Monday, June 10, 2013

Megadeth, "Super Collider"

Super Collider
Reviewed by: Rob Acocella

By this point in my life, I think I'm finally able to use the term "lifelong fan" without worrying about how I didn't know about the band when I was 5 and technically it hasn't been my whole life. I've been a fan of this band ever since I became a fan of Metal back in junior high, and I've stuck by them through all the highs and lows since. And, like every lifelong Megadeth fan, I was curious to see how they'd follow up 2011's TH1RT3EN.

Super Collider opens with what you would think would be the obvious single, "Kingmaker." While it didn't make it as the first single, I can tell that this song will be a big hit in the live set, as it's one of the few anthemic tracks on the album. It's got a classic Megadeth vibe with a more modern personality. The second track is the title track and lead-off single. I have to be honest and say that when they previewed this track online I thought it was a very bad sign of things to come, but it's a grower, and now that I've heard it a few times, I don't mind it as much. It's just odd for Megadeth to have a title track that winds up being one of the less aggressive songs on the album. It honestly feels like Dave decided to try writing a Classic Rock tune with this one. Considering how long the band has been around (this is NOT an age joke, by the way) it makes sense to put out at least one track that could possibly appeal to another range of radio stations to get more airplay. Nothing wrong with doing that, and it's still a good song if you're open enough to the fact that they're not going to be putting out a second recording of Killing Is My Business any time soon.

"Burn!" and "Built For War" aren't bad songs, but I feel they're just the run-of-the-mill album filler. They have their place on here, but aren't really standout tracks. "Off The Edge" and "Dance In The Rain" are reminiscent of World Needs a Hero and the sound the band went for on that album. "Dance In The Rain," in particular, is, lyrically, one of my favorite songs on here, focusing on the plight of a middle-class worker struggling to get by in an economy that doesn't allow one to thrive. And, as you could expect, there is the expected social and political commentary from Dave on this one.

"Beginning of Sorrow" is another strong track and an obvious favorite with an awesome bass intro and bitter, brooding lyrics about an unwanted teen pregnancy. At this point in the album, you can imagine that the listener has already picked up on the vast array of Megadeth flavors peppered in. But if you're anything like me, when you get to "The Blackest Crow," you're first thought will be "...fucking banjo?!" Believe me when I say this, give it a chance, because even though the intro is deceiving, the ganjo (not a typo, ganjo is an actual instrument, apparently) actually fits this dark song pretty well.

"Forget to Remember" picks up the mood again with a more lively energy and plenty of radio-friendly hooks, making it a great Rock song, if not slightly depressing, as the song is about a battle with Alzheimer's Disease. The Jazz style jam that introduces "Don't Turn Your Back" quickly slides into a pulsing riff with double bass drums with a vibe that could have easily put this song on Cryptic Writings. The album then closes strongly with a cover of Thin Lizzy's "Cold Sweat" that is done pretty true to the original, if not a good bit heavier in classic Megadeth fashion.

Super Collider is a collection of songs that covers a gamut of style ranges for the band, and provides some thought-provoking messages. It's a solid follow-up to TH1RT3EN and, even though some songs may need to grow on some people, I feel it will ultimately earn its place among some of the band's best recordings. The musicianship, as always, needs no description. If you don't already know what a talented lineup this is, then I question why you're even reading this.

Rating: 4/5

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