MEGADETH has resumed work on its fourteenth studio album with producer Johnny K (full name: John Karkazis), who has previously worked with DISTURBED, SEVENDUST, MACHINE HEAD and STAIND. The CD is tentatively due in early 2013 via an as-yet-undisclosed label following MEGADETH's recent split with Roadrunner Records.
Mustaine previously told NME about the direction of MEGADETH's new material, "Some of it's a little darker, some of it's a little faster. Being in this position right now, not knowing where we're gonna go or what we're gonna do, it's kind of like the world's ours to do what we want. Are we gonna go back to the speed and thrash metal roots that made us who we are? Are we gonna experiment and rely on the melody that we've discovered in MEGADETH songs?"
Mustaine also spoke about how he likes to keep MEGADETH's music more melodic than that of most thrash bands. "We've tried to do that in MEGADETH, have a little melody so that it's not just the same old grinding music like everybody else has," he said. "We're just happy to get going and get to the studio."
Johnny K produced MEGADETH's last album, 2011's "TH1RT3EN", which was recorded at Mustaine's Vic's Garage studio in San Marcos, California. Mustaine previously stated about the recording process for "TH1RT3EN", "We've got a great new partner with Johnny K. I mean, I was satisfied with our last co-producer, with Andy Sneap, and Andy really took us — and he even admits — as far as he could take us, and it was great because we wanted to go back to the big leagues where we were, and we feel that Johnny is, obviously, a big-league producer; not that Andy isn't — don't get me wrong. But we feel that this record is definitely one of our best. It's a great feeling, because, you know, finishing some of the last record, I can honestly say, in my heart I knew that it wouldn't contend with some of the great records in the past, just because of the timing, the label that we were on and stuff like that. Lineup changes and stuff… But I really think that everything just lined up for this record."
"TH1RT3EN", sold 42,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 11 on The Billboard 200 chart.
The CD marked the recorded return of bassist David Ellefson who was part of the band's classic lineup from 1983 to 2002. In a move that delighted the band's legion of diehards, Ellefson returned to performing live with MEGADETH in early 2010 and has remained a fixture on the stage ever since. This was the first time Ellefson has played on a MEGADETH record since 2002's "Rude Awakening".