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Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.80 | 125 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
1 stars It almost seems like a cop out.

Meshuggah is widely known for producing music that is highly complex and barely digestible. I have no qualms with that. But the band seemed to come up with this idea that there doesn't need to be melody, doesn't need to be interplay, and there doesn't need to be any variation. The last comment sounds like it should be ridiculous, but it isn't. Even though the band comes up with bunches of rapidly shifting time signatures and polyrhythms, in truth there is next to no variation anywhere on this album. Note: there is exaggeration approaching. For the most part, the guitars play one note (the lowest), the bass plays one note (the same as the guitars), the bass drums play with the guitars and bass, and the vocalist screams one note (if you can call it a note, which you can't). All are technically skilled, but to me this album is the definition of stuck in a rut.

Sure, high complexity rhythms that require calculators to break down have their allure. On paper, Meshuggah is fascinating. But when it comes down to actually listening to the music, this band is very much an acquired taste. Fans praise its brutality, its raw chugging feel. Both are present, and the band does well with both. In fact, if you are really into straight rage and brutality, you might like this. But with so little distinction between any two sections of any two songs on the album, any sort of emotive response is almost instantly dulled into numbness. Though the band does end up working out some of these kinks to a degree, this album is plagued by mononotous and painful drudgery.

It works for a lot of people, it seems. Maybe it works well to listen to once in a while, offset by other music that features melody or lyrics (or does the Meshuggah guy actually intend words with his hoarse gutterals?). Destroy Erase Improve seems built on rigid structures, a bare bones sort of music. And to those who enjoy eating bones for dinner because its just so brutal, go ahead. To anyone who is interested by the band description and expecting something like Dream Theater or Tool, wait. You might like this music, but not if you are expecting anything like either of those bands.

I hate writing terribly negative reviews, partly because I almost always see the upside in any band, but I cannot in good conscience either give this album any more than the lowest rating, nor could I ever recommend this album to anyone I know.

LiquidEternity | 1/5 |


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