Review Summary: A solid album aside from the rehashed songs1 of 2 thought this review was well written
Megadeth has been hailed by some as the most consistent band out of the big 4 of the American thrash/speed metal scene. They have been producing decent albums since their reformation after they disbanded because of Dave Mustaine's medical issues. A couple of band member changes over the years may have changed the chemistry of the band yet the quality of the albums they produced have always been up to par with the best of the genre has to offer. While they had albums that had me gagging such as Risk, The World Needs a Hero and Cryptic Writings - without those albums - the current incarnation of Megadeth wouldn't have learned what worked and didn't work for them as a band. They did learn regardless of what people say, Metal as a genre is unforgiving a genre in all of music. Certain parameters must still be adhered and no matter how many classifications they create to distinguish bands of today - it all amounts to satisfying the core subculture you are catering to. In other words, it's all noise and grunts no matter how you cover it.
The band hit that subtle balance with The System Has Failed, United Abominations and Endgame which were a perfect dose of old school Megadeth with modern sensibilities. They have stuck to the formula of having one to three fast songs along with midtempo "radio friendly" numbers over the years. Thirt3en does deliver that in spades with uptempo tracks like "Neverdead" (written for a Konami game coming up this year), "Fast lane" and "Wrecker". "Deadly Nightshade" and "13" harkens back to their Youthanasia catalog and songs like "Whose life (it is anyways?)" sounds perfectly in tune if they had released it with Cryptic Writings with its punk/hardcore vibe reminiscent of "FFF".
What made the album a little iffy though is the revivals/remake/rehash of old b-sides that has been available for years already regardless if it's on demo form or fan exclusive downloads. "Black Swan" which was reworked to have a faster feel to it still has that hook that can be stuck in your head but also lost its luster because of how it was arranged this time. "New World Order" and "Millenium of the Blind" were demos that would have been included in Youthanasia that were re-recorded with mixed results - both of them still good songs but NWO lost a lot of its grit to a fault. "Millenium of the Blind" out of the reworked songs stand out as the plodding riffs and maniacal vocal delivery gives it a bruising feel that the band hasn't had since Peace Sells...but who's buying.
If you have no issue with paying an album that should have been an EP, I do suggest you buy/download this album. For the collectors and avid fans though, this is literally just adding to their legacy of producing great albums with minor issues and all. The lack of speed and technicality in most songs in their past few albums which had made them the most talented band out of the big 4 would probably hinder the end factor of enjoying their recent releases, they have stuck to a formula which has given them a second life as a critically acclaimed band once again yet they have lose their way in regards to the danger and aggressive outlook they have presented long before the advent of the digital mp3 age.