Any time a new album is released that causes fists to fly in the crisp night air, legs to pump at Olympic athletic speed, and rock screams to unleash in howling yowls, it has to be grand. Megadeth’s latest album Th1rt3en is exactly that. Once again, Dave Mustaine and company came to the party and showed all the other so-called metal bands how heavy metal is meant to played. It’s just one of the many reasons why Megadeth is as high in the hard rocking ranks as bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, and WASP.
Th1rt3en is an amazing collection of blistering metal songs for those who love to bang their heads, or just feel the energy that heavy metal music brings. With bassist Dave Ellefson providing a signature classic sound to the bass lines, Megadeth has taken their music creation to the next level. Galloping bass lines dominate Thirt3en and provide a steady backdrop along with Shawn Drover’s incredible drums, keeping the rhythm section sturdy.
Overlaying the phenomenal combination of bass and drums is some stellar guitar work by both Dave Mustaine and Chris Broderick. Broderick and Mustaine not only remind us what guitar solos are, they also remind us why we love them so much. Songs like “New World Order” and “Fast Lane” feature blazing solos that scream magnificence. It would be pure pleasure to see these amazing solos performed in concert. The wizardry that Mustaine and Broderick highlight in their effective finger picking mastery is nothing short of astonishing. If every guitarist focused this much time and effort into their song crafting, the metal world would be a much better place.
What’s most interesting about Megadeth’s Th1rt3en is how the second half of the album is so much greater than the first. Upon spinning the first five songs of the record, I was worried that we had a dud on our hands. It’s not that the opening five tracks are horrible (except maybe “Guns, Drugs, & Money” – which is a bad song), but they aren’t up to the excellence that comes later. The beginning of the album had me concerned. Fortunately, Megadeth showed that they still know how to rock like no one else’s business beginning with the sixth cut of the record, “Never Dead.”
Themes of fast, muscle cars tearing down the highway, women destroying the well made niche of man, and the over-involvement of government in the daily life of citizens all run rampant throughout the record. Constructed as only the genius of Megadeth could, the band has compiled lyrics on topics that make the listener think and perhaps want to learn a little bit more about their country and their place in politics. If that wasn’t enough for the average fan, the band threw in some songs about hot babes and slick driving machines. All walks of life are covered and all parties get to go home happy.
Thirt3en is one of Megadeth’s strongest albums to date. At this stage of their career, the band could have phoned it in, released a record of re-recorded material, or decided to try some experimental path, but they didn’t. They instead decided to focus and produce an album worthy of the fans and the band’s moniker. Make no mistake about it— Th1rt3en is a lucky number if you are a Megadeth fan.
Rating: Out of 10
Notable Tracks: New World Order, Fast Lane, 13
- Sudden Death
- Public Enemy No. 1
- Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)
- We The People
- Guns, Drugs, & Money
- Never Dead
- New World Order
- Fast Lane
- Black Swan
- Millennium Of The Blind
- Deadly Nightshade
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Chris Broderick – Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Dave Ellefson – Bass Guitar
Shawn Drover – Drums