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Meshuggah - I CD (album) cover

I

Meshuggah

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.16 | 126 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Now, me being a fan of virtually every sub-genre of Prog, even all things regarding Iron Maiden, Henry Cow, Zao, Spring, Fantasy, Univers Zero etc.... Tool, even Mastodon....... I expected something 'special' from this offering. I came across this vinyl release whilst on holiday, courtesy of Euclid Records, Nawlins, - complete 21min. version of this meisterwerk, with 2 live tracks and a studio recording tacked onto the 2nd side of this 12" platter. I am NOT a fan of the 'death growl' style of vocals - I do, however, realise, that there is a bucket-load of talent and control to achieve this 'death growl' vocal. And I can't see someone like Jon Anderson spewing out lyrics convincingly enough to suit this incredibly abrasive music. Within a few seconds of the side-long piece, 'I', I listen carefully ; I'm convinced my limbs would fall off within the 17th bar......... These guys from Sweden need to be aware they need some O2 cylinders in tow wherever they go. This is technically proficient metal, with respect to some of the 70's giants. I really get into this music, but I do find these death-growl vocals somewhat immature. Take my analysis with a grain of sand, but I don't dig it, but I do return to this album, enjoy every minute of it. The sound is crisp, tight and clean by today's standards - really a notch beyond 'mainstream' dark-metal acts, and I can say that upon the first few plays of this album I did think that this is not the styling that is 'me'. Well, doesn't matter ; I honestly enjoy this music : The ambitious 21 min. 'I' track, begins with a harsh barrage of palm-muted guitar chunking in 7/8 time, cacophonous and noisy, breaking into the vocal part that is jagged, yet flows effortlessly blow-by-blow, until a dead-stop offers some strange singular guitar notes, springing up and down, as if being de-tuned, then BANG ! - complex rhythm that recalls Genesis' Apocalypse In 9/8 section, but heavier, more tech-oriented, and the band continue. Simply put : very impressive,. Moving on, the live tracks, recorded during the Ophidian Trek tour 2012-2013, titled 'Bleed' (7:20), and 'Dancers To A Discordant System' (9:51), show that these guys know their material inside-out, have the intelligence and stamina to pull this music off. It's tough, heavy, dark and ferocious......... I don't claim to be a specialist in this style of music, but it does tick most of the boxes for my ears. There is a 3rd track called Pitch Black, at 6 mins long, and features robotic vocals (better than the growl for me), and a repetitious riff, heavy on bass, that reminds me of something the Zeuhl bands indulge in. Oh how I wish this was instrumental. No doubt, EXCELLENT in most ways.

Tom Ozric | 4/5 |

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