MEGADETH – Super Collider

Megadeth - SupercoliderHere’s a career that has been rollercoastering its way around since Dave Mustaine got the boot from Metallica in 1983 and formed his own band Megadeth. The reasons are of course Mustaine’s big mouth and the guys’ well known heroin addiction. Megadeth broke in to the big league with their Countdown To Extinction album back in 1992, with a sound that was more melodic than before, just like Metallica did. Around this time, Megadeth were, apart from Metallica of course, the biggest selling thrash metal band around, but they were never even close to threatening Metallica as the kings of metal and they still aren’t in any position to do so. Their popularity stayed the same with 1994’s Youthanasia, my favourite Megadeth album, but with Cryptic Writings (1997) and Risk (1999) they almost lost it all. Their fans were furious of their new mainstream sound and some songs even had pop tendencies. The thrash metal that they used to play had become less and less evident on their last albums, were now gone and Megadeth had turned in to a melodic hard rock band. I always thought that those records were really good, but on the other hand, I have never been a big thrash metal fan either. The stable line up that had been around since 1990 and Rust In Peace when both drummer Nick Menza and guitarist Marty Friedman jumped the, now clean, ship of Mustaine and his bass playing “brother” David “Jr” Ellefson. The band tried to get back to basics with their underrated The World Needs A Hero (2001), but it didn’t sell that well as the old fans were still sceptic if Mustaine would deliver this time around. It was around that time that Ellefson  and Mustaine fell out and Ellefson left the band in a rage and the two best friends didn’t speak to each other for eight years. Mustaine has kept Megadeth alive all along, but truth be told, Megadeth was more Mustaine’s solo project than an actual band. Up until 2010, that is, when Ellefson returned after working things out with his old buddy again.

The Ellefson-less albums all had their moments and I really like both The System Has Failed (2004) and Endgame (2009). But it was when Ellefson came back and the band recorded Thirteen (2011) that they actually started to sound like Megadeth for real again. Now, just to make one thing clear, the Megadeth that were a thrash metal band are forever gone, and also, the pop oriented band are the same – gone! The Megadeth of the 2000 are a refined edition of the band. If anyone says that they don’t do metal no more, they are lying. Megadeth is still a metal band, but this is more catchy stuff. I would never call them cheesy or pop, but the melodies are definitely more distinct nowadays. Some people don’t like this at all, but there will always be metal fans that believe that it’s more important to be hard and brutal than to have memorable melodies. Some people, like me really do like this. The title Super Collider may sound more angry and hard than Thirteen does, but this album is actually the other way around, more melodic and holds less thrash influences than in a very long time. The opening track here, “Kingmaker” made me worried at first listen, as it isn’t all that great. It doesn’t do much and the best thing about the song is that the vocal melody reminds me of “Children Of The Grave” by Black Sabbath. But the title track that follows blows all my worries away – a very good melodic and catchy metal tune, but with “Burn” they go downhill again. The verses are great but the chorus really doesn’t go anywhere at all and “Built For War” is weak and doesn’t stand out at all. Now all my worries has made their way back so it’s nice that the brilliant “Off The Edge” comes along and kicks my doubts away once more. It’s a brilliant song, very catchy and melodic, but still not commercial.

“Dance In The Rain” is a killer – melodic metal, but technical, not a far cry from the early Megadeth’ techno metal influences, that also features David Draiman of Disturbed. “Beginning Of Sorrow” is great, heavy and dark with a killer melody, “The Blackest Crow” is just amazing, a dark and gloomy track which both holds an acoustic guitar and groove, “Forget To Remember” is one of my favourite tracks here – it’s a hard rock track, not metal at all and they finishes the album with a great cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Cold Sweat”, although it’s not that different to the original. Despite some uneven songs, I believe this to be a very good Megadeth album – a great mix of the metal of Youthanasia and the melodies of Cryptic Writings, if you will. It feels like they are moving away from the thrash thing here, but without losing the metal and I think it fits them very well. Where Megadeth will go after this, only Dave knows, but predictable isn’t a word that fits this lot, so who knows, maybe next time we get a So Far, So Good, So What soundalike, although that doesn’t sound likely at this point. Together with Thirteen, this album is their best since the mid 90’s.

Jon Wilmenius (7/10)

Tracklist:

01. Kingmaker
02. Super Collider
03. Burn!
04. Built For War
05. Off The Edge
06. Dance In The Rain
07. Beginning Of Sorrow
08. The Blackest Crow
09. Forget To Remember
10. Don’t Turn Your Back…
11. Cold Sweat

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9 comments on “MEGADETH – Super Collider

  1. Rob Halford (the metal god) says Megadeth when it comes to consistency has been a better metal band over the years than Metallica. 8 out of 10 neue regel. Good review Jon.

  2. I would really like to say thank you, but…
    I’m a bit curious. Am I not the one writing reviews about bands I know nothing about? Am I not the one not knowing about the genius and concept about this album as I didn’t explain the title Super Collider? How can this review be any good to you?

  3. It stands to reason the more information incorporated into the review the better the review, its common sense that the title speaks to where the artists thoughs are in regards to his/her work.

    Get off your high horse Jon, Get over my heckling of your Geoff Tate Queensryche review people aren’t always going to agree with or go along with your thinking. Grow the f**k up.

  4. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Mustain perform live in Tampa and I have no problem saying he’s one of the most talented rockers I’ve seen perform. Rock star quality performer and Mustain makes it look easy!

  5. Dude, I wrote that reply ages ago, long before I said I wanted us to leave all that Geoff Tate stuff behind us. And what you wrote there is exactly what I wrote in my reply in the Queensryche review. Let’s not go in there again. Besides, there is nothing to get over. I have never tried to convince anybody my opinions, I only answered to yours. You were the one who got upset about my review, not the only way around.
    And in all honesty, who the fuck wants to grow up… ? 😉

    ABout Megadeth and Mustaine as live performers, you have my view here:

    https://etainmentnewsreviews.wordpress.com/festivals/festival-reviews-2011/the-big-4-ullevi-gothenburg-sweden-2011-07-03/

    And what I wrote in there has been the case, more or less, everytime I’ve seen Megadeth in action. But I still like to say that I think that Megadeth are an awesome band and I really like their music, evens tuff like Cryptic Writings and Risk, stuff that everybody hates.

  6. Cool, cuz I like your site and reviews! And like Bruce Dickenson said last time they were in Tampa just before Maiden layed down “Blood Brothers” ……”we all have more in common than not” ….best song of the night and they did Trooper!…….

    Agree love Cryptic Writings!

  7. Checked out the Megadeth live performance review wow brutal! Really its all subjective because it is an art to perform live and having a bad night is in play and your view of Megadeth is identical to mine the last time Metallica rolled into Tampa killer music but to me they were just off and I didn’t enjoy it like some other shows same venue.

  8. Cool review. There’s definitely a spark of freshness to this album even if a few of the songs are undercooked. The album definitely comes into its own in the final stages.

    One for fans of Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings. Glad you feel The World Needs a Hero was underrated too. I totally agree.

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