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Megadeth – Th1rt3en

by Jorge “The Zarto” Zamudio / Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 03 November 2011, 12:35 AM

THE ZARTO (7.5/10)

MEGADETH is one of the biggest names in Metal history, for that reason I’m very excited to make this review, although Dave may never read this, you will, and a band like this deserves all my attention and concentration.

“Th1rt3en” is a very solid album, even better than I thought; it has very good moments, catching riffs, strong lyrics, and something that is evident in the music of the band: constant change in the musical ideas. Don’t get me wrong, they are still Heavy Metal, but with something a little different in every song, trying to make it sound a little modern, but without failing. At the same time you can hear sounds that will take you to their past albums (for example “Wrecker” reminds me of the “Countdown To Extinction”era); with parts that made me want to bang my head right to the floor.

On the other hand we have “Millennium of The Blind”, a good ballad, not memorable, but is always nice to see this kind of bands attempting slower songs, like I said, it’s not the greatest ballad of them, but still you can take some enjoyment of it.

For the “bad” part, inevitable to mention the “same riffing Part 23324”, is always the same, solid, but not innovative, although I said that they try to change in every song…it’s the same change since the three prior albums. It may be good for some people, for others not that much. That’s why I chose to let the bad quoted, to let everyone make their own conclusions.

All in all, MEGADETH are not returning to their roots, or the greatness of the golden years, but for the actual music direction in Metal world, this is very good. It sounds pleasurably to the ears, and who knows, maybe this will make you feel 'young' again.


What a number is thirteen, hah? May it be cursed or blessed to factions of our society, it serves as an emblem. Thirteen is also a count of something thirteen times, like in this here case, a number of albums. Wow, thirteen albums by the same artists it is a huge landmark. However it is unknown why bands choose to involve this number with an album title. In Metal music ANVIL did the same with their "This Is Thirteen" so why not for a larger scale of a band to do the same. Dave Mustaine's MEGADETH released its thirteenth album, "Th1rt3en", with an original mixing of letters and numbers. Is this a cause for celebration?

"Th1rt3en" felt is if it was released too fast, at least from this end. Without too much endorsing the success of the previous "Endgame", MEGADETH stormed with new material. In overall, it is a smart marketing move like "Hit 'em when they are occupied". Nevertheless, it took almost the same period of time to release "Endgame" after "United Abominations", so the problem is that "Th1rt3en" seems to be behind its previous in material quality. So with respects to the achievement of releasing this number of albums, there isn't that much to rejoice is there?

Ever since "The System Has Failed" where supposedly MEGADETH had more elements of their sweet older selves, Mustaine tried to remain in the Metal zone. He broke the chains of the mainstream stuff the wrecked the previous later 90s albums while in the same time only restoring a few of the speedier and thrashier stuff that his band sucked its glory from. In overall it worked quite well for MEGADETH as the albums, til now at least, were rather good. Unfortunately, "Th1rt3en" comes only as a solid marker.

Mustaine seemed to want to play everything from Speed / Thrash, Heavy Metal and even some notations of American oriented Hard Rock. Furthermore, and it shows from some of the rhythm riffs and lead section, that there was a possible intent to smear some 80s and early 90s MEGADETH. Those moments were integrated roughly with the new MEGADETH image. Sometimes it worked for the better and sometimes for the worst. All in all, this album displayed once again the powerful cooperation of Mustaine and Broderick in the solo division. Sadly that those Mega moments didn't last on the other aspects of the release.

"Sudden Death" reminded me why MEGADETH were the biggest of the big four, at least in the late 80s and early 90s. The lead guitar mixes of Mustaine and Broderick reminded the work of the former with Marty Friedman. The rest of the track was more of a cool Heavy / Speed Metal good quality that sadly wasn't quite continued as the album progressed. "New World Order" is a small historical moment on its own. Back in 1995 it was released as a mere bonus feature and now it has finally gotten the recognition it deserves. This number is MEGADETH before the mutation of "Cryptic Writings" that changed MEGADETH into something that tired. The re-recording was great as the band did an even version than before. "Wrecker" & "Black Swan" are very nice tracks in the vein of "Cryptic Writings"’s "She-Wolf". Those two are pretty much the face of today's MEGADETH. While surging to remain a gruesome Metal figure, there is always a room for a bit of cheese and catchiness. Some of the other tracks as "Guns, Drugs & Money" and the METALLICA black album oriented "Deadly Nightshade" were similar but not that thrilling.

Although this is not the thirteen expected from a Big Four member, this is their new direction and it is respected. "Th1rt3en" won't entirely serve well MEGADETH diehard fans but it will answer the prayers of lead guitar fanatics. MEGADETH should take a little more time with the following release before coming up because Mustaine and the guys can do better than that. Fourteen can be the charm and if it will be ”Rust In Peace" or "Peace Sells" that would be sublime.

3 Star Rating

1. Sudden Death
2. Public Enemy No. 1
3. Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)
4. We the People
5. Guns, Drugs & Money
6. Never Dead
7. New World Order
8. Fast Lane
9. Black Swan
10. Wrecker
11. Millennium of the Blind
12. Deadly Nightshade
13. "13"
Dave Mustaine – lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar
Chris Broderick – lead and rhythm guitar, backup vocals
Dave Ellefson – bass guitar, backup vocals
Shawn Drover – drums and percussion
Record Label: Roadrunner Records


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Edited 03 February 2023

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