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It grows on you - 72%

Face_your_fear_79, March 10th, 2018

The aptly titled Th1rt3en is the band's thirteenth studio album and features thirteen songs. (Anvil did a similar thing a few years back with This is Thirteen that included thirteen songs.) Th1rt3en is the first studio album since 2001 on which co-founding member and bass guitarist player Dave Ellefson performs.

Megadeth have been in a solid groove since 2007's United Abominations. The past few albums have grabbed influences from the band's early years and mixed them with the more melodic stylings of their 90's outputs. While none of these albums sound exactly like the next, they all sound like Megadeth. Dave Mustaine has fallen into a comfortable groove and knows what Megadeth should sound like. So, even though the songs run the gamut from the more melodic to the fast and frantic, none seem out of place. Megadeth's Th1rt3en continues this trend. There’s some parts that are influenced by Peace Sells and Rust in Peace with a few bits of the hooky melodic metal of Youthanasia but just a few.

The compact disc opens with a track that is a balls-to-the-wall thrasher titled Sudden Death. The song is not exactly new, as it was originally released in 2010 and originally recorded for the Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock video game. Since I am not a gamer and never bothered to download the song, it is absolutely new to me. The song features a mean guitar riff and is peppered with furious guitar licks throughout. If this song had been included on Rust in Peace or even Countdown to Extinction, it would have fit in perfectly. There are a few other tracks included that are from the bands past. Black Swan was originally released as a bonus track for members of the band's fan club who pre-ordered United Abominations. It's a good track but does not deserve to be more than just an obscure b-side. Millennium of the Blind was demoed by the band in the early 90s and turned up a bonus tracks on the remastered Youthanasia. Its decent but does not go beyond just okay.

New World Order has quite the history. It was originally written by the Rust in Peace line-up during the Clash of the Titans Tour in 1991. The song was demoed and not released on a Megadeth album until 2004, where it was released as a bonus track on Youthanasia. Instead underground thrashers Zöetrope recorded the song and released it on their 1993 album. The Megadeth version of the song was eventually released and included on the 1999 Duke Nukem soundtrack. It's a fantastic track with a huge hook and a groove-based riff that recalls songs like Angry Again and Symphony of Destruction.

Public Enemy No. 1 is the first single from the album and is definitely one of the album's more melodic tracks, though to be honest, I think that New World Order might have been a better choice for a single. Although both tracks are well worth hearing. Songs such as Never Dead is one of the pure thrashers on the album. This song is simple, direct and straightforward, driven by a fast guitar riff and some scattered double bass parts. It was surely inspired by the band's 2010 tour and their live performances of the entire Rust in Peace album. Mustaine’s toothy sneer is as prevalent and nasty as ever, attacking various political and social issues such as in We the People and once again New World Order. Guns, Drugs, & Money addresses the unrest in Mexico currently but really is a weaker song on here. Another weak song is called Deadly Nightshade. It really is mediocre although the excellent Public Enemy No. 1 was written about 1920s gangster Al Capone.

Th1rt3en is a good collection of songs. Just not great. It certainly sees the band repeating itself a bit, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. For some, Megadeth's current groove might be a bad thing. Megadeth in the 80's and 90's were a bit unpredictable. However, those like myself that have found the past few albums to be completely enjoyable will also find Th1rt3en to be equally enjoyable.