I’m glad I waited several days before completing this review, as my knee-jerk reaction to hearing Megadeth’s new album Super Collider was not a good one.
Megadeth is by far my favorite band of all time. I’ve seen them in concert on almost every album since 1990's Rust in Peace. I have listened to Megadeth for more hours than I’ve listened to any other band (and as a metalhead since my middle school days, I’ve listened to a ridiculous amount of music). I was the kid who boycotted Metallica because they kicked Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine out of the band.
So it truly pains me to say that while Megadeth’s new album Super Collider is a decent, maybe even good rock album, it is not a good Megadeth album.
It’s not just that this album is less heavy and speedy than most of their catalog--although it is. It’s the fact it’s so vanilla. Megadeth has always been a band that consisted of amazing musicians, and Dave Mustaine is known for writing complex rhythms and iconic riffs. This album has little of of either of those things. Even the album’s best songs “Kingmaker” and “Dance in the Rain” show only flashes of brilliance before descending into cliched fills and flat solos that drag the overall songs down. The rest of the songs are just a grab bag of rehashed riffs, bad lyrics and phoned-in solos.
I might sound harsh here, punishing my favorite band for daring to experiment and try something new. But that’s just the thing--there is no new ground being broken here.
And that’s the real difference between Super Collider and the band’s previously most controversial album, Risk. While there was one real clunker on Risk ("Crush ‘Em") and the album was a tonal shift from their previous ones, Risk was full of creative and musically complex songs that still contained elements of Megadeth’s signature sound. Super Collider almost sounds like Dave Mustaine singing on someone else’s hard rock album. Risk is a better album than this one from top to bottom.
After several listens through the record, I can’t help but think that the music on Super Collider is beneath these guys. They are so much better than this.
Now, after 30 years of being one of the best bands on the planet, Dave Mustaine and company can do whatever they want. I can’t thank them enough for the thousands of hours of enjoyment I’ve gotten for their music. Megadeth’s catalog is full of amazing albums that I will be listening to for the rest of my life.
But Super Collider won’t be among them.
2.5 out of 5 Not for Me’s
P.S. If you want to hear an amazing Megadeth album, you need only go back as far as their 2009 masterpiece, Endgame. Twenty years after Rust in Peace, Megadeth proved they were still a force to be reckoned with. Yet another reason Super Collider is so disappointing.