Metal has its share of polarizing figures, and near the top of the list is ’s Dave Mustaine. His political and religious beliefs and controversial statements have made him a lightning rod. That has brought a lot of attention to Megadeth, who have been on a roll, releasing three excellent albums over the past few years. ‘Super Collider’ is their fourteenth album, released on their own imprint via Universal Music.

‘Super Collider’ is a bit of a throwback, but not to classic Megadeth albums like ‘Peace Sells ... But Who’s Buying?’ or ‘Rust in Peace.’ It has more in common with 1999‘s ‘Risk’ and 2001‘s ‘The World Needs a Hero,’ which were not as well received. It’s more hard rock and less thrash metal.

The album starts on a high note with ‘Kingmaker,’ the type of high-energy track you’d expect from Megadeth. That’s neutralized by the run-of-the-mill title track that follows, a hard rock song that’s pretty nondescript.

You know you’re going to get great guitar work from Megadeth. Mustaine and Chris Broderick are two of the best in the business. There are some top-notch riffs on the track ‘Burn’ and throughout the album. The current lineup of Megadeth is one of their best. Dave Ellefson is a rock-solid bass player who provides good backing vocals, as well. Shawn Drover is an underrated drummer, and holds down the rhythmic fort with style.

The most unexpected moment on the album is ‘The Blackest Crow.’ The twangy intro sounds like it is from a bluegrass album before the hard rock kicks in. Megadeth probably doesn’t want a whole album with fiddle on it, but it works well on this song.

There is a guest appearance on the album. David Draiman from Device and Disturbed lends vocals to 'Dance in the Rain,’ which is just okay, and the far superior 'Forget To Remember.’ The proceedings wrap up with a cover of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Cold Sweat,’ one of the best tracks on the record.

If you pick up 'Super Collider’ expecting classic thrashy Megadeth, you’ll be disappointed. It’s there, but only in small doses. This is mainly a hard rock album with some metal moments. Knowing that going in may help shift your expectations. There are a few excellent songs on ‘Super Collider,’ some that are decent, and a couple that can kindly be characterized as filler.