Album: Super Collider
Record Label: Tradecraft / UMe
Release Date: 10th June 2013
For Fans Of: The Big Four, Disturbed, American Radio Hard Rock
Since their comeback in 2005 with The System Has Failed, Megadeth have had a solid run of enjoyable albums. Both United Abominations and Endgame were excellent for the most part, The System Has Failed had some cracking tracks and even previous offering Th1rt3en had it’s moments. Sadly this is a run that comes to an end with the damp squib that is Super Collider.
The album starts in true Megadeth fashion with a cracking opener. Kingmaker is a traditional Megadeth thrash song and raises hopes for the album considerably (and, it transpires, unfairly). The album’s title track wouldn’t be fit for use as a b-side on any of the other four “new era” Megadeth albums and sadly most of the rest of the album continues in this vein. Distinctive riffs are absent for the most part and even the trademark Megadeth solo’s from Dave Mustaine and Chris Broderick are nowhere near up to usual standards.
If the music is hit and miss at best, there are lyrical offerings that are among the weakest ever to find a home on a Megadeth album, particularly on Beginning Of Sorrow (“first name Warden, last name Of The State”) and the chorus in Off The Edge being two prime examples. Much of the rest of the album seems to take the most obvious route possible in terms of rhyming words, and there is virtually none of the snarl and attitude in Mustaine’s vocals that fans have become used to over the last three decades.
There is the odd enjoyable moment, such as the last third of Dance In The Rain, and the last two tracks – Don’t Turn Your Back (which feels vaguely like a proper thrash song) and a cover of Thin Lizzy’s Cold Sweat bring a modicum of redemption to Super Collider but it’s far too little too late. This album feels like “Risk” part two – either there was a conscious effort to aim for the American hard rock radio market (which Megadeth have only ever been any good at when they’ve not been trying so obviously to achieve success on), the band’s new label UMe have tried to steer them in a more commercial direction, or Mustaine and friends were running low on creative ideas. Perhaps it was a combination of all three, ultimately it doesn’t really matter.
The end result is that one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of the year is easily one of the most disappointing. 2013 could have been a positive fresh start for Megadeth. Instead Super Collider, combined with Mustaine’s penchant for saying things he should probably keep to himself in the press are leaving them at their lowest point since the band’s comeback almost ten years ago.