As the name suggests ‘TH1RT3EN’ is MEGADETH’s 13th album. It’s also the first studio album since ‘The World Needs A Hero’ (2001) to feature original bassist David Ellefson and in some ways it’s fitting because it’s similar music to what the band was playing before he left.
‘TH1RT3EN’ sees a return of not only David, but also that mid-tempo rock that graced the albums ‘Youthanasia’, ‘Countdown To Extinction’, ‘Cryptic Writings’ and to a lesser extent ‘The World Needs A Hero’.
At at the same time there are still plenty of lead guitar shreds going on within the music bringing us hints of earlier albums like ‘Killing Is My Business…’ and ‘Rust In Peace’. For example the lead guitar on the intro track ‘Sudden Death’ harks back to ‘Skull Within The Skin’ off the debut MEGADETH album. However as good as the leads get, on the riff front we are taken back to that slower 90s Hard Rock MEGADETH sound.
I really dig those albums for their punchiness and catchy melodies but in a way I find myself hesitant to become too excited because I thought MEGADETH were onto a good thing getting back to their Trash Metal roots on the previous three albums.
But hey, one of the bonus aspects of going back to the 90s style is that brought in the opportunity to re-record ‘New World Order’, which was written back when Marty Friedman and Nick Menza were still in the band but never made it onto an album. I actually wish they’d done the same for ‘Crown Of Worms’ too.
All up, this is a solid album, it’s heavy, has great riffs and great hooks. I really dig tracks like ‘Sudden Death’, ‘New World Worder’ and ‘Black Swan’. I just hope ‘TH1RT3EN’ doesn’t mark the end of MEGADETH’s return to playing Trash Metal.