Two years after the glorious return to Megadeth’s older forms of thrashing with the great album ”Endgame”, Dave Mustaine and his partners in crime set on releasing the thirteenth album of the band, simply entitled ”Thirteen”. If we put down thirteen albums in twenty six years of discography, since 1985, then it is more than a satisfactory number, proving that Megadeth have been one of the most productive pioneers of our music ever. Less or more, each album of the band is discussed for the new or old things it has to offer. Mustaine is undoubtedly one of the best guitar players (maybe the most complete one of all times for some people) and this makes him an even more trustworthy composer. Having released some of the best albums of the whole metal scene, it is very few things that they have to prove to their fans or haters.
This time, they decided they should stick to forms not that fast, compared to ”Endgame”. From the first moments of ”Sudden Death”, until the ending of the album with ”13”, for about 58 minutes all elements that made Megadeth a super group are inside the album. Clever and sarcastic songs the way Mustaine is a master in writing, some ironic and mid tempo ones like ”We The People” or ”Guns, Drugs, & Money” and some more speedy ones like ”Public Enemy No. 1” or ”Never Dead”. So pretty much, the album catches up almost three decades of a very important career. The only one we could compare Dave Mustaine is only himself. And that’s what we’re going to do, as there is no meaning in trying to state about changes or safe moves by such a band. It’s a Megadeth review after all, who cares about all other bands of the Earth anyway?
”Thirteen” finds Megadeth with the best line-up they’ve had since the departure of Marty Friedman and Nick Menza the past twelve years. First of all we have the return of the prodigal son Dave Ellefson for the first time in a decade, since ”The World Needs A Hero” in 2001. This is a very important fact on its own, as Mustaine finds his old friend and longer lasting Megadeth member to date by his side. Also, Chris Broderick on the guitars and Shawn Drover on the drums fill perfect the rest two positions and the team plays still in a high level. The production is very clear and they all seem to be in shape. Mustaine’s vocals have always been a love or hate situation, he can’t change his voice in his fifty, so it’s up to you to decide whether or not he sounds good to you, to me it seems he’s done some improvement here, as much as he could do that at least.
Also, another fact we should mention is that for the first time, Mustaine uses songs he’s recorded in the past, three in number, with ”New World Order”, ”Millennium Of The Blind” and ”Black Swan” having been on other releases, mainly singles or being bonus tracks to deluxe editions of ”Youthanasia” (1994) and ”United Abominations” (2007). It’s kinda strange because it seems like Mega-Dave repeats himself, and knowing how much of a perfectionist he is, it makes me consider the album lacks consistency, adding the fact that some other songs were written for soundtracks or video games. Also, in some parts of the album, you feel like you could listen to something better, thirteen songs on one hand, not all of them perfect on the other hand. The album loses the comparison to ”Endgame” at least, very easily. It feels they could do better.
So, if you are into a good mixture of the 1992-2001 era of the band (without including ”Risk” of course), then ”Thirteen” is the right album for you. Megadeth don’t rediscover the wheel in this album and though it’s very fun in some parts, it also becomes a little tiring in some others. It’s not the best nor the worst album they’ve done and it’s not the best nor the worst album of 2011 for sure. The thing it’s that if we didn’t talk about Megadeth, we might not care at all. But since it’s one of the bands that personally I adore and owe a lot for putting me to the magic world of metal, I must not play the blind dog that follows its master and I have to raise my voice. Considering rumors that it could be their last album, it could be an honest goodbye. Until this is proved true, we have the hope of something better released in the future hopefully.
|Track List||Line Up|
01. Sudden Death
02. Public Enemy No. 1
03. Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)
04. We the People
05. Guns, Drugs, & Money
06. Never Dead
07. New World Order
08. Fast Lane
09. Black Swan
11. Millennium of the Blind
12. Deadly Nightshade
|Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Chris Broderick – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dave Ellefson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Shawn Drover – Drums, Percussion/td>