Uhh no, he has always had technical skill hence him being a lead guitarist for Metallica. He has no creative FEELING. He said so himself, he was ice, Marty was fire.
Technically, he wasn't able to hold a candle to Hammet on solos for hit the lights or anything on Kill em' all. (Or at least that's how it looked from Cliff em' all and boot legs. But they were all always so plastered, I still don't know how they played ) Mustaine didn't really start swinging until Count down to extinction IMHO
I agree about the creative feeling though.
"If you're not part of the solution, you're the precipitate."