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MegadethThirteenIt’s no secret that I love MEGADETH, and I’ll forever be grateful to Dave Mustaine for giving a 16-year-old kid (me) a chance to interview him for a half-hour back in 1993. TH1RT3EN, however I like, but it’s definitely notloved. In a lot of ways it reminds me of the feelings I had about YOUTHANASIA when it came out when compared to it’s predecessor, COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTION… good, but can’t help wondering if maybe it could’ve been better.

Overall, MEGADETH has been on a huge upswing since 2004’s THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED, following up with UNITED ABOMINATIONS and ENDGAME. With TH1RT3EN, the band seems to have hit a plateau. Not necessarily a slide, but definitely not at an ENDGAME level.

The songs released for promotional purposes –Public Enemy No 1, and Whose Life (Is it Anyways?) – are two of the weakest songs on the record, and I hate it when that happens. There’s far better on here, with We the Peopleevoking that classic, politically-charged MEGADETH vibe amidst a mid-tempo groove, and 13 providing a rather epic finish as the 13th track of the band’s 13th album, bringing with it one of the more complex arrangements in the bunch. Interesting to note is that a few of my favorite tracks are reworkings of songs that have previously surfaced from the YOUTHANASIA and UNITED ABOMINATIONS sessions. Black Swan, Deadly Nightshade, and New World Order are prime examples.

Aside from the music itself, I’m always a little cautious with bands delivering their final album of a contract – especially those that have publicly spoken out against their label, something that Mustaine has done on more than one occasion, particularly in how ENDGAME was promoted. TH1RT3EN is certainly not a bad record – it’s actually very good, but there’s moments when you wonder if it was just good enough for the band.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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