Wanna know something? Whenever I write an album review I make sure to never read any other reviews beforehand lest my objectivity be irrevocably tainted. Of course my approach was no different regarding this album.
Well…I may not have read any reviews, but unfortunately it’s been impossible to avoid noticing the vitriolic public backlash against this album which manifested itself all over social media within minutes of the album’s release!
“Fucken shit!”. “The worst album they’ve ever made”. “Worse Than Lulu!!”….What?? Worse than the most atrocious affront to music in recent memory? Geez…
Well, I’m not one to be swayed by public opinion and for the record I haven’t liked much of what Mr Mustaine & co have put out since Countdown to Extinction… and that was twenty years ago.
So, is Super Collider a new low for Dave, or are all the naysayers deluded bandwagon jumpers?
Well, as much as I like to verbally kick the metaphorical ballsack of a terrible record… this album isn’t all that terrible!
Once you get your head around the fact that the band are way past their prime and are never gonna come close to Rust in Peace et al again and just listen to the album for what it is, there are some surprising treats!
Megadeth have slowed down. They’re barely what you’d call thrash metal anymore; a lot of the material is more akin to mid-paced hard rock than metal and Dave’s voice has lost a good deal of its bitter snarl (except on “Built For War” but more on that later).
The title track in particular has been met with derisive howls from metal’s public gallery, but it’s just a good hard rocking track that happens to be more in tune with classic AC/DC than classic Megadeth!
It’s been said on more than one occasion that Mustaine could never figure out whether he wanted to be a metal or a pop musician, but he’s dulled that duality somewhat and found some common ground on Super Collider.
I really don’t think he’s just going through the motions for the sake of the bottom line or anything like that. It genuinely sounds like he’s having fun on a lot of the tracks.
The riffs don’t come hurtling at you with blinding speed like they did on the likes of Rust… but there are some tasty ones, particularly in “Built For War” and “Dance in the Rain” which are definitely reminiscent of their classic era.
The lead breaks are (for Megadeth) fairly scant and this is a possible sticking point for many fans, but it don’t bother me… more room for the songs to shine…or stink?
Well, so it’s really awesome then and everyone else is wrong are they? No. No it isn’t, an no they aren’t….not entirely.
While some of the tracks are pretty decent, others are utterly execrable. They’re not even fillers…they’re fucking emptiers; stadium emptiers!
Some of the more odious culprits are “Dance in the Rain” (besides one riff) which sounds as if it was written by a sci-fi Tenacious D on a bad day!
“Forget to Remember” is a plodding, ponderous quasi-ballad that would serve as a great soporific were it not so irritatingly bad! Ditto “Off the Edge”. The cringe-worthy lyrical delivery (rhyming crazy with crazy?? That’s crazy!) is paired with a limp-wristed pseudo thrash riff until the song just….ends. Without crescendo, without explanation or context. Mind boggling.
“Burn” begins with some “shredding”…I guess they though it necessary at some point, but it quickly becomes obvious that this is Dave’s “pop” moment on the album and it contains yet more awful lyrics. How’s this for deep?
“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”
Oh such prose! Worthy of the great bard Shakespeare himself! Christ, get the guy some lyrical inspiration someone….or at least a thesaurus!!
Yeah well those tracks are terrible. Nuff said about them, but as mentioned previously there is redemption within the grooves….
“The Blackest Crow” begins with a banjo & violin duet….yeah you read that right…and it’s really good! It’s got a sort of dark alt-country vibe to it which continues throughout the track before it becomes a kind of southern rock ballad with Mustaine actually sounding tortured and inspired for once!
“The Beginning of Sorrow” is another slower track, but the chorus possesses some really cool vocal harmonies.
The opening track “Kingmaker” is a gives the listener a reasonable aural pummelling as an intro and as mentioned previously the title track is pretty damned rockin’!
The best track by a country mile is “Built for War”. It’s got that classic Megadeth rifferama going on, some much needed rhythmic complexity which is lacking from the rest of the album….and look! Dave’s got his snarl back!!….momentarily….”Off the Edge” follows and quickly fucks up the vibe for all and sundry.
Here’s what I’d do if I were you: Procure the album (by whatever means you see fit) and before you listen to it, make a copy and delete the four tracks I just put the boots into….as well as the shithouse cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Cold Sweat”.
Then listen to it & enjoy… and you can show your friends how cool the new Megadeth EP “Spr Clldr” is!
Let’s get one thing straight. The good tracks ain’t brilliant and the bad tracks are awful, but….it’s not the complete and utter disaster many people are making it out to be.
Author – Stew