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Megadeth: Th1rt3en

At the start of my journey into the Metal world, one band I had heard about a lot was the group Megadeth. Well, it didn’t take long for me to finally discover them and, well, I wasn’t at all impressed. Much like my distaste for Metallica, I found myself asking why everyone was so gung-ho over this group. But, as the years went on and cash became a little easier to come by, coupled with the accessability of things on the internet, I quickly learned of both Thrash band’s earlier material, and was far more impressed by it then the new stuff. Now, while Dave Mustaine is hostile towards the meer mention of Metallica and sharing the same paragraph with the Megadeth name, let alone the same sentence is probably enough for him to knock my teeth down my throat, the point is that while I still dislike Metallica outside their recent Death Magnetic effort, Megadeth has almost always had some enjoyable material, even as of late. Songs like “Kick the Chair” and “Die Dead Enough” of the band’s recent work pulled me back into the Megadeth world simply because of my comprehension towards the band’s Heavy Metal sound, and generally catchy as hell material. This doesn’t mean those albums were really any good, but I enjoyed some of the songs off them and wound up getting the CDs dirt cheap anyway. However, with Endgame, I really became excited for the group’s return to glorious Thrash Metal. So, it’s understandable I put off listening to “Public Enemy No. 1” until I picked up the album.

However, due to financial restraints at the moment, I can’t afford it. It’s this CD or gas, and sadly I’m an adult now with a full time job and bills, so gas wins over Metal. Another blasphemous statement, I know, but it’s the sad truth. So, realizing that “Public Enemy No. 1” was made available on iTunes as a free download, I grabbed it and decided it’s time I experience the album and wet my whistle so that when I grab the album, I’ll be ready for the Thrash assault. And that’s what leads us up to this point. This very moment when my Megadeth fandom for the first time saw me excited about a new release as if this was the follow-up to Rust in Peace back in the day. And, well, much like many modern follow-up albums to solid releases, I was let down by what this track had in store for me.

Sadly, it’s like what a lot of people were saying. The aggressive Megadeth sound of Endgame is not here, and it sounds like a mixture of the band’s radio friendly Heavy Metal sound of recent with some simpler Thrash roots. This was the farthest thing I could possibly expect from Megadeth on this release. Is it a bad song? Not really, I’m enjoying it for what it is, having some throwback to the early sound, but largely still has that modern lighter hook-driven sound to it. Even the guitar solos felt weak by Megadeth standards and had a chorus that made me feel like I was listener to an edgier, heavier Hard Rock group from the seventies or early eighties. Some of the galloping chords do exist here that bring up some memories of Rust in Peace, but they feel really weak against the harmonized rhaspy vocals and rather upbeat atmosphere, and the chorus that could have built up a little more intensity feels so horribly out of place when it becomes even catchier and seems to really lose any of the aggression to the song. It only took until the half way point for me to actually be fed up, becoming bored rather quickly of the song and it’s rather cliche sound, and declaring loudly out of disgust, “This song sucks!” to the number of persons nowhere near me to hear my cries of anguish, leaving me sitting here staring at the screen as the song comes to it’s undramatic, uninteresting, uninspiring closing to a song that feels largely uninteresting, uninspiring, and even heavily unoriginal.

Nothing could have prepared me for this song. I’ve read a lot of posts about it and the album ranging from the song being a fantastic offering from Megadeth to cliche generic radio friendly garbage, but I typically shrug all this off until I hear it for myself. I wouldn’t go so far to stick with either of those polar opposites, but I’m definitely leaning more towards the radio friendly aspect. “Public Enemy No. 1” really left me feeling let down, and right away I took my excitement towards Th1rt3en and cast it aside while putting the disc from the top to the bottom of my “Must Purchase” list. I don’t really feel betrayed by the band, but more by myself for not allowing the concept of “All good things must come to an end” to slip into my mind when considering this album, as it’s clear what made Endgame really stand out and make me understand what it felt like to wait for the next strong Thrash effort back in the day of Megadeth is what it felt like to those as the band quickly started to release their more mainstream sounding material. Sorry Mr Mustaine, but “Public Enemy No. 1” really let me down, and I’ll still buy Th1rt3en out of respect, but I’m no longer in a rush to hear this release.

Article based on a MP3 download provided by Roadrunner Records.