Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
Super Collider is a Modern Experimental Album
Super Collider is another one of those albums by Megadeth that is going to get a lot of criticism by fans because it does not sound like the thrash metal that we were used to hearing on the band’s first four albums. A brief listen to this album several years ago left me feeling like this was a really bad album. Fast forward to 2021 and the desire to explore and listen to another controversial Megadeth album is here. There needs to be the realization that artists change and what is on demand by the record labels changes as well. Super Collider is another experimental Megadeth album similar to what Risk was. Megadeth is not going to be able to recreate another Rust in Peace. Rust in Peace was written in 1990 at a totally different time for the metal genre. These days, there are so many sub-genres that we have to keep track of. The technology has advanced in such a way that more modern equipment is being used. Super Collider isn’t Rust in Peace and it was not intended to be. There is such a thing as musical evolution and if Megadeth had tried to re-create their older material, could they really evolve?
One other thing that is worth mentioning is that Dave Mustaine is not a terrible vocalist. Just take a look at a few songs from much earlier in Magadeth’s career such as “Angry Again” or even the cover performance of the song Paranoid! He sings way better than Ozzy Osbourne ever could. All it takes is to really listen deeply and analyze the later Megadeth albums. At least they have done something different instead of staying musically stale.
How Does Super Collider Begin?
Super Collider begins with “Kingmaker” which is about the epidemic of drug addiction. Sometimes we want things that can make us feel alright but we go towards things that are detrimental to our lives. Super Collider is an album that feels dramatically different to the ears in 2021 than even in 2015 but that’s called having an open mind. The album shows that Dave Mustaine was not done experimenting musically and in this case it works again as it did with Risk back in 1999.
Dedicated to Dave Mustaine
As a good gesture this review of Super Collider is being dedicated to the one and only Dave Mustaine, a guitarist whose talents I really respect. Thank you for coming back after your arm injury to bring us more good music.
What is the Musical Style of Super Collider?
Even if Mustaine had decided to end Megadeth’s activities for good in 2002, the band would still have been considered one of the best in the history of heavy metal even with the weak Cryptic Writings and the highly criticized Risk. There is a metal feel to Super Collider. It isn’t heavy thrash metal like fans saw from 1985 through 1990 however it is modern rock and melodic metal that mostly works if you are able to notice the subtle goodness of the album. If you aren’t able to handle that Super Collider isn’t going to be a Rust in Peace Part 2 then I encourage you to skip this album. For the time that it was written it offers the experimentation that Risk had with a modern metal twist to it.
Analysis of the Songs Burn! and Built for War
Joining Mustaine as the other guitarist on this album is Chris Broderick who is talented as well, providing us some good introductory lead guitar work on the song “Burn!” When you’ve got that burning desire as this song states, not even an arm injury can deter you from trying to make more music. “Built for War” though is one of those songs that sees Megadeth trying to sound like Mental Care Foundation, a groovy thrash metal band from Finland. “Built for War” is one of those songs that may not be one of the ones that fits given the fact that much of the album is melodic rock and metal.
"Cold Sweat" Thin Lizzy Cover
Analysis of the Songs Off the Edge and Dance in the Rain
Then we have the song called “Off the Edge” which lyrically is trying to point out that the world has gone crazy. Which way is right and which way is wrong? It is too easy to feel that the world has gone crazy but Dave Mustaine is one of those guys that thinks very deeply about issues relating to the world. “Dance in the Rain” is a deeply anti-corporate song as the song also shifts to saying that we should learn how to dance in the rain and not wait for the sun to come up. It is a metaphor basically saying that we should try to look for the silver lining during hard times.
Final Thoughts About Super Collider
For many people listening to Super Collider it is going to feel like a very musically bland album. Given the fact that Super Collider is such a different kind of Megadeth album, if you are just getting into this band’s music I would not recommend that you listen to this album first. If you are just getting into Megadeth’s music and you want to hear something more modern to fit in with the times, take a look at Countdown to Extinction or The World Needs a Hero. Super Collider is more of modern metal album that deals with some very important social issues such as war or the deepening economic divide as the middle class is getting squeezed out of the equation. Ending this album is a great cover of the song “Cold Sweat” originally written by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy. The only real sub-standard song in Super Collider is the song “Built for War” that feels musically out of place.
© 2021 Ara Vahanian