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Articles Home » 2011 Articles » Megadeth - 2011 TH1RT3EN
Megadeth - 2011 TH1RT3EN

ARTIST: Megadeth
LABEL: Roadrunner
SERIAL: RR7700-2
YEAR: 2011


LINEUP: Dave Mustaine - vocals * Chris Broderick - guitar * Dave Ellefson - bass * Shaun Drover - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sudden Death * 02 Public Enemy No. 1 * 03 Whose Life (Is It Anyways?) * 04 We The People * 05 Guns, Drugs & Money * 06 Never Dead * 07 New World Order * 08 Fast Lane * 09 Black Swan * 10 Wrecker * 11 Millennium Of The Blind * 12 Deadly Nightshade*



This time 17 years ago I remember being more excited for any new album than I ever had been previously, when Megadeth released 'Youthanasia'. Would they return to the thrash of 'Rust In Peace' and abandon the slower style of 'Countdown To Extinction' two years earlier? That burning question was dispelled some 50 minutes later as pure fantasy and nearly two decades later I'm still sitting here waiting for Megadeth to sound meaningful in some way again. Simply put '13' isn't it. Whereas the last two Megadeth albums at least toyed with thrash, while remaining mostly tepid, '13' doesn't even try and the worst asset about it is at least 7 of the tracks are recycled from past demos and bonus songs from older albums. Whether Mustaine has finally run out of ideas I'm not sure, but this is hardly essential in anyone's book.

The Songs
Lead track 'Sudden Death' appeared more than a year ago for a 'Guitar Hero' game, so longtime fans are surely already familiar with it. This newer version isn't much of an improvement, with a heavy intro but the obligatory excursions into softer melodic areas. It's still far heavier than much else that follows, but having heard this sometime ago it's hard to get excited about. The galloping riff to 'Public Enemy No. 1' has some bite and the hook has some melodic appeal but Mustaine's voice is so worn out that it hurts the track. There's a faster tempo for 'Who's Life (Is it Anyways?)' but it's too light to be labeled thrash. There's something really weedy about the sound, much like the horrific 'FFF' from 1997. Mustaine has a rant about the state of society on 'We The People', not an entirely new theme for the band, but musically it's mid-paced and devoid of anything memorable. Take my word for it. Throw 'Guns, Drugs and Money' into that category too. Where's the musical vitality? Why do I get no feeling from this? I have absolutely no urge to ever listen to this ever again, that's how dull it is. 'Never Dead' is a notch better, faster to some degree, but in reality just another routine Megadeth track. Making for interesting listening is 'New World Order', originally recorded in 1991 and meant for inclusion on 'Countdown..'. It was released some years back but the band re-recorded it for this album and the end result is clearly inferior to the original. Listening to the original you can hear the power this band had in their heyday, but two decades later it's missing. This really says everything about Megadeth in 2011. Mustaine explores his fetish with speeding on 'Fast Lane', another song easily dismissed. There's nothing going on and this is the musical equivalent of thin air. 'Black Swan' dates from some four years ago, while 'Millennium Of The Blind' goes back 20, but unlike 'New World Order', has no speed or anything to recommend it, which is why it was probably unfinished for so many years. Describing 'Wrecker' or 'Deadly Nightshade' would be too tedious, but what is definite is the gulf between the older songs and the ones written specifically for this album. 'Deadly Nightshade' is another 90's demo come to life, but as it dates from 1994 onwards it automatically qualifies as a loss. The title track is a six minute epic, agonizingly slow for the most part, with Dave ruminating about his '13' lives that he has somehow survived.

In Summary
Remember when Mustaine was young, dangerous and cutting edge? Maybe that's why it's difficult for me to reconcile what he was once capable of compared to the mostly drivel of the last two decades. Somewhere Mustaine truly lost his edge. At his age now it's too late to ever capture the ferocity of the 1985-90 years and this mediocre release confirms that. '13' is heavy metal at its dullest, surely. I don't expect a full-on thrash album, but this really needed more of that element. Instead shades of 'Cryptic Writings' are everywhere and while it's nowhere as awful as 'Risk', it isn't much more convincing either. Of course when the time comes for the next album Mustaine and Ellefson will be throwing out quotes like 'it has the intensity of 'Rust In Peace', or 'it's going to be our most aggressive album ever!' I think by now we all know the truth.

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#1 | MUSCLE on November 05 2011 02:42:32
Yep another shitter from Dave. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the dude can't sing for toffee. This was fine when he was hammering out raw, intense, aggressive thrash. His dirty, snarling, surly vocals suited the music perfectly. However when he decided to tone down the nihilistic speed for a more controlled polished melodic metal sound the whole enterprise fell apart. His whiny, reedy voice attempting to sing melodic choruses was a travesty. An embarassment. It didn't work. Hasn't since 94. It would be interesting to hear these songs sung by a vocalist who could actually sing. Someone like John Bush for instance. He'd rip the shit out of them. Give them an altogether unique dimension. But, alas it will never happen and we will carry on like dickheads believing that good ol' Dave has still got it in him to conjure up the magic and let rip with a handful of burners, even though the last time he did was 20 odd years ago. It's a bloody shame when an ultimate hero fades away.
#2 | dangerzone on November 08 2011 09:04:33
When compared to what Sepultura are doing in 2011, that's pretty much the barometer for what a disgrace Megadeth are now. Of course there are multitudes of 'fans' out there claiming this new album is a metal classic, while at the same time spitting in the face of Metallica predictably. These people are fooling themselves. They want to believe so badly that Megadeth are still a viable force in metal and can still be labeled thrash. That's the most ludicrous sentiment of all this. They haven't been a thrash band since 1990 and they never will be again. For my money Megadeth are the most disappointing band in metal history. By saying that I mean Mustaine, who is the whole shebang. For a band poised to be one the all time greats, their decline has been long and steady. Somehow it continues, with no end in sight.
#3 | gdazegod on November 08 2011 10:39:46
So where are Anthrax in the pecking order then?
#4 | gdazegod on November 08 2011 12:53:55
Mustaine looks like shit..
YouTube Video:
#5 | dangerzone on November 08 2011 13:27:04
While the latest Anthrax album is far better than Megadeth's, it's really hard to support them too. Eight years in between albums? That ruined it for me. The constant back and forth between vocalists has been a circus too. Like Megadeth I really thought Anthrax had the tools to be way bigger than they turned out to be. When they released 'Sound of White Noise' they had an album as accomplished as anything Metallica had ever recorded. But it seemed like their time had already passed then, even though John Bush did a great job. After that they sunk further and further with the onset of grunge and all that bollocks, but they were still making decent music. Somehow it all ended up becoming a farce and now you're looking at punters on the edge of 50 ( with Belladonna already there) and eight wasted years behind them. Who knows what they could have done.
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