Super Collided, straight into a wall.
Ah Megadeth. The second band in the so-called ‘big four’ of thrash metal, is the child of ex-Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine. After being kicked out of Metallica in their early days, Dave decided to have revenge by forming a band that would be faster, heavier and thrashier than Metallica.
Super Collider is the fourteenth record spewed from the metal machine that is Megadeth, who have decided to deviate from their roots after apparently returning to them on the album Endgame, released four years previously. Unfortunately for Dave & Co., Super Collider manages to blowout a tyre and spirals into oblivion.
The journey begins decently enough. The opening track ‘Kingmaker’ fits nicely in with the traditional style of Megadeth. But you can already see the danger in these first few minutes of the journey. For starters it is lyrically bland. If you were expecting the politically motivated Megadeth, which was around in the late ’80s – early 90s, then you will be disappointed because lyrically this album is quite basic and verges on bad at points, ‘Burn baby burn!’ from the track ‘Burn’ being a prime example.
Not only are the lyrics hopelessly generic, there is the issue of how they are delivered. Dave’s vocals are not very good, he has never been an excellent vocalist, snarling and grunting his way along the entirety of their work. But on this album, they seemed to have aged much worse than the rest of the album. They are particularly bad on the band’s first single the self titled ‘Super Collider’ and the rather horrendous choir boy part on the track ‘Built for War’. Dave’s vocals have never appealed to everyone, but they are no where as near as good here as they were in his heyday. They sound tired and worn down, and subtract from the overall sound of the record.
Not only is the main man behind the creative force that is Megadeth off the ball, but apparently the rest of the band isn’t doing so well either. They appear to be running along on auto-pilot, because nothing on this record sounds fresh or energetic. The excellent lead guitar solos that you’d expect are missing, the ferocious drumming is more tabby cat than roaring lion, and the bass guitarist seems to have forgotten to plug in his amp.
Luckily for us, this album is rather short, hovering nicely at the forty five minute mark. This is a good thing because it allows the album to keep the thrash that it has in it from going anywhere. Aside from the niggles that tar what could have been an impressive record, Super Collider does hit you with some decent material. ‘Kingmaker’ will likely be a staple of their live performances and ‘Dance in the Rain’ is back to the old political based Megadeth that we all know and love, even if it does take half the song to pick up speed and get on it’s way.
In the end, Super Collider ends up sounding like the modern day equivalent of the album Risk. Megadeth have deviated too far from their safe zone, and have ended up lost and confused. The trip from start to crash site was full of near misses, wrong turns and other logistical problems. With only a few tracks that stand out, Super Collider will likely end up broken on the side of the road, after suffering a bad case of chronic fatigue.
It is missing several key ingredients which would have made it a better record, with worse than normal vocals from Dave, bland guitars and a serious lack of solos. Boring drums which thump and bosh along, and a bass guitarist who was apparently on holiday whilst they recorded the album. Super Collider should be more aptly named Sub-par Bump, because when the best song on your album is a thirty year old cover, you must have done something wrong somewhere.
Super Collider is released on june 4th 2013
2. “Super Collider”
4. “Built for War”
5. “Off the Edge”
6. “Dance in the Rain”
7. “The Beginning of Sorrow”
8. “The Blackest Crow”
9. “Forget to Remember”
10. “Don’t Turn Your Back…”
11. “Cold Sweat” (Thin Lizzy cover)