Megadeth - Th1Rt3EN

Good old fashioned, classic heavy metal in its rough and ready glory.

Label: Roadrunner Records

Rating: 7

‘TH1RT3EN’, the aptly titled thirteenth full-length from metal titans Megadeth, not only sees them hit a rather unlucky album total, but signals the recorded return of Dave Ellefson, founding member and bassist whose last studio record with the band was 2001’s ‘The World Needs A Hero’. With this delight for Megadeth diehards taking precedence, the question surrounding this release is will thirteen be lucky for Megadeth?

For those who revel in lightning speed guitar solos and devilishly good, violent guitar licks – the answer is yes. It’s just good old fashioned, classic heavy metal in its rough and ready glory. Dave Mustaine’s vocals are as fine as ever, gritty and aggressive as suited. Overall, the record offers a tightness of quality that they’ve occasionally lacked in the past. All segments suit a purpose, with no fillers or skimp in class.

‘Public Enemy No. 1’ and ‘Guns, Drugs & Money’ are undeniable highlights, teaming high-paced riffs and rapid solos. On a first listen, they both appear the clear triumphs in terms of catchiness. ‘Black Swan’ is a key example of the salaciously superb guitar work on this offering; speedy finger-tapping and exquisitely deep melodies can’t help but draw the listener in.

The album’s closing number ‘13’ takes a softer initial approach, lending some acoustics as Dave proclaims, “Thirteen times and it’s been lucky for me.” The track begins to crank up gradually, throwing in brooding guitars throughout, diving into a nice little solo and finally returning back to pure acoustics for its exit.

Dave Mustaine has claimed that this album ‘captures [his] every emotion’ and, in turn, the band have produced a stellar piece of work. Being a classic within a genre can often lead to repetition or a misfire in terms of quality over the years, but this is a relatively well-balanced album. Megadeth have managed to not only encompass their classic thrash sounds, but they’ve pushed it that little bit further.

In an age where the music scene can often be repetitive, Megadeth have stuck to their guns by embracing their classic thrash sound. This album is superb and – particularly for those into tight guitar work – is definitely worthy of attention.