The beginning of decadence for some, MEGADETH’s last worthy release for the most. What is a fact is that “Youthanasia” was a very different album, where Thrash is only found as a few scattered remains and the inspiration seems to come closer from Heavy Metal/Neo Thrash acts of that time in the vein of PANTERA rather than from the roots of this band itself. If until “Countdown To Extinction” MEGADETH’s main characteristic was their unleashed intensity and complex songwriting, here the bases seem to be melodic and catchy choruses, straight riffs and direct and easy-listening songs. It is not a bad album, but Mustaine just took the easy way and adopted the trend Metal sound of those years.
There are not especially bad songs here, no highlights either. Only the first track “Reckoning Day” catches my attention with more force, cause it is a devastating song that makes us feel the sensation of still being in front of a Thrash album, but it is just necessary to hear the first tunes of “Train Of Consequences” to realize that we’re dealing with something absolutely different; unfortunately, in a negative way. “Youthanasia” is by times annoyingly slow and weak and it seems that MEGADETH’s biggest preoccupation is to make choruses that stick to your brain at first listen. On the other hand, the crystal clear production and clockwork instrumentation makes this album really nice to listen to, but nothing more, and… after all… I’m an unconditional fan until “Countdown To Extinction” and not exactly because of the “nice to listen” factor.
As a conclusion, “Youthanasia” is a listenable disc, but seems too bad like a superband trying to sound like a mainstream act. I have nothing against the modern ways of making Thrash and, actually I think the genre had followed an interesting evolution, but just believe me: if you’re looking for GOOD Neo-Thrash stuff, go better and purchase some PANTERA CD. MEGADETH is just not the best way to get it through. (Online September 17, 2005)