If there’s anything to say about Megadeth’s Th1rt3en, it’s that it’s good… really good. But, while a few of the tracks will catch your favorable attention like $1 million dollars suddenly appearing in your bank account or a Porsche 911 GT3 in your garage, the others will require repeat visits to fully appreciate, like beer (certainly you remember those first few bitter-sweet bottles).
Fans will immediately hear a ‘90s Megadeth on Th1rt3en, which wouldn’t be unfounded since various band members have stated that certain tracks are from the Youthanasia era (“Deadly Nightshade”), the Countdown to Extinction era (“Millennium of the Blind,” “New World Order”), and even as recently as the United Abominations era (“Black Swan”). A couple other tracks were also previously released in association with games: “New World Order,” in addition to being released as a demo on Youthanasia, was on Duke Nukem, “Never Dead” was on NeverDead, and “Sudden Death” appeared on Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.
It doesn’t really matter that Th1rt3en is an amalgamation of mixed eras and purposes, the album shreds with a vengeance and solos more reminiscent of latter Megadeth albums. OK, so maybe not all the riffs and solos are from latter-day Megadeth; the opening trading solos on “Sudden Death” seem to come directly from Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good’s “Looking Down The Cross.” It’s only natural that after 26 years (Really? Megadeth’s first album is 26 years old? I know that’s an average of an album every 2 years, but you’d think their catalog would be larger.) in the business some of their material would get recycled, and with Chris Broderick bringing a fresh style to the game, it doesn’t really matter. At least Dave Mustaine and Megadeth haven’t become formulaic or have delusions of being more than what they are — some bands get a little LuLu-loopy in their old age.
Fans are no doubt frenzied about the return of Dave Ellefson on Th1rt3en. Once again we get the privilege of hearing his awesome bass lines laying the foundation.
Honestly, the blend of the more recent incarnation of thrash offered by Megadeth and the distinctly ‘90s-era is refreshing. This way we get aggressive solos mixed with much more groove and melody than we’ve been privy to in recent years. Who knows, maybe we’ll hear more Megadeth on the radio in the coming years.
Th1rt3en is rife with killer tracks, but it’s actually the album’s two slower tunes that will suck you in for a closer listen. You have to check out “Millennium of the Blind” and “13.” Yes, and also check out “Deadly Nightshade” and Yell at us if you think the vocal melody sounds like “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” — just sayin’.
If you’re a Megadeth fan, Th1rt3en is essential. If you’re not a fan, you still need to hear it. This is the Megadeth many of us were seduced by when they first made the shift away from thrash, and this might be the most solid album since Countdown to Extinction.