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Megadeth: Th1rt3en (remaster + bonus track)

It always feels a little strange to assess the musical worth of an album when the main person behind it has much bigger issues on their plate, and with his recent throat cancer diagnosis, it’s fair to suggest that Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine has much more to focus on right now than whether I rate his Th1rt3en album and my thoughts are with him as he fights to return to full health. Reissue campaigns are, however, long in the planning, so there’s little doubt that the timing of this three album retrospective of the band’s Roadrunner years is nothing more than coincidental.

There’s no prizes for guessing that the 2011 release from Megadeth was the band’s thirteenth full length offering, what with the album title taking that number, there being thirteen tracks making up its original configuration and that the final offering is also titled “13”. With such a clear bold statement what was maybe less expected was that the album itself brought together four songs that had previously been available in a variety of formats alongside nine new compositions. With long-standing bassist David Ellefson back amongst the band’s ranks, Megadeth was now completed by Dave Mustaine (vocals, guitar), Chris Broderick (guitar) and Shawn Drover (drums). Here the foursome reintroduced “Millennium Of The Blind” - originally a bonus track from the Youthanasia album - “Black Swan” - intended as a bonus for United Abominations - “New World Order” - which featured on the Duke Nukem OST and on Youthansia in a demo state - and “Sudden Death” - a previous digital single that was also used in a Guitar Hero game. If all that sounds like a collection of odds and sods, then that’s because for the large part it is, with only the last named of those four really making a massive impact.

Even some of the new material was lifted from ideas started for older albums and not completed at the time but from those others it has to be said that the energetic thrash burst of “Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)” is a stunner, while “Public Enemy No.1” has to go down as one of latter day Megadeth’s strongest statements. Here the guitars rip and roar, while the authoritative bark from Mustaine reveals a chorus that stays with you for days on end.

Moving on from Andy Sneap, who had helped produce the last couple of Megadeth albums, it was Johnny K who would take on that role alongside Mustaine for Th1rt3en, with him also being part of the writing team for most of the tracks included. Sound wise he created a dry finish to a set of songs that possibly needed a stronger identity to truly tell their tales. “We The People” thunders along a little too neatly, while “Guns Drugs & Money” rumbles away just a touch too predictably. “Fast Lane” reminds of days gone by in a good way, what with its corkscrewing riff and excellent drum display, whereas “Wrecker” provides a little more pace than that found elsewhere.

This reissue, which comes as either an excellently presented digi-CD, or in an even more eye catching vinyl formation, allows us the opportunity to reappraise what is, in all honesty, one of the more uneven releases in the Megadeth canon. Hindsight actually serves Th1rt3en well; I can’t suggest it suddenly becomes one of the stronger offerings from this band but taken on its merits there are more highlights than I initially remembered. Although even with that in mind, the band’s work post the year 2000 holds many more riches than those displayed here.


Track Listing
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
CD Bonus Track
14. Public Enemy No.1 (live)

Added: July 19th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Megadeth online
Hits: 298
Language: english

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