th1rt3en

Welcome back Junior! Who’d have thought that the return of Dave Ellefson to the Megadeth fold would have such a positive impact to the band’s thirteenth album, titled, ahem, Th1rt3en? Ten years since he last played with Mustaine in the studio on The World Needs A Hero, Ellefson returned in 2010 and has since become a permanent fixture and helped craft an album that is the single most important Megadeth album since Countdown To Extinction.

What a difference a few years and a line up change or two can make. Ever since Dave Mustaine resurrected Megadeth in 2004, the band has no doubt been putting out some pretty solid albums that hold their own with their already  legendary catalog. On the thirteenth album, Megadeth have managed to surpass all of their 21st Century output with a record that explodes from the get go and doesn’t relent until the final track finishes.

Guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover are also back for more and sounding tighter than ever as they blast through opener “Sudden Death” and lay waste  to the Al Capone-inspired “Public Enemy No. 1”. With even more nods to the past, there’s “New World Order” written by Mustaine, Ellefson….Nick Menza…and Marty Friedman!?!?! No, really. It’s a demo from the Countdown… days that “didn’t quite fit” with that album but sits great on Th1rt3en. Elsewhere, “Fast Lane” is a Motorhead-riffin’ headbanger and “Deadly Nightshade” sounds unlike any song Megadeth have done before.

If those ones don’t sell you, then there’s eight more that are sure to do the job. Th1rt3en is also one of the best produced ‘deth records in recent years. I looove Andy Sneap (Testament, Exodus) and the work he does but Johnny K (Finger Eleven, Disturbed) just brought something out of Megadeth that made Th1rt3en sound more fierce and hungry than any of their contemporaries.

If you’ve stuck with Megadeth this long, then you’ll be ecstatic with the finished product that is Th1rt3en. If you happened upon them at one of the “Big 4” shows and were awaiting a new record to really give them a chance, then this one’ll surely win you over.

Th1rt3en is out on November 1st on Roadrunner Records.

Grade: A

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