MEGADETH — Risk (review)

MEGADETH — Risk album cover Album · 1999 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
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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UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Yeah it was just other types of metal then what Megadeth played :-)
more than 2 years ago
After a Rust I never bought another Megadeth album but that they tried to go commercial is both intriguing and potentially revolting. Nevertheless, I don't mind some pop metal so it might be a curious album to check out. I understand that Queensrÿche didn't do so well around this time either. By curious coincidence, I noticed on ProgArchives that a lot of progressive metal bands earned some of their highest ratings between 1999 and 2002. It's my impression that metal was still doing very well at the turn of the millennium.
Vim Fuego wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I dislike this album intensely, but if it got you into Megadeth, then it served a worthy purpose. We've all gotta get an entry into this music somehow.
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Yeah, I find it to be a decent album. It does have a few great songs.
UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
It´s not exactly their peak moment, but I agree that it´s not as bad as most people seem to think. "Breadline" is for example a pretty great composition.


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