Sound — 9
So Megadeth's new record "Th1rt3en" is out, and I must say that, despite the failure of a title, it is easily one of the greatest things Megadeth has ever done. For a while I was concerned that this record would not live up to the hype but indeed it does and it blows Lulu out of the water at the same time. The two Dave's back together just feels right and there is a level of togetherness on this record not found since the early 90s. The guitars roar and Mustaine's rhythm work is great as always. At the same time Broderick is still shredding up and down the neck at a million miles an hour. I am proud to say that the bass from Ellefson is better than ever before. The drums too are pretty solid and get the job done well. Finally Mustaine's vocals are very solid and a significant upgrade from those on their last record, "EndGame". At the same time his lyrics are amazing as always and feature some pretty cool dystopian lyrics. The guitars on this record blow my mind, even more so than on "EndGame". On this record Broderick and Mustaine really manage to get together and some of the harmonies which were a bit iffy on "EndGame" are better here. In short from a dual guitar standpoint this album is 10 times better as the Mustaine Broderick relationship advances. The rhythm figures coming from the ax of Mustaine are fresher than on the previous couple releases. Riffs like that on "Fast Lane" shows that Mustaine isn't out of ideas yet and he still is producing solid music. Broderick's insane solos help get this album classified as one of the greatest shred records of this year. For me the shredding of Broderick is one of the things that brings this Megadeth lineup to a whole new level. Yet it feels to me that there could be more, while "EndGame" was clearly a shred album, Th1rt3en could do with a few more crazy extended solos. Ellefson does not fail to impress on "Th1rt3en. With sick bass parts on songs like "Wrecker" (With an amazing intro riff) and "Millennium Of The Blind" the second "helps to bring "back to the top of their game. On the last few records "had been slowly drowning out the bass with his rhythm figures. Now that he has a significantly better bassist he lets him take over a bit more and help lead the band to a whole new level. Hopefully on the next record we can get even more bass fills as this one does not have nearly as many as I expected. The drums of "are very solid and he helps drive the band along with his solid double bass insanity. It's refreshing listening to him because he doesn't just hammer away on the drums, he actually uses a variety of fills for each song to give every piece its own distinctive taste and feel.
Lyrics — 9
Mustaine's vocals are significantly better than they were before and on this record it feels that he has more raw energy in his vocals. He manages to rip out huge vocals on killer tracks like "Public Enemy Number One". While he does not have the screaming insanity of Araya he does have his own special type of aggression and raw power that comes through in some of his more raw screams. The lyrics of this record are remarkably based in dystopian themes. For example the song "Whose Life (Is It Anyway?)" has lyrics reading: "You hate my friends and where we go/I see you in the shadows You think you know what's best for me/You hate everything you see in me". Another theme is more personal lyrics on the part of Mustaine one example of this is in the album's final track "Thirteen": "At thirteen I started down this path/ Fueled with anger, music was my wrath/ Years of clawing at scars that never healed/ Drowning my mind, the thoughts are too real".
Overall Impression — 9
Overall this album is a very solid effort from Megadeth. My sole big complaint is that the last few songs seem to taper off and become a lot less heavy and not match up with the brutality found in the first couple tracks. Otherwise the guitars are roaring loud and dominate the music. The bass has a bigger place on this record but it still could do with more space. The drums are very solid too. Last Mustaine's vocals and lyrics are good as ever. All these elements combine to form a very solid release, go check it out.