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Meshuggah - I CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.16 | 122 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Huh??

That was my initial reaction when I listened to this brutal and mechanical piece of work. This is not an album, but an EP composed of a single massive song that is 21 minutes long.

Why this album is great

The musicianship is absolutely mind blowing. these guys play perfectly with insane speeds and time signatures without a single flaw in a continuous 20+ minute track, and the guitar solos are musically impressive as well. The rhythm section is usually composed of time signatures that probably don't even have integers as it seems to be undecipherable. The music manages to be very coherent from one section to another for the whole time, never letting go the heavy sound except for a few eerie soft moments that work very well and are never out of place. The riffs are all based on these rhythms and appear to have subtle variations in every measure, and despite the unusual rhythms, it still manages to not sound awkward and come off as extremely brutal, mechanic, and some of the heaviest guitar-driven recordings in the history of music. In addition, the majority of these guitar riffs are phenomenal, including the only one you can headband to midway into the song (it is on 4/4). The heaviness of the rhythm guitars is amplified by the maniacal double-bass drumming and the death-metal vocals, making complete this machine that is ready to annihilate your ears.

Why this album is horrible

Please, dear machine, have mercy on me! Being musically brutalized for 21 minutes with barely much of a break is just exhausting to the ears! The death-metal vocals are in my opinion completely unnecessary except for the lyrics which really fit and are poetic, if in a violent way. This song could have just been instrumental. Also, there is hardly any melody or harmony to be found in here, making this musical journey difficult. I mean, how can you listen to a 21 minute long song without really any melody? The only kind of melody to be found is in minute three, when a nice lead guitar plays along with the brutal guitar riff very beautifully. In addition, the music just has no emotion, no soul ... it's purely calculated and mathematical. The bass is as inaudible as in Dream Theater, which is a shame as it could have played some neat bass lines as a counterpoint to the rhythm guitar. Another problem I have with it is the beginning of the piece which is nothing but trashy noise for almost two minutes. the last problem is repetition, you have music based on guitar riffs and the death-metal vocals always sound the same. It's just overkill!

Well, my 5-star and 1-star qualities cancel each other into a 3 star album. I recommend this album to extreme-metal lovers and anyone who is adventurous to try something radically different. Symphonic rock lovers, approach this EP with extreme caution.

Zitro | 3/5 |


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