We all know Megadeth. There is really no point in documenting their history within this review. We also probably all know their vast body of work including classic releases such as Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying, Rust in Peace, etc. A lot of people will actually say that Megadeth has been playing it safe for quite a few years now, and I will often agree with that statement. The one thing that I always think of when listening to a new Megadeth release is not how good it is compared to other metal releases, rather how it compares to other Megadeth releases. I know that it is unfair to hold their new releases up to their classic releases, but Megadeth has set a uniquely high bar, so it is really the only way to compare their new releases.
On to their latest release, TH1RT3EN, which to me, was a highly anticipated release due to how much I was into Endgame a couple years ago. In addition to Endgame, I was a huge fan of The System Has Failed and United Abominations. I will have to admit this one though. While I was in love with Endgame, I find that I do not listen to it much, but I will reach for the other two recent releases much more often. Take that however you want.
TH1RT3EN begins with Sudden Death, which we have all heard before the release anyway, so we are pretty comfortable with it. I like this solid track thoroughly. The opening is a classic Megadeth opening with a lengthy introduction before the song proper hits. When the song actually hits, we are treated to a classic thrash riff which becomes a great rhythm riff to the verse. There are some great gritty shouts in this song that only Dave Mustaine could screech out.
On to Public Enemy No. 1, which is another track that we have all heard for a while. They were playing this track live a bunch of times during the Mayhem Festival among other shows. I am really into this one. It flows so nicely with its swift changes from verse to bridge and bridge to chorus. This track just flows nicely. Oh, and have I mentioned how awesome Chris Broderick is yet on guitar? Listen to some of the licks on this track to see what I mean.
Onward to Whose Life (Is it Anyway?), which is yet another track that we previously heard before the release of the album again. The tempo picks up a little more with this track. The drums are a little more up tempo than we are used to with Megadeth. It is nice to see Dave throwing us a few curveballs. The highlight of this track is definitely the chorus, which is one of those vocal stylings that only Dave Mustaine can perform.
We The People comes at you next and brings the normal Megadeth groove that we are used to hearing. There is truly some great riffwork going on behind the verses on this one. There is also another great “Megadeth” riff during the break section.
Guns, Drugs, & Money is another fun track. We have come to expect a lot of politically motivated songs from Megadeth and this release will be no different. Lots of great stuff going on with this track as well.
Never Dead follows and brings us an opening from something right out of Peace Sells. Once the actual song begins, it hits you completely unexpectedly like a ton of bricks. The verse riff is simple astounding and comes at you at breakneck speed.
New World Order is next and I have a few issues with this one. First off, the title is very cliche and I expect a little more from Megadeth at this point. Also, I am not a fan of the verse structure, but I know that a lot of people are in love with various time signatures, so I have a feeling that I will be in the minority on this one.
Fast Lane is another cliche song as well, but does have some nice riffwork going on. I do love the chorus though, even with its horrible lyrics.
Black Swan is the next track and it starts off sweet. You have a nice lead break layered onto a nice rhythm section. The verse has some nice rhythm stops throughout as well. I am always a sucker for that. Outide of that though, it is a pretty average song. Pretty average sums up the next track, Wrecker, as well.
Millennium of the Blind opens up with a very beautiful piece. The solo behind the clean guitar just brings it. Dave even does some melodic singing behind a clean riff, which is always hit or miss. After that opening, they are some seriously heavy parts during the verse.
Deadly Nightshade is the next track, and I will have to say that this is one of my favorite tracks on the album indeed. The verse riff is just awesome and heavy as hell. There are some serious bass lines in this track as well.
13 is a nice closeout to this peice. It has an epic feel to it and some really nice guitar work.
Overall, there are a lot of things going on with TH1RT3EN that are positive and I have a feeling it will have more longevity with me than I initially expected out of it. For a Megadeth release, it is decent, but for a thrash metal release, it is astoundingly good.