Review Summary: Fuсk you all, this rules.
Ever since the pre-release of its title track, Super Collider
has attracted a lot of negativity due to its supposed mainstream orientation. It is true: this album has a more accessible sound than what one typically expects from Megadeth. And in the eyes of many, this is a reason to instantly disown the album and bash it to no end. Thankfully, I don't still live in 1986, so I am free from the trap of having such close-minded preconceptions and expectations.
The truth is, Super Collider has plenty going on for it, as long as the listener cares to approach it with the right mindset. Not only in terms of individual songs, but also as a coherent overall unit, there's enough variety in this album to make it lastingly enjoyable --
For example, a piece such as the opening track Kingmaker
effortlessly invokes memories of the old, thrashier side of Megadeth, with its energetic and hard-hitting riffage, complemented by Mustaine's low-register snarly vocal delivery. Meanwhile, the title track harkens back to the glory days of Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia. Granted, maybe it's poppier than them, but it does manage to grow on you after a while.
Mustaine has always been a riff machine, and two tracks that especially showcase this are Beginning of Sorrow
and Dance in the Rain
. The former features a riff that is downright mean and wicked, and even allows an opportunity for David Ellefson to shine, as precisely his bass guitar is the instrument that initiates it. The latter is a song which is easily one of the best Megadeth songs in years, containing an excellently composed amalgamation of gloomy and melodic riffage, thoughtful lyrics, melancholic vocals, and a surprising context switch to an utter thrashfest featuring the vocals of David Draiman
of Disturbed fame. This song could easily be considered as two separate songs, each having its own merits, which ultimately combine nicely in a worthwhile whole.
Another interesting moment would be The Blackest Crow
. Now, I can see this song being very polarising. After all, it's a venture outside rock territory, and into country, or bluegrass, or whatever the hell this genre is called. I choose not to care about what the genre of this song is, and simply enjoy it for its undeniable pure awesomeness. ***ing great track!
Forget to Remember
is likewise a track that explores the traces of a relationship gone bad, and it's again a great, catchy, upbeat, and energetic song.
The rest of the songs not mentioned also have their points of interest that make them enjoyable, despite not having exactly the deepest of lyrics (Burn!
). Built for War
is notable for its syncopated rhythm section in its verses which throw you off. Really, the only track that I find uninteresting is Off the Edge
. Otherwise this entire album is a fun ride from start to finish.
One thing that needs to be mentioned is Chris Broderick's soloing
. His performances on previous albums attracted criticism due to their robotic technicality and lack of artistic touch. However on Super Collider he has definitely stepped up his game, and introduces song-defining solos that sound like METAL, and not a technical exercise. This is a very unexpected, but welcome maturation in his playing that makes him a valid contributor to the band's overall sound and image, rather than just a hired gun.
In fact, "mature" is a word that can be used to define the overall state of the band in this album.
came out in '99, that was clearly an experiment. The band tried to be something else
in order to get some more radio play. And it failed, because trying to be something else is just a bad approach.
However, Super Collider is a product that succeeds, because the band is just being itself. The maturity is in the fact that Megadeth doesn't really care whether it fits a mold or fulfills someone else's expectations, and instead simply makes sincere music. For themselves.
Dave Mustaine is 51 years old now. I don't know how you felt when you heard This Day We Fight
from 2009's Endgame, but I personally thought that it was forced -- made thrash for the sake of being thrash. And it made me think, sure Mustaine can
play thrash, but does he want to
in the first place? Is it really him?
Well, in Super Collider he doesn't play thrash. Because he doesn't want to. And I say, more power to him.