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Meshuggah - Chaosphere CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.95 | 193 ratings

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The Pessimist
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I've recently been exploring the Tech/Extreme Prog Metal genre of progressive rock, and from my experiences so far it just keeps getting more and more interesting. It also gets more and more brutal as i go by discovering new band after new band, most of which being good. I started with Opeth. I then worked my way to Unexpect, which are more intense than brutal. Then to Death, which are plain evil. Now... I've reached Meshuggah. I say this because this incredible metal creature, which shares it's name with the Hebrew word for chaos, are the heaviest band i have ever heard, making all the above bands mentioned look like they don't even know what metal is, let alone how to play it. Of course, Opeth and Death are two of my favourite bands, Opeth especially. But they sure as hell can't play like these guys! I don't think anyone can! It is utter carnage in an aural form, and if your angry, crazy, adventurous or all three, then Meshuggah are for you. Now onto some actual detail.

The songs would all seem similar from a distance. But in fact, regarding key, time signature, rhythmic phrasing and lyrical content, they couldn't be any more different. The only thing that is the same about them all is... well, the volume. But that is what you buy the CD for: to play really f***ing LOUD. All the instrumentalists (especially Thomas Haake, who is one of the greatest drummers of all time, period) are clearly virtuoso players and undoubtedly have some formal training behind them. Stunning musicianship if you're into that sort of thing, just try and tap along to any of the tracks here: you'll see what i mean. As for the shouting? As with any strange vocal style, you get use to it. I find myself shouting along with them these days, it's strangely catchy. So as long as you overlook the vocals as i did, a whole world of brutal innovation will be opened to you and you can delve even deeper into this side of music, with great results.

My personal favourites off this album, although very hard to pick out, are New Millenium Cyanide Christ, Neurotica, TMLWYB and Sane. New Millenium is quite simply a stunning arrangement throughout, Thomas Haake is on fire (this song is a brilliant example of his unique style and technique), however the best part of this song is the outro. Yes, it is in 4/4, although it doesn't sound that way. Aside from that, it's got an excellent groove to it, which is what counts in metal for me. Neurotica is no different. Just as challenging, just as satisfying and just as f***ed up, but just in a different key, rhythm and speed. The polyrhythms in this song are bliss! TMLWYB is in my opinion one of Thomas Haake's best performances. It's quite amazing how he keeps those complex beat so tight and in time, i personally cannot get my head around it at all. All i can say is, he is one angry man. Sane has a very catchy riff at the beginning, with great lyrics and otherworldly rhythm guitar playing. It's just another standard song from this album, but with something special: it has progression, starting from about 1:53, and something that the rest of the songs don't boast as boldly about.

I don't normally give out 5 stars, and i feel quite guilty about this one. However, because of originality, musicianship and for being a right kick in the balls to the music industry, i have no choice. They are utter genii, and anyone who doesn't see that isn't looking at them in the right way. I'm currently listening to Destroy Erase Improve, and i like what i hear. Expect a review of it in a couple of weeks :)

I recommend once again that classic prog fans stay well away from this genre. It isn't for you :D

The Pessimist | 5/5 |


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