Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Roadrunner Records

Megadeth is a band that needs no introduction. As part of "The Big Four" the band has seen it's share of good times and bad times. They have released classics of the genre and not so classic albums. "Thirteen" marks album number 13 (hence the title obviously) for the band and is the first Megadeth studio album since 2001's "The World Needs a Hero" to feature bass guitarist and founding member Dave Ellefson. The lead single from "Thirteen" was "Public Enemy No. 1" followed by "Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)" about a month later. The track "Sudden Death" was also released as a single to help promote "Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock". That track was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 53rd Grammy awards. Fueled by the success of these three singles "Thirteen" was off to a good start and hooked many fans in anticipation. Even before the album's release my own opinion was that the album looked to be a decided effort on the part of Mustaine and company to incorporate some the current classic heavy metal appreciation into their sound. In fact its with that appreciation in mind that I approached "Thirteen" and was not let down. While in all honesty I remain a fan of their early raw thrash first and foremost (since those first three albums helped shape my teenage years) I always thought that Megadeth did a smashing job of turning into a technical thrash outfit. As previously mentioned other than a few miscalculations (I'm talking about you "Risk") Megadeth has carved out a fine career playing a breed of thrash that while no longer in vogue has it's share of die hard fans. With that in mind and since it should come as no surprise that "Thirteen" impressed me with it's three singles let me dissect the album a hair more. With age Dave's vocals have grown rough around the edges. Again, in all honesty he was never the greatest vocalist to begin with so with that they are rough. And yet I appreciate that all the more on "Thirteen". Unlike musicians like Ozzy there is no clear attempt to hide the rough edges to his voice and it simply is a case of what you see is what you get. I like that. It gives current Megadeth a certain charm. On to the music and besides those three singles songs like the classic rock/early heavy metal inspired "Guns, Drugs & Money" and the killer "We the People" flat of rock. Then again so does "Never Dead", "Fast Lane", "Black Swan" and "Wrecker" all of which showcase a revived Megadeth. Musically the album falls somewhere between "Countdown to Extinction" and "Endgame" only with a classic heavy metal lean. It might not be a brilliant album by any stretch of the imagination but it is an enjoyable album from a band who are clearly still at the top of the of their game. Megaedth prove that with this album they still stake a claim to being king of the mountain. With top notch production and deep and inspired lyrics "Thirteen" is a solid release from a band that shows no signs of ever slowing down.


Blogger Metal Mark said...

This album is better than I expected. The last two have been decent, but this may be even better. It's more consistent and has far less filler. Megadeth have always bene slightly overrated in the long run given that they have put more weak albums than good ones in the last 20 years, but the new album is solid. Way better than the new Anthrax which seems to have gotten far more hype.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

I was curious to hear your thoughts on the new album. My feeling is that Dave Ellefson brought some much needed life into the band. I couldn't agree more about the Anthrax comment. So ture. In fact the more I listen to Megadeth's new disc the more I think it blows it away!

7:25 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Suh-weet, see what happens when I lay the blog down to edit on my novel? Totally clueless about this album, which I'll need to check out pronto.

7:51 PM  

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