Released separately, November 1st in North America and October 26th 2011 in Japan respectively; TH1RT3EN is the third and final album due in the band’s current contract with Roadrunner Records. TH1RT3EN presents itself with the original line-up of Megadeth where bassist David Ellefson has returned, making this album a very veteran piece of quality music. Anyways, let the hotch-potch cease and just lose yourself in this review.
The question stands from everyone, would Megadeth’s 13th album with 13 tracks aptly titled TH1RT3EN (Thirteen) pull new punches? The answer stands as “No”! In fact, the punch is in Megadeth’s consistency.
The question stands from everyone, would Megadeth’s 13th album with 13 tracks aptly titled TH1RT3EN (Thirteen) pull new punches? The answer stands as “No”! In fact, the punch is in Megadeth’s consistency. It’s the kind of punch you would expect from Megadeth except it hits a little harder this time around. After a few spins, the predominant vibe I get from TH1RT3EN is the same stir I get when I listen to Youthanasia or Cryptic Writings; both stellar albums in their own right. If you read any of Megadeth interviews up to this point, Dave Mustaine had mentioned that he/Megadeth resurrected some old material that was recorded or at least written during mid 1990’s ara. Obviously, there are new band members since then and some things have been reworked. Any long-time Megadeth fan should be able to mentally link TH1RT3EN to those delightful Youthanasia & Cryptic Writings days.
Now to Megadeth’s strong point: the guitars. Megadeth is a solely, mainly a guitar band and each time I pick up a new album, I look to hear their killer riffs from ‘Riff-Lord’ Dave Mustaine and thorough guitar solos from Chris Broderick. TH1RT3EN is on equivalence with anything you might expect from Megadeth. I am NOT stating this as a derogatory comment at all but right off the bat, you are presented with Sudden Death, a song designed around the guitars created for the videogame Guitar Hero. Public Enemy #1 commences with instantly recognizable Megadeth riffs. It may sound predictable, but consistency is how I view Megadeth; always hard-hitting, melodic, and heavy on guitars. The rest of the album doesn’t let up from there nor does it fall flat halfway through. All 13 tracks are actual songs; no filler!
After Megadeth released Rust in Peace, they set a superior standard for the “quality” of metal they produce. Megadeth fans, expect to get a certain level of metal from Mustaine and Co. and hold them to it. TH1RT3EN is no exception; Megadeth nailed everyone’s expectations. If you listen to Megadeth’s discography, you will NOT see any great departure from their core sound. Even Risk is not that far of a stretch for the band. Just go back and listen to Countdown to Extinction, Cryptic Writings, or The World Needs A Hero. TH1RT3EN is consistent, not just the sound of the album, but with Megadeth’s career progression. The new Megadeth installment is the natural progression from Endgame. With Megadeth’s 13th album, you get exactly what you would expect; the continuous progression of grade “A” 5 out 5 metal.
The Short and Snort Review:
The album starts off with “Sudden Death”, which was originally written for the 2010 music video game Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. The song was released as a digital single via iTunes in September 2010. “Sudden Death” was later nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance at the 53rd Grammy Awards, but lost to Iron Maiden’s “El Dorado”. The 5:09 minute song is violent, with a piercing guitar reaching fever pitch before it blasts into a staccato riff. Mustaine’s vocals have grown gnarlier, but can still deliver lines like “a blitzkrieg raining down evil.
Public Enemy No. 1
Mustaine has said that “Public Enemy No. 1″ was written about 1920s gangster Al Capone. The inspiration was a possible haunting incident while the band was recording in an old building in Tennessee which Mustaine described as being a “hideaway” of Capone’s.
“Public Enemy No. 1” is fast and dirty and nails itself as any other ‘classic’ piece by Megadeth. A music video, filmed at a Western film set in Santa Clarita, California, has also been made for “Public Enemy No. 1″. The video was released on November 4, 2011.
Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)
During an interview with Dallas/Fort Worth radio station 97.1 KEGL in which Mustaine revealed 2 new song titles, “We the People” and “Whose Life is This Anyways?” (later amended to “Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)”), he stated that the latter was considered for album’s first single, although “Public Enemy No. 1″ was ultimately released as the album’s lead single instead.
“Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)” was debuted during an appearance by Dave Mustaine on the October 14-16, 2011 edition of the Full Metal Jackie radio show. The song was released as a limited-time free download via Megadeth’s Facebook page a few days later. The song is again, the riffing and heavy solos with the drumming of Shawn D. The song is a rebellious verbal speak-out about one’s life, who are you anyway to control and tell me how to live. The lyrics goes like this, “You hate the way I wear my clothes You hate my friends and where we go I see you in the shadows You think you know what’s best for me You hate everything you see in me”. The song will get your head-banging, the lyrics will raise your rebellious inside out!!!
We The People
“We The People” is a sludgy commentary that brings to mind Occupy Wall Street. The heavy riffs and solos with the drumming make it really really sludgy!!!
Guns, Drugs & Money
“Guns, Drugs & Money” lyrics tells the story of how poverty rapes a man of his virtues to turn to crime and become evil, the lyrics go on like this: ‘Poverty will turn the life of any good man bad, all love and mercy ever learned, he’ll soon forget what he had. Guns, drugs, and money under the Mexican sky. Guns, drugs, and money; pick your poison or you die’ . The lyrics go good with the thrash-y feel stung in by Megadeth.
“Never Dead” speaks about the world and about struggle and violence through heavy riffs and drumming. “Never Dead” was written for inclusion on NeverDead, a third-person action/fantasy game. Roadrunner Records posted the song on their YouTube channel for streaming on September 21, 2011.
New World Order
“New World Order” was written by Dave Mustaine, Dave Ellefson, Marty Friedman and Nick Menza during the Clash of the Titans Tour in 1991, and a demo was made for Countdown to Extinction, but it was ultimately not included on that record.
In an interview, Ellefson stated that the song was re-recorded at the insistence of Shawn Drover and he also said that Mustaine updated some parts and made them “more violent”. Drover, for his part, stated that re-recording “New World Order” was initially Mustaine’s idea, though he strongly supported re-recording the song. “New World Order” has great rhythm — and Shawn Drover’s machine-gun drumming in its final half.
“Fast Lane” has an apt fast-pace to it; Mustaine’s and Chris Broderick’s accelerated guitars give visions of a roadway rushing past and totally smother in with the lyrics which says about fast dynamics that a person goes through, he goes completely insane to wreck up the speed and go faster and faster.
A few of the album’s songs had actually been released before as bonus tracks on Youthanasia and United Abominations. “Black Swan” was originally released as a bonus track for members of the band’s fan club who pre-ordered United Abominations.
Dave Ellefson quoted that their producer Johnny K picked “Black Swan” as a song that the band should finish for inclusion on the new record. He also added up that, having been written several years beforehand, it has nothing to do with the 2010 film of the same name.
“Wrecker,” about a wrecking ball of a woman who’s like “a vulture picking my bones clean,” gets off to a noisy start with great percussion and features a searing guitar solo.
Millennium of the Blind
According to Dave Ellefson, “Millennium of the Blind” was originally written in 1991 and a demo was recorded. A version of the song would later be included as a bonus track on the 2004 remix/remaster of Youthanasia. In the liner notes for the 2004 rerelease of Youthanasia, Mustaine claimed that “Millennium of the Blind” reminded him too much of another song he was working on at the time, “Absolution” (which would later form part of “Trust” from Cryptic Writings). Mustaine states in the Youthanasia rerelease liner notes that he came up with the lyrics after watching Highlander.
“Deadly Nightshade” has dueling crunchy and chugging guitars and guttural Ellefson bass while closer “13” starts with ballad-worthy guitar before the song begins to blister.
In an interview, Dave Ellefson stated that the song’s main riff “was written during the sessions for Youthanasia, or maybe Cryptic Writings [from 1997]. It’s been around for a while.”
Ellefson states that Johnny K and Mustaine were able to finish the song for Thirteen.
Dave Ellefson has called the song “theatrical”, and compared it to “In My Darkest Hour” from So Far, So Good…So What! (1988). He also said that “13″ is a song that “summed up the arc of Megadeth as a band”. “Thirteen times and it’s been lucky for me,” Megadeth singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine growls on the closing track of “Th1rt3en,” the 13th song on the band’s 13th album.
It might be a fitting statement. After being booted from Metallica, Mustaine formed Megadeth, which has sold more than 30 million albums and garnered nine Grammy nominations, and “Th1rt3en” marks the return of original bassist Dave Ellefson for the first time since 2002’s “Rude Awakening,” and the outcome is heavy, sometimes dark and as always: in-your-face!!!
The final statement stands out as: “TH1RT3EN” is really a heavy album, with a lot and lot of weight. It presents the original (strongest) line-up of Megadeth after a whole 8 years and till now, has been rated at an average 7/10 from the professional ratings and scores!
But the story does not end there, along with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax, Megadeth is “The Big Four” of thrash metal; all four are pioneers of the genre in its own right. But alongside Megadeth’s successful 2009 outing, “Endgame,” which debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200, “Th1rt3en” continues to prove that the band is not only a pioneer of metal, but remains one of its greatest torchbearers.
A full \m/ from me! Happy listening everyone!!