Thrash titans Megadeth have been on quite a roll the last few years, with comeback album United Abominations really proving that there was still plenty of life left in the tank and then Endgame possibly being one of their best releases ever, there seemed to be no stopping them. With the Big 4 shows with Metallica, Slayer & Anthrax now behind them, and Dave Mustaine's autobiography a bestseller, the band go back to the well for another platter of mayhem, titled TH1RT3EN, their 13th studio release.
There have been a few changes with the band since Endgame, one being founding member Dave Ellefson returning to the fold on bass, joining Mustaine, guitarist Chris Broderick, and drummer Shawn Drover for what is perhaps the tightest line-up of Megadeth yet. Another change here is that producer Andy Sneap was not available to work with them on TH1RT3EN, which for some will be reason to worry as Sneap helped make Endgame the monster record it was. Instead, Johnny K takes over the role, and while he does an admirable job here, the massive sound & power of the previous album is noticeably missing, though this is a decent sounding release. In addition, close to half the songs here on TH1RT3EN have appeared as either bonus tracks on previous remasters, on soundtracks, or performed live in recent years, so loyal Megadeth fans will no doubt find some material here instantly recognizable, though it is great to hear the current lineup giving new life to "Black Swan", "Sudden Death", "Never Dead", and "Public Enemy Number 1", among others. For those that haven't heard these rarities before, then TH1RT3EN will be a completely new experience for you.
As for the songs themselves, there are plenty of manic metal gems here, such as "Wrecker", "New World Order", "Millennium Of The Blind", "Sudden Death", and the snarling "Guns, Drugs, & Money", complete with outstanding guitar riffs & solos from Mustanine and Broderick. Is it quite up to the supreme riff-o-rama of Endgame, Rust in Peace, or Peace Sells...? Not really, but it's easily on par with Youthanasia, United Abominations, or Countdown to Extinction, and in the end that's quite good indeed.
Chalk up another red hot thrash metal platter from Dave Mustaine and the boys in Megadeth. It's their last album in their contract with Roadrunner, so it will be interesting to see what happens next. In the meantime, most fans will get plenty of mileage out of this record.
1. Sudden Death 5:09
2. Public Enemy No. 1 4:15
3. Whose Life (Is It Anyways?) 3:50
4. We The People 4:33
5. Guns, Drugs, & Money 4:19
6. Never Dead 4:32
7. New World Order 3:56
8. Fast Lane 4:04
9. Black Swan 4:10
10. Wrecker 3:51
11. Millennium Of The Blind 4:15
12. Deadly Nightshade 4:55
13. 13 5:49