By Sam Graham
“I’m invincible, I’m unbeatable.” Dave Mustaine has showed nothing less than these words over the last twenty-eight years. Hot off the heels of their previous album, Endgame, the ‘Frisco-based thrash metal titans, Megadeth have seen fit to prove, once again, that they are the best. Th1rt3en (released 1st November) is a metal album to end all metal albums. Between the relentless riffagery of Never Dead and the mantra of We The People’s chorus, the album never lets up from the opening chord to the final strum.
Songs Sudden Death, Public Enemy No. 1 and Never Dead show off the band’s love of speed, and tells the world that despite them all growing into mid-40’s they haven’t slowed down and by the looks of things, don’t plan on do so for a while yet. These songs also show off lead guitarist Chris Broderick’s arsenal of skills. The first guitarist to play on more than one consecutive Megadeth album since Marty Friedman did back in the nineties, the man has more tricks than a Buzz Lightyear, and you can tell he knows it.
The album features a few of their older demo’s, remastered. New World Order, Millennium of the Blind andBlack Swan have all been featured in Megadeth’s back-catalogue, but only as incomplete pieces/ extras. It’s a welcomed treat to finally hear them as frontman Dave Mustaine meant for them to sound, and they don’t disappoint at all.
Th1rt3en feels like it doesn’t have to try. Whereas Endgame may have tried a little too hard (andThe World Needs A Hero may not have tried enough), this newly-regained effortless awesomeness hasn’t been heard since Countdown To Extinction in 1992. It’s definitely Megadeth at the most comfortable they’ve been in a long while.
In short, Th1rt3en encapsulates Megadeth’s career perfectly from the release of their debut albumKilling Is My Business… And Business Is Good back in 1985, through their numerous line-up changes even a disbanding and rebirth in the early 2000’s. Each song on it sounds like it would fit easily into different points of their career, but in a way that doesn’t feel dated, like they’re just repeating the same formula. Each song shows something different and keeps the band fresh. Even the artwork inside the album sleeve takes imagery from each of their previous 12 albums and makes them into some sort of sigul. It all adds to the ‘full-circle’ feeling that the album has.
By far the best songs off Thirt3en have to be Public Enemy No. 1 for its precise guitar-work and catchy verses, Never Dead for it being downright thrash and Black Swan for its anthemic intro solo and chant-able chorus. This is definitely one for the thrash metal crowd, but it’s that damn catchy it’ll likely entice others too.
Devil Horns Rating: \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/