TH1RT3EN: Adding to the Arsenal of the Megadeth

Right off the bat, I have been looking forward to this Megadeth album which marks the return of David Ellefson. With the release of Anthrax’s Worship Music and Metallica/Lou Reed’s Lulu, Megadeth’s Th1rt3en was actually the one I was most looking forward to.

Before I get into Th1rt3en, I’ll clarify some things.  I am a huge fan of Anthrax, Megadeth, and Metallica along with many, many more bands. I had no hope for the Anthrax album as I have lost most respect for them and the way that the “core” members handle things and the way they screwed John Bush over in order to cash in on a reunion tour. So that being said, Worship Music is an alright release, if the year was 1993 and none of the albums with John Bush happened. Fortunately they did though, I think the lyrics to their song Riding shotgun best describe Anthrax’s situation.

“Two steps forward, one hundred steps back
We’re going the wrong way
It’s backwards, it’s backwards
Cuffed and branded, I can’t stand it”

As for Metallica and Lou Reed, I don’t even think that looked good on paper let alone in the studio. It doesn’t even have the appeal that Symphony and Metallica did. To borrow a line from Star Wars, Help me Dave Mustaine, you’re my only hope.

So here we go. Th1rt3en is the first release in eight years to feature Dave and David. The album opens strong with Sudden Death. Then the second track comes in and the album loses some of its momentum from the opening track. Public Enemy #1 just doesn’t do it for me. The lyrics just seem so by the numbers and not very Mustaine like. Remember, Mustaine is the guy who wrote Peace Sells, Set the World Afire, Liar, Hook in Mouth, Holy Wars, Countdown to Extinction… Public Enemy #1 just feels uninspired, it is the Moto-Psycho moment of this album. I feel that the downfalls this release has are due to Producer John Karkazis and his interference in the creative process. The blame can not be solely placed on the producer though, Dave Mustaine is also at fault here. I have no idea why Mustaine let the Producer in on the writing of this record (RISK anyone?).

Th1rt3en is not a bad album as a whole, some tracks are better than others (mostly the ones that only have Mustaine’s name in the writing credits). I think other than the Producer getting his hands into the writing aspect, the only other thing I have an issue with is the inclusion of three tracks that were previously available. Millenium of the Blind, Black Swan, and New World Order all appear elsewhere in Megadeth’s catalog. I personally think I prefer the previous versions of MOTB and NWO.

Would I recommend Th1rt3en? My answer is, if you are a Megadeth fan than yes. It is still Megadeth, it is still Mustaine, and they are still kicking ass. It is a pretty solid album. Is this their best release? Probably not, in my opinion. Out of the recent releases by the bands that make up the so called “Big 4,” Megadeth have put out the best release. With all the love going around with Mustaine these days, I feel Megadeth really needs Mustaine to find a new adversary. Musically and lyrically, it is very difficult to top Mustaine when he is pissed about something .

The artwork is pretty cool, except for the cover. I think the picture on the back of the booklet would have actually made a better cover. The images throughout the booklet depict what appears to be zombies in a graveyard with the members of the band as Vic Rattlehead lays in an open casket. I also liked the icons used to depict the 13 albums that Megadeth have released, although some were more difficult to figure out than others.

I got into Megadeth just prior to the release of Rust in Peace, so that era of the band will always be my favorite. The arsenal of the Megadeth has just been topped off, check it out.

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