Album Review: TH1RT3EN – Megadeth releases its 13th studio album

Kynslie Otte

Megadeth was created in 1983 by Dave Mustaine after his departure fromMetallica. Fast forward to 2012, and it’s more than surprising to hear the band has released yet another album.

“TH1RT3EN” is Megadeth’s 13th studio album. Even with such an original title, it became clear to me very early on in my listening experience that 13 is not this band’s lucky number.

The album kicks off with the song “Sudden Death.” Musically, the beginning of the song is solid. It opens with a multitude of guitar sweeps that are clean and pleasantly harmonious. However, if you’re a fan of more hardcore metal, you’ll find that the drums leave something to be desired. Though I have no real complaints about the musicality of the song, it certainly isn’t anything above mediocre. In terms of vocals, I was incredibly unimpressed. I admit that this type of metal has never been my forte, but I find it difficult to enjoy the music when the vocalist literally sounds as if he has a bullfrog lodged in his esophagus.

The third song on the album titled “Whose Life (is it Anyways)” almost made me laugh out loud. The lyrics to this song scream of teenage angst, and it isn’t something I would have expected from a seasoned musician like Dave Mustaine. For example, in the first verse he wails “You hate the way I wear my clothes, you hate my friends and where we go.” Perhaps this is a testament to the audience the band is trying to reach, but it seems a little out of place coming from the voice of a middle aged man.

“Guns, Drugs, and Money,” the fifth track on the album, almost serves as an anthem to the band’s history. Through the years, the band has gone through over 20 different band members due to substance abuse problems. Perhaps Mustaine can use that as an excuse for why his lyrics are so generic and poor.

When the song “Never Dead” began, I thought there may be a glimmer of hope for redemption for this album. The beginning of the song was a pleasant change of pace from the first several tracks, which to me sounded more or less the same. It starts out with an eerie piano riff and a subtle beat, which about thirty seconds later erupts into a nice double bass line and sweeping guitar riffs that may actually be difficult to replicate. Again, lyrically, the song was not my cup of tea. However, it was the most musically impressive song on the album.

If you’ve been a long time Megadeth fan, or if you love bands like Slayer and Metallica, go ahead and give the album a listen. From a technical metal standpoint, you won’t be disappointed in the music. I, however, prefer my metal to include mind blowing breakdowns and vocals that don’t resemble the sound of wolverines fighting.

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