'SUPER COLLIDER' ALBUM REVIEW AT BIGMUSICGEEK.COM
When guitarist Dave Mustaine was ousted from 'Big Four' Thrash Metal icons Metallica amid less-than-amicable circumstances in 1983, many wondered what would become of the notoriously-mercurial axeman. Fortunately, Mustaine, armed with guitarist Chris Poland, bassist David Ellefson and drummer Gar Samuelson, wasted little--if any--time launching the soon-to-be-groundbreaking Thrash Metal group Megadeth, unleashing their stunning full-length debut Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good in 1985. Furthering their rapidly-arcing career trajectory with the release of the multi-Platinum Peace Sells...But Who's Buying (1986) and the curiously-underrated So Far, So Good...So What?! (1988), the group quickly established themselves as pioneers of a volatile new sub-genre. Now, nearly thirty years (!) later, the group, appearing as resilient and as ever, have returned with a bloodthirsty vengeance, issuing the highly-anticipated Super Collider.
On the stellar Super Collider (2013), an expertly assembled eleven song collection of multi-dimensional Heavy Metal, each track, beginning with the deliciously shred-laden lament “Burn!” and the bile-spewing, self-explanatory tirade “Built For War”, immediately commands the rapt and undivided attention of all parties involved, myself most definitely included. Flexing their more than considerable creative muscles early and often, the group brazenly engulfs the proverbial average listener (most notably you, the increasingly faithful reader) amid a veritable avalanche of of soaring vocals, blistering fretwork and imaginatively punishing rhythms. Attempting--or so it would seem--to distance themselves from the shameless, payola and chart position-driven tactics of yore, the yielded auditory excursions, while not necessarily groundbreaking and rather far from revolutionary, are, without a doubt, destined to leave the most pessimistic of 'partakers' utterly fulfilled.
Continuing with the David Draiman-fueled 'corporate nightmare' “Dance In The Rain” and the emotionally-charged, Biblical lament “The Beginning Of Sorrow”, the steadfast combination of vocalist/guitarist Dave Mustaine, lead guitarist Chris Broderick, bassist David Ellefson (F5, Killing Machine, Temple Of Brutality) and drummer Shawn Drover steamroll ahead like the well-oiled machine they so obviously have become. Wisely accentuating their indisputable technical prowess (and, more importantly, furthering their already much-celebrated return to their quasi-prototypical roots begun with United Abominations in 2007), the group unleashes a frequently full-throttle sonic assault that is as overwhelmingly punishing as it is painstakingly executed. Maintaining their now-trademark ferociousness without abandoning the introspective lyrical depth that has personified their later-day recordings, the group drives home each key focal point with a sickening ease.
Co-Produced, Mixed and Engineered by a 'dream team' tandem of the acclaimed Johnny K (3 Doors Down, Disturbed, Sevendust) and Cameron Webb (Alkaline Trio, Motörhead, Pennywise), other standouts, including the maddeningly infectious “The Blackest Crow” and an equally impressive take on the John Sykes co-penned Thin Lizzy classic “Cold Sweat”, only further solidify the group's steadfast reputation as a bona fide creative and commercial force not to be ignored. The sonic equivalent of an errant Panzer IV tank, the group effectively reminds us all of their rightful place amid the hierarchy of the Heavy Metal genre. While quite obviously not the group's most instantly compelling effort to date (a distinction I'll continue to reserve for Countdown To Extinction, Rust In Peace and Youthanasia), what ultimately separates the mighty Super Collider--and thus the group itself--from it's would-be contemporaries is an unparalleled focus on honing their truly razor-sharp chops.
So what, exactly, are you waiting for? Still not sure you'll 'dig' it? With the majority--if not all--of the decidedly airtight wares contained herein serving as a much-welcomed reminder of the group's unabashed lyrical and compositional prowess, the end results of the group's more than considerable efforts are indeed nothing short of extraordinary. Even if you somehow find yourself less-than-enthralled with the group's occasional reliance on quasi-Risk (1999) tonalities (i.e. the oft-maligned first single “Kingmaker”), one must, at the very least, sincerely admire the improbably long-running group's ability to remain relevant as they boldly forge ahead amid their third decade of existence. Needless to say, if you've once again found yourself in search of a refreshingly brutal alternative to the painfully mindless din and clatter that is so often force fed en mass, then this, my friends, might just be the high-octane cure for what ails you. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.