Aptly titled and oddly spelled, Th1rt3en is Megadeth's thirteenth studio album and it contains 13 songs. It features one of the band's strongest lineups, with the return of bassist David Ellefson after an 8 year absence. Chris Broderick returns for his second album, and his guitar wizardry along with Mustaine's legendary chops make for an outstanding dual guitar attack. Drummer Shawn Drover has been with the band for three studio albums now, and he is solid and very underrated.
Th1rt3en gets off to a rollicking start with “Sudden Death,” vintage Megadeth and a potent opener. The first few songs are very strong, with some really good guitar work on “Who's Life Is It Anyways?” The lyrical themes are similar to past Megadeth albums, with politically charged tracks such as “New World Order” and “We The People.” A few of the songs have origins that go back several years, with earlier versions released as bonus tracks on previous albums.
While Th1rt3en has several quality songs, it is also a bit bloated. The past two Megadeth albums clocked in at around 45 minutes and were very streamlined. This one is nearly an hour, and a couple of songs on the second half of the album could easily have been excluded. 13 songs (even though it's the album title) is stretching things a bit, and makes for more filler than needed.
Even though he's mellowed as a person, Mustaine still has plenty of anger and aggression that he channels into Megadeth's music, and the band has not lost its edge. 2009's Endgame is a better album overall, but Th1rt3en has plenty of dark and memorable songs, top-notch musicianship and good old-fashioned chemistry.
(released November 1, 2011 on Roadrunner Records)