Megadisappointment: ‘Super Collider’

My friend Tyler thought ‘Thirteen’ was a bad album. I disagree. His criticism that the album contained too many reworkings of older songs was justified, but at least there was quite some memorable stuff on the record. ‘Thirteen’ contained at least five songs I really liked. ‘Super Collider’ has one. And a couple I consider somewhat enjoyable. But a good album, this is not. I have no problem with Megadeth playing something closer to Hard Rock than Thrash Metal, but imagine ‘Youthanasia’ or ‘Cryptic Writings’ without the good ideas. That’s what ‘Super Collider’ is.

This album’s title track was the first thing that surfaced from the album and it’s easily one of the worst post ‘Risk’ songs by the band. But then again, Heavy Metal has never really been about the singles, has it? First single ‘Can I Play With Madness’ could never prepare the listener for the unbridled brilliance of Iron Maiden’s ‘Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son’ either. Sadly, ‘Super Collider’ is no ‘Seventh Son’. The songwriting is bland and I can only hope that this is a one-time mistake for Dave Mustaine.

Also, Mustaine was known for his sharp lyric writing in Megadeth’s heyday. Even though I didn’t always necessarily agree with his views, his lyrics had a conviction and an indispensable, clever wit. A lot of the lyrics on ‘Super Collider’ seem to have been written with a rhyming dictionary. The next person who rhymes “fire” with “desire”, I will slap in the face. In addition, it seems that these days, when Mustaine wants to make a point, he starts a spoken part. It’s a feature that dragged down the title track of ‘United Abominations’ six years ago and now mutilates the otherwise decent ‘Dance In The Rain’, which also features a pointless guest appearance by Disturbed frontman David Draiman doing his best to sound as much as Mustaine as possible. ‘Burn!’ is also marred by insipid lyrics and a horrible chorus. The verses are awesome though.

Maybe that’s the most frustrating aspect about ‘Super Collider’. It’s not like Mustaine lost it. Opening track ‘Kingmaker’ is an impressive Heavy Metal tune with a killer riff to boot. ‘Forget To Remember’ is a pretty good melodic Hardrock tune with possibly the best set of lyrics on the album and ‘Off The Edge’ and ‘Built For War’ would have been good with better words.

The album’s production is alright, just a torture to listen to on headphones. It’s got too much treble, accounting for a pretty restless listening experience. Also, closing an album with a cover (even when it’s a Thin Lizzy tune) has never been a good idea. You could try to get the edition with the bonus tracks, but those aren’t all that good either. Especially ‘All I Want’. It’s hard to believe that song has been written by the same man who gave us ‘Hangar 18’, ‘Tornado Of Souls’, ‘Skin O’ My Teeth’ or ‘Trust’.

With this lineup possibly being the strongest the band has had musically, I’m sure they’ll come up with something better after this. I’ll just listen to ‘Rust In Peace’, ‘Countdown To Extinction’, ‘Cryptic Writings’, ‘Endgame’ or ‘The System Has Failed’ in the meantime.

Recommended track: ‘Kingmaker’

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