More than most releases, I've taken a lot of extra time listening to Megadeth's SUPER COLLIDER, if for no other reason than to figure out just why I don't think it's very good. With Megadeth, it's always a scenario where the first few listens remind you of a lot of other stuff they have done. You have to give them more time though, as the Dave Mustaine sound has a way of either sticking with you when it's truly brilliant, or just sounding tired when it's not. Certainly, any metalhead knows the difference between an album like RUST IN PEACE and another like THE WORLD NEEDS A HERO. It's the same guy, and literally the same audio quality of performance, but that spark is completely different between the two albums. With KINGMAKER, Mustaine and company just fall flat, even though it's a well recorded album that's unmistakably Megadeth.
It's not RISK, folks. But it's not that good either. Much like Megadeth's last album THIRTEEN, all the elements are there except for one - exceptional songs. It's too bad too, because they seemed like they had clawed their way back to elite status with their unbelievably good album ENDGAME a few years ago. This time out, Mustaine has penned a collection of songs that are fair, but there's not much else to say about them. Listening to songs like "Dance In The Rain", you definitely know it's Megadeth, but you also know it's a tired, unenthused version of the band. Other songs, like "Beginning Of Sorrow" are just mid-tempo, boring numbers that lack almost all of that classic Mustaine ferocity on both vocals and guitars. In fact, the lack of great guitars could very well be the biggest element missing on SUPER COLLIDER. Having two amazing lead players like Dave Mustaine and Chris Broderick in your lineup, you just expect a lot more than what is delivered on SUPER COLLIDER. Sure, the guitars are loud, but they are very dull. On songs like "The Blackest Crow", the overall idea of guitar dichotomy mixed with banjo and some slide guitar is cool, but it just sort of lays there dead on arrival.
The same can be said about Mustaine's vocal performance throughout SUPER COLLIDER. In short, he just sounds bored and not up to his usual level of aggression that is needed to power his music. He's singing more than barking out lyrics, and that's just plain boring. "Forget To Remember" has literally no energy in it vocally at all. Even a song like the title track could have been a great track, but is plagued by vocals that are just a touch past spoken word intensity.
PITRIFF RATING - 51/100 - It's not RISK, but this one lays at the bottom of the barrel with THE WORLD NEEDS A HERO in my book. Every album can't be a home run for a band with 30 years of history, but they can all be better than this. SUPER COLLIDER sounds decent enough, but it's just flat and fairly lifeless. With each listen, you find yourself having less and less interest. This one goes straight to the forgotten list, where every once in awhile it'll come on in some shuffle play and remind me to listen to some better Megadeth albums.