Sunday, 23 June 2013

Megadeth - Super Collider

Released: June 4th, 2013
Genre: Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Hard Rock
Record Label: Tradecraft
Number of Tracks: 11 (13 on Limited Edition)

Overall Rating: 6/10

Considered as one of Thrash Metal's big 4 since their debut album 'Killing is My Business...and Business is Good'  released 30 years ago, Megadeth continue to prove they are not done yet with their latest album 'Super Collider', their fourteenth studio album. 

'Super Collider' is a bit of a throwback, but not to classic Megadeth albums such as 'Peace Sells...But Who's Buying' or 'Rust in Peace'. It has more in common with 1999's 'Risk' and 2001's 'The World Needs a Hero', which were not as well received. Their latest effort is more hard rock, than their influential, name making Thrash Metal. Mustaine and Chris Broderick are two great guitar players and as we have heard on other albums, have the ability to make top draw riffs as often as a builder makes a brew, and there are some top notch riffs on the track 'Don't Turn Your Back...' , 'Burn!' and 'Dance in the Rain'. Shawn Drover is an under-rated drummer and holds down the rhythmic fort with style. 

Even though it is not their heaviest album, there are definitely some elements of thrash in the album. However the album definitely has a mixed feel. The album opens with the track 'Kingmaker', which seems to give a false representation of what is to come in the rest of the album. The track is possibly the song most in line with what we expect from Megadeth, and is a decent high tempo thrash metal song and one of few songs on the album which appears to have balls, another being the brilliant album finale 'Cold Sweat' - a Thin Lizzy cover (too bad those balls belong to Phil Lynott). Title track 'Super Collider' was first released as a single on April 23rd 2013, and has to be the weakest track on the album. It sounds like a reject from a Bon-Jovi B side album and Mustaine's vocals - which for a long time have been considered Megadeth's weak point, are evidently a lot weaker than they were back in the day. But you have to remember, he has been doing vocals in a thrash metal band for 30 years. Third track titled 'Burn!' starts off sounding like an older Megadeth track, but quickly dwindles into another lazy effort and is lyrically cliched 'Burn, baby burn... 'cause it feels so good / Burn, baby burn... like i knew it would / Fire, I've got the fire / Fire, burning desire... my desire to burn'.

The next 4 tracks are largely average and aren't very interesting, and it is only until the final minute of 6th track 'Dance In The Rain' that we hear a rare glimpse of a high tempo and pounding rhythm worthy of being on a Megadeth album. Although you get the feeling it is like being starved and then being given a tin of spam, you're going to lap up as much as you can get. An odd inclusion to a Megadeth album is banjo led track 8 'The Blackened Crow'. The song transcends into heavier guitar work mixed with Banjo and it never really gets going. It is a typical 'Super Collider' song, not good, but not bad either. Willie Nelson and/or Miranda Lambert were initially going to sing this one, but for unknown reasons this collapsed. 'Forget to Remember' sounds like a dull boring soft punk rock band have tried to construct, and is a thrash barren wasteland. For me, the highlight of the album is track 10, entitled 'Don't Turn Your Back...'. Starts off bluesy and soon quickens up with double bass and fast guitar riffs, crazy solos and the whole song seems to carry the album. 

As with any other Megadeth album, the lyrics reflect social and political issues. Some lyrics are cliched and unimpressive ('Burn!, 'Built for War' and 'Off the Edge' to name a few). 'Dance in the Rain', 'The Blackest Crow' and 'Forget to Remember' stand out lyrically, talking about alzheimer's and seeing someone you love fade away 'And you just walk away - I have no idea who you are! / I curse the day that you smile fades away, till then i pray' . The rest of the lyrics fit well with the songs but are unimpressive. 

If you pick up 'Super Collider' expecting the classic thrashy Megadeth, then you will be disappointed. It is there, but it is rare and only glimpses. This is predominantly a hard rock album, with a hint of the old Megadeth. Knowing that may help shift your expectation. 'Endgame' seems a long, long time ago doesn't it?

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