By Professor Jocko

Megadeth is back again, with their thirteenth studio album, appropriately titled "Thirteen". Their last effort "Endgame" was a real scorcher, so we all have been waiting impatiently for something new from these guys. With bassist, and founding member, Dave Ellefson back in the line-up, the much-needed chemistry is evident. Although there are a few songs that may seem a little watered-down, Dave Mustaine's a.d.d writing style makes several tracks musical ball-busters. It seems as though the album has some roots in what early Megadeth was about, which is just a raw, unmistakable thrash album that rivals "Youthanasia", written 20 years prior, as far as the melodic riffs and lyrical style are concerned. The fact that a band can have this much endurance, still producing kick-ass music after so many years, really shows that what Mustaine put together many years ago can come full circle to a whole new fan base.

Although I feel that there are some very strong tracks on this album, I also feel that there are a few that may have been produced as hopefuls for the radio or video. The first track on the LP, titled "Sudden Death", which was a single as an MP3 download, does have many qualities that Megadeth fans would expect, mainly with the vocals and guitars, but it seems to me that this song would be better suited as something towards the middle of the album; mainly because of the chorus that borders on being a watered-down radio favorite. However, as the next several songs progress, they get progressively better in regards to the musical insanity that we’ve grown to appreciate over the years, including some re-releases such as "New World Order"; a demo on the remastered release from "Youthanasia". Others include "Millennium Of the Blind", also on the remastered edition and "Black Swan", which is a bonus track from a non-USA released version from "United Abominations".

There are several tracks that in my opinion have such a deep crunch with the drums and guitar, that they rival the energy of "Countdown to Extinction". "Wrecker" and "Fast Lane", have a riveting punch that make them the more impressive tracks on the album. Although the track called "Never Dead" starts out a little slow, the rhythmic guitar riffs really help to carry the song into something reminiscent from earlier albums.  Other tracks that may seem to be a little typical because of tthe lyrics are "Guns, Drugs, & Money", "We the People", and "Whose Life". Although there are many qualities that make them great songs in one way or another, they all seem to border on tunes written to fill out the album.