Megadeth – Super Collider

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Megadeth
Super Collider
Tradecraft/Universal

Poor Dave Mustaine. He just can’t win, can he? Whether it’s his dispatch from Metallica gnawing away, to his gripes with ‘Satanic’ bands, or even when Megadeth are truly on top of their game, it seems people have always got their crosshairs trained to him, wanting to shine one more laser in his eyes. Having read a lot of stuff from the metal TMZs of this world, it feels like recent reviews for new album ‘Super Collider‘ have not been entirely because it’s perceived lack of quality, but rather for Dave Mustaine’s recent outspoken political views which have caused more than a few ripples in the metal scene. I have to therefore disagree with certain reviewers simply on the notion that hating the man doesn’t justify hating his game. Thus, ‘Super Collider‘ is best judged on its own merits. Mustaine is clearly not aiming for ‘Rust in Peace II’ or a definitive sequel to ‘Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?‘ Nor is this a return to ‘Endgame‘, the last truly awesome Megadeth album in my opinion. But is it really as bad as the massive metal flopper that was ‘Risk‘?

Heck no. This isn’t a masterpiece by any stretch but for the most part, it’s actually an enjoyable juxtaposition between classic thrash-tinged heavy metal and a classic hard rock that we all know Mustaine loves very much. ‘Kingmaker’ is evident of this as it opens proceeding, grooving and chugging along in swaggering fashion, while ‘Dance in the Rain’ could have been written about Edward Snowden, as it details ‘the powers that be will never win/a storm is coming, so get ready/to dance in the rain‘. It’s the high point of the album, a lurking melo-groover at first because morphing into classic Megadeth territory as Disturbed/Device’s David Draiman comes along to  denounce the US government and CIA in a surprisingly great turn as a moonlighting classic heavy metal vocalist, and ‘Don’t Turn Your Back’ features one hell of a vocal hook.

It doesn’t all come up roses – the title track, while well constructed and by no means the worst attempt at stadium rock, its unfortunately not bereft of any lyrical cheese, and as such it’s rather a millstone compared to much of the rest of the album. ‘The Blackest Crow’ is  clumsy in its attempt to country-fy the ‘Deth sound, while ‘Burn!’ is the umpteenth song about motorcycles he’s written and its pretty tiresome. and too much of the rest of the album seems to go along doing OK but not standing out significantly to make any real impact on my ears. But really, an abject failure? Hardly. Mustaine’s 51 now. Do you really envisage him wanting to make a pure thrash album ever again? You can’t blame him for making the album he and Megadeth want, rather than catering to fans’ – and detractors’ – lofty expectations all the time. So he’s gone the mainstream route again. Let’s at least respect him for being daring and not trying to recreate his former glories in potentially tragic failure.

Peter Clegg

Megadeth – Dance in the Rain

Buy ‘Super Collider‘ here

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