For as much as metal can be the hardest genre imaginable, there comes a point where the headbanging needs to stop. Bands can slow down as they spend more time in the limelight, and eventually you’re going to want to explore some other avenues in rock and roll that you didn’t even know were there. It might still be in the realm of metal, but not many people were ready for a dramatic change like this.
Almost overnight, these bands decided to tinker with the sound that made them popular to begin with, either trying to find a new audience among the changing times or going out on a limb with a sound that they thought they could pull off effectively. Whether or not they pulled it off effectively is up for debate, but you can’t say that these albums didn’t at least get people talking amongst the fanbase.
Regardless of the quality behind most of these albums, fans were quick to put them down immediately, thinking that these musicians either sold out or were entering the downward slope of their career. If you just cast them out for changing though, you’re going to miss out on the stuff that might have been good that got lost in the shuffle. While these songs may be a different stripe of metal music, you can’t fault these guys for at least trying to take a risk.
10. Risk - Megadeth
Half of the reason why Megadeth became a band in the first place was for Dave Mustaine to prove Metallica wrong. After being the lead guitarist for the thrash titans and having a hand in some of their classic riffs, Mustaine was sent packing due to his drinking problem, and decided to make Megadeth a big enough band to rival his old bandmates. Mustaine has said that he doesn't like not being No. 1 in the eyes of thrash fans, but things started to really unravel when he decided to follow Metallica down the pop rabbit hole.
After The Black Album tore up the charts with songs like Enter Sandman, Dave was determind to make his own version of a pop crossover album, with Risk being the absolute worst pivot that the band ever made. While you can still hear the traditional Megadeth vocals on most of these songs, hearing the pop flavored production against Dave's snarly voice doesn't match well at all, almost sounding like he's trying to write songs that would make a decent heavy metal Saturday morning cartoon show on tracks like Breadline.
When he's not leaving his thrash roots behind, songs like Crush Em are some of the most basic songs that the band would ever make, with even Dave calling the song Ecstasy terrible in retrospect. For all of the envy that Dave has of Metallica getting everywhere first, he does have this one going for him. Before Metallica bludgeoned our eardrums on St. Anger, Dave was already testing most metalheads' patience a few years earlier.