Review Summary: Megadeth prove once again that, aside from Endgame and UA, in recent years they have been so consistently dull that it is almost impressive
Megadeth are a band whose output truly has been hit and miss for several years now. Ever since the release of Cryptic Writings and the band's aversion of their thrash metal earlier years, many have loved to hate on certain albums in their discography. The thrash metal titans did quite a lot to silence their critics with United Abominations and Endgame in the past, before dipping in quality with Thirteen again. Super Collider is the fourteenth studio album from Megadeth and is a 2013 outing that essentially mixes elements of all of their past albums. The two singles so far released from this album are the title track and Kingmaker and they were poorly received, but how do they reflect the overall quality of the full product?
Well, at heart this is still very much an experimental Megadeth album, similar in vein to what they were doing throughout the 1990's. Kingmaker shows off more of a thrash element of the band's sound, although not the furiously paced insanity that shook people up worse than Michael J Fox in a blender. The title track and Off The Edge however bring forth more of a hard rock sound that feels as though it could have fit in among anything from Youthanasia to Risk, although it would certainly have detracted from the quality of any of those albums. The band even paid tribute to influential hard rock band Thin Lizzy with a more down-tuned version of their hit song Cold Sweat, which actually fits in well among the more rock-focused sound of Super Collider.
The guitar work here is business as usual for Megadeth, with some furious soloing and a variety of riffs. The guitar parts are still rather heavy and highlights would be Kingmaker and The Blackest Crow and the angry, thrashing Built For War. These three songs show that Megadeth can definitely still write guitar-driven music full of passion and rage. Sadly, if you are looking for an album that will consistently cause adrenaline to flood through your body and hate to course through your veins, this album is not one that will have these effects. Aside from those three songs, this is lifeless; devoid of any real emotion and Dave should be ashamed of how many 90's rock bands he sucked off with Super Collider and Dance In The Rain. These two tracks in particular have absolutely nothing good about them and should be avoided at all costs.
The other instruments add literally nothing to the mix. Megadeth have always been very much guitar-centered but not to the point that the other instruments blend into the background as they do here. The drums are stagnant, the bass stale and the production does not help their cause either. Given that this is the same Megadeth lineup that gave us Thirteen, we could at least expect every member to give their all. Unfortunately, the drummer shows on Burn just how little effort he wants to put into this album, with around 2 or 3 beats, all of which are lazy, uncomplicated and empty of any life that was there on their past album. Even during the fastest moments of this album, the drums are still flat and boring. The aforementioned production job ensures that the guitars and vocals are too loud in the mix so that the soundscape is completely dominated by boring power-chord guitar works and solos that ALWAYS seem to start on the absolute highest notes possible (that's Dave's creativity these days for you).
Super Collider is a disappointment if there ever was one, and is an album that should be avoided at all costs. This should carry a health warning. Are you a happy metalhead, thrasher, straight person or just have any degree of sanity at all? Then keep the *** away from this.