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Following 2009's acclaimed Endgame, Megadeth releases its thirteen studio album aptly called Thirteen (stylized TH1RT3EN). Megadeth's been fairly consistent over the years releasing strong albums in the 1980's, 90's and the 00's and Dave Mustaine and co are not about to let fans down with TH1RT3EN. David Ellefson makes a return to the band and this is his first contribution to a Megadeth studio album since The World Needs A Hero (2001). One thing is sure Megadeth isn't mellowing with the years and that's good as far as fans are concerned. I knew I could count on them to deliver like they did so many times before and after all those years Megadeth is still an excellent band both live and in the studio. TH1RT3EN offers the elements that make a great Megadeth album great without being an exact copy of its predecessor.
"Sudden Death" opens the album right. It was released previously for Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock and I don't think I can tell you anything you don't know yet about this track. You probably have your own opinion on this before hearing the album but still, terrific way to open the album. "Public Enemy #1" is next, ok yes, the title has already been used a few times before but the track is good so what's to complain about? The band already released a video in support of the song which is to me one of the best songs on TH1RT3EN. I love the angry lyrics on "Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)", kind of like screaming at an ex-girlfriend "You hate the way I wear my clothes/You hate my friends and where we go/I see you in the shadows/You think you know what's best for me...". "We Are The People" is one of those more politically inclined Megadeth songs. Dave speaks his mind (and a lot of people in America's) on this track and what he says is right, this one is more lyrics oriented but it doesn't diminish a thing that the music rocks. I'm not a big fan of "Guns, Drugs, Money" and find it rather average but that's just my opinion. "Fast Lane" is one of my favorite tracks here; it's one that's been getting more listens since I bought the album. Ok the theme has already been covered in Megadeth songs before this one. A relentless double-bass drum attack, the heaviness, the emotion in Dave's voice and the amazing breakdown, I love it all. "Black Swann" was previously released with the Japanese version of the United Abominations album but I never heard it until now. I don't mind that they put it here, from the start it never really lets you go, another great song. The title track and album closer 13 is an amazing song not quite like anything on this album or anything that Megadeth has released before. It's a very personal song for Dave and an epic conclusion to his journey in Metal, a lot has been said about this song (most of it positive) and I think it's one of the best things Megadeth did.
I don't have anything bad to say about TH1RT3EN, it's a good Megadeth album and there's something for every fan here. There's been a lot of talk about Sudden Death already being released for Guitar Hero, Black Swann already released and the demos for "New World Order" and "Millennium of the Blind" on the 2004 Youthanasia remaster. Personally I think it's great that we get to have Sudden Death and Black Swann on CD and not just as digital release, I understand they're technically not so much new songs but I still think it's cool that we have them here. As those demos turned into songs well they were just that demos, not totally finished and the final results are pretty good. Mustaine said that they had about two months in the studio to make an album and this is the resulting album, to me it's not the best Megadeth album but it's a worthy, enjoyable and fairly consistent record.
I don't know for sure that this is the last Megadeth album but the album cover shows Vic Rattlehead with his back towards us and the back of the cover has Vic lying in a coffin. Seems like he was put to rest and now maybe Dave is putting Megadeth to rest as well. It's not easy following an album like Endgame (which was one of the best albums in the band's career in my opinion) and TH1RT3EN doesn't exactly match it for me but it does quite well and is a strong release. I think if this is the final Megadeth album then bravo Dave for a fantastic career, bringing the metal, giving us excellent albums and keeping your integrity. If not, I'll buy the next album. Not quite a 5 to me but really, really close. 4.5/5.
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le 8 novembre 2011
Megadeth's career really has to be broken up into 3 eras. Debut to Countdown; Youthanasia to World Needs a Hero; and then everything from Dave's rehab stint(s)/retirement to now. Everyone wants Rust part deux but you have to admit that Dave has been cranking out a pretty faithful Megadeth from System Has Failed onwards. And 13 does not disappoint. While Endgame is still the best of this era of the band, Megadeth has not delivered a clunker yet. 13 combines a tougher production yet somehow does not come across as any heavier or more menacing than Endgame. It is maybe a little less speedy though if someone was to care. Plus Dave writes a mid-pacer now better than anyone. Check out Black Swan and Whose Life. I guess the two keys being Dave is writing really strong material and his A-1 band (Drover, Broderick and the returning Ellefson) blow it out the front door with a passion. Two average-deths in my book; Guns, Drugs, and Money and Fast Lane but the metal flows for the rest. Mega-note: two oldies brought back to life from the Youthanasia sessions. The stomping New World Order and Millenium of the Blind which gets a full Extreme Makeover Edition-style upgrade from '94. Seeing that Dave has cleaned out the musical closet and you look at the artwork of this thing you wonder if Megadeth is over and out.
le 11 juillet 2013
The "problem" with Megadeth is that with such an awesome arsenal of madness under there belt the bar is set extremely high for each new record. I am guilty of being way more demanding of them musically then some other bands I like. That being said, if you listen to this record from beginning to end, then imagine a different name was on the cover, would it not be considered amazing in general and of course amazing compared to SO much that comes out these days? I think so anyway. All and all I think it's solid.
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Megadeth has never been the same since their April 2002 disbanding. Principle songwriter and founder Dave Mustaine managed to kick a drug relapse and radial neuropathy in his left arm and officially reformed the band with new members in 2004 to churn out "The System Has Failed." Since then, Megadeth's efforts have been largely straightforward, routine and average. "Thirt3en" is no exception. Hot on the heels of "Endgame," Mustaine relies largely on the same pseudo-crunch metal approach to songs that serve largely as an excuse to jump into the next uninspired guitar solo. This is disappointing for several reasons, including the presence of long time bandmate David Ellefson who refused to re-join Megadeth in 2004 following contractual and personal disputes with Mustaine, and Chris Broderick who gets another chance to shine on lead guitar. Both musicians are renowned for their abilities and talent, but they seem largely wasted here.
'Sudden Death' kicks things off by turning an ominous intro into an overdriven thrash number. Well written, solidly executed and absolutely powerful, it's a promising signal that Mustaine is pulling high energy from every source he can get. 'Public Enemy No. 1' follows up well enough, but sounds way too much like a previous "System Has Failed" song, 'Tears In a Vial.' There are signs of faulting on 'Whose Life (Is It Anyways?),' which is plainly a guitar-soloing vehicle. Mustaine starts to fall into the trap of sticking to default metal templates instead of crafting something unique as on previous Megadeth albums. 'We The People' finds Mustaine firmly entrenched on his political soapbox, and the song suffers for it by plodding along at yet another predictable pace. I have always admired Mustaine's approach to social and political issues, but the music always matched the lyrical venom. It does not here. One of the worst examples of this is 'Guns, Drugs & Money,' which is Mustaine at his most flat and uninspired. If it weren't for Shawn Drover's thundering double-bass sections, this would be nothing more than a simple hard rock song. The saving grace to this monotony is 'Never Dead,' which flies along at a breakneck speed and throws all sorts of odd time signatures and distorted notation towards the listener. It won't rank high with the best of Megadeth's discography, but on an album like this, it's a huge relief. It all comes crashing down with 'Fast Lane,' which is without a doubt one of Mustaine's most bland, uninspired and empty Megadeth songs of all time. The plodding pace, predictable use of double-bass, and embarrassing lyrics are all nasty examples of either laziness or writer's block. I expect far, far more from Dave Mustaine. 'Black Swan' managed to pick me back up to my feet after such a colossal smack in the face, however. Again, mid-range Megadeth, but with enough clarity and uniqueness to make it a saving grace. 'Wrecker' is a warning song about either drugs or having an affair, I can't decide which. Not a bad song, but, well...you see a pattern here, yes? 'Millenium of the Blind' is a slow introspective chugger that borrows elements of 'Truth Be Told' a little too much. 'Deadly Nightshade' falls into the same trap by borrowing too many compositional elements from 'Recipe for Hate...Warhorse' from 2001's "The World Needs A Hero." Mustaine's 21st century tendency towards redundancy and musical regurgitation is weighing quite heavy these days. '13' closes the album off slowly with Mustaine talking about himself...for the umpteenth time. After 2004's 'Of Mice and Men,' I had hoped that Mustaine had said his piece and worked harder to avoid this type of self-indulgence. Chris Broderick manages to spice up the song with some inspired guitar soloing, which is a big help.
Overall, "Thirt3en" is much too similar to "The System Has Failed," without that album's inspired sense of resurgence and focus. It instead represents a metal band way past their musical prime, and a songwriter that just doesn't seem to care as much as he did. Chalk this up to personal problems, stress or the frustration of having dealt with so much garbage during his career, but it's clear that Mustaine isn't the man he used to be. From angry on-stage temper tantrums at recent concerts to his absolutely blank expression during the Big 4 Concert in Bulgaria, Mustaine has been walking a path of mediocrity since "United Abominations," and I keep hoping that the next Megadeth album will show him in true form. So far, it just isn't happening.