Risk (Capitol Records)

By Laura Spalding

Ummm. . . Is this really Megadeth?! Going by this CD, I'd say the band really did take a "risk" this time around.

Not trying to be a meanie, but this CD just doesn't do much for me. I can't see many metalheads running out to buy this latest release, even longtime Megadeth fans.

First up , drummer Nick Menza, who had been with the band since 1990's Rust In Peace is gone, but that's not really unusual, considering singer / guitarist / leader Dave Mustaine's history of revolving band members. The feeling that comes up here is that Megadeth is trying to become more radio-friendly and mainstream, a la Metallica maybe. ?

All is not completely horrible here; "Insomnia,""Crush 'Em" and "Prince Of Darkness" are all pretty heavy and reminiscent of the band's earlier material. But after the first three or four songs, things pretty much go downhill. It's almost as if Megadeth is teasing the fans, starting off in normal heavy fashion to entice you, then you're kind of let down for the rest of the ride.

"I'll Be There" is almost a pop song; "Ecstasy" has sort of a seventies/Santana feel to it, mostly mellow guitar and hardly any drums. Mellow can be okay at times, but I didn't think that's what Megadeth is supposed to be about.

This is not to say that a band can't grow, but there are many bands that do just that and stay in the same vein/style of heavy music. (Just take a look at Slayer!)

Maybe Dave Mustaine should go back and listen to his band's early material, such as "Peace Sells. . . . But Who's Buying?" and "So Far, So Good, So What!" He'll get the idea then!