6:25)
3. Enter the Arena (0:52)
4. Crush 'Em (4:57)
5. Breadline (4:24)
6. The Doctor Is Calling (5:40)
7. I'll Be There (4:20)
8. Wanderlust (5:22)
9. Ecstasy (4:28)
10. Seven (5:00)
11. Time: The Beginning (3:04)
12. Time: The End (2:28)

Total Time: 51:38

Japanese bonus track:
13. Duke Nukem Theme (3:54)

Total time 55:25

2004 remixed/remastered bonus tracks:
13. Insomnia" (Jeff Balding mix) (4:19)
14. Breadline" (Jack Joseph Puig mix) (4:28)
15. Crush 'Em" (Jock mix) (5:10)

Total time 65:33

Limited Edition Bonus disc: No Risk Disk
1. Peace Sells (4:04)
2. In My Darkest Hour (6:20)
3. Holy Wars... The Punishment Due (6:36)
4. Symphony of Destruction (4:06)
5. À tout le monde (4:30)
6. Use the Man (4:36)

Total Time: 30:14


- Dave Mustaine / vocals, guitar
- Marty Friedman / guitar
- David Ellefson / bass, backing vocals
- Jimmy DeGrasso / drums

About this release

Release date: August 30th, 1999
Label: Capitol Records

Remixed and remastered with alternate album artwork and bonus tracks in 2004.

Producer: Dann Huff
Mastering: Bob Ludwig
Co-Producer: Dave Mustaine
Engineering, Mixing (assistant): Mark Hagen
Art direction: Tommy Steele
Design: Andy Engel, Eric Heintz
Photography: Myriam Santos-Kayda
Engineering, Mixing: Jeff Balding

Thanks to UMUR, Time Signature, 666sharon666, diamondblack, Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Risk" is the 8th full-length studio album by US thrash/heavy metal act Megadeth. The album was released through Capitol Records in August 1999. There´s been one lineup change since "Cryptic Writings (1997)" as drummer Nick Menza has been replaced by Jimmy DeGrasso (Suicidal Tendencies, Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, David Lee Roth, White Lion...), thus ending the most stabile lineup in the history of the band (and the lineup most fans think of as the "classic" Megadeth lineup).

While fans often point to "Risk", when speaking of low points in Megadeth´s career, it´s interesting to note that it´s actually only slightly less heavy than "Cryptic Writings (1997)" and overall sounds unmistakably as Megadeth. Stylistically the material on "Risk" is hard rock oriented heavy metal. The title of the album probably stems from the fact that Megadeth at that point in their career wanted to take some risks with their music, and in this case that meant pursuing an even more radio friendly sound than what they had done previously. They did something similar on "Cryptic Writings (1997)" and succeeded in doing so, but "Risk" was generally not received with praising reviews and many fans also felt the band had moved too far from their thrash/heavy metal roots.

To my ears the difference in style isn´t that big from "Cryptic Writings (1997)" to "Risk" though. Sure there were a few harder edged thrash metal oriented tracks on the former and none of those on the latter, but most of the material on "Cryptic Writings (1997)" is melodic heavy metal rather than thrash metal, which can also be said about the material on "Risk". There´s maybe an added melodic sensibility and an instant catchiness to the material on "Risk", but that´s about it if comparisons have to be made to its direct predecessor.

The material on the 12 track, 51:38 minutes long album are generally well written, melodic, and catchy. Some tracks feature fairly heavy riffs and rhythms like "Insomnia", "The Doctor is Calling", and "Crush ´Em", while other tracks like "Breadline" and "I´ll Be There" feature a softer almost mainstream appeal. Even the most heavy tracks also feature catchy melodic sections though and "Risk" is generally not a very hard edged release.

The album features a well sounding production, which suits the material well, and "Risk" is on most parameters a quality release. While it may not be as heavy as some fans would have wanted I think it´s obvious the band put a lot of hard work and dedication into the project, and it shines through that they are passionate about the material. The performances are flawless and Dave Mustaine sings better than ever, so the musicianship is top notch. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
After 15 years of making music, Megadeth finally hit that dreaded stage of their careers that metal fans frown upon with utter contempt and hatred... the commercial album. Heaven's forbid, sometimes a band just want to try something new, or maybe they'd like to try and actually make some money (a blasphemous sin, no doubt), or maybe, seeing as how heavy metal music was pretty much dead in 1999, they thought they'd try to get something out to the mainstream and show that the genre still has plenty of life and vitality in it (it did, of course, but that would come at the hands of bands like Linkin Park... who'da thunk it?).

So here we are, it's 1999, and Megadeth alienated all of their fans by releasing their radio-friendly pop album 'Risk', but made a new one in me. I was 12 years-old and other than 'Destroyer' by Kiss, this was my first true exposure to heavy metal. I fell in love with the song 'Crush 'Em' after hearing Megadeth perform on a World Championship Wrestling show. It was a performance that nobody asked for, nobody watched, and the few that actually did, certainly didn't care. Except for me, because it pretty much changed my life.

So what's wrong with Risk? Absolutely nothing!

It's not thrash metal. It doesn't have that raw, grittiness that Megadeth classics such as 'Rust in Peace' and 'Peace Sells' have. And what's this? Strings? Acoustic guitars? An "anthem"?

Well boo-hoo-hoo to all the whiny metal fans who hated Megadeth for going all Bon Jovi on us and "selling out". The truth is, this album is still heavy metal. 'Insomnia', 'Prince of Darkness' and 'The Doctor is Calling' are still as dark, gloomy and heavy as any Megadeth track, and Dave Mustaine's brief foray into actually singing on tracks like 'Breadline', 'I'll Be There' and 'Ecstasy' all show that even the most metal of icons have their softer sides.

Much like 'Load' did for Metallica a few years prior, the fan backlash at 'Risk' pretty much exemplifies why metal fans sometimes deserve the flak they get. Good music speaks for itself, and when it all comes down to it, the music on this record is pretty damn good, whether it's 1988 thrash metal Megadeth or 1999 Bon Jovi Megadeth. Take a 'risk', get over it.

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Members reviews

Ridiculously underrated,

I can understand why traditional Megadeth fans love to pan this album so much. Or at least, I try to. Sometimes I cannot help but wonder if they have whole CD shelves packed with just full-throttle thrash metal and refuse to even think about anything else. That's the only way I can see not enjoying this album: having a mind that's closed to anything outside unaltered thrash.

By now, pretty much everyone is aware of this album's foray into dark, moody rock territory - a stark departure from the heavy metal we're used to from older (and newer) releases. Dave and Co. took a risk; and they don't get a lot of respect for it. That's unfortunate because this album succeeds on all levels. The melodies are different but well-developed and catchy - some on the first listen; others will wait until the tenth listen to jump out at you. Lyrics are top-notch; in fact they do explore basically the same dark-side-of-life issues that their previous albums do - with a less nihilistic tone. Clean guitar abounds; and the drums are a real gem - simple yet completely effective.

This album is currently available right here at Amazon used for one dollar. If you don't have this album, you don't have much to lose! Give it the chance it deserves - forget what you've heard.

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