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Meshuggah - I CD (album) cover

I

Meshuggah

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.15 | 103 ratings

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LiquidEternity
Prog Reviewer
2 stars I suppose a few of my other reviews of Meshuggah albums make it clear that I am not much a fan of the band. But why review only bands you enjoy?

I contains, as many have said before, some of Meshuggah's most brutal and crushing riffs ever recorded on an album. Neat. This is a band built for drummers. The entire four piece act is one massive (and kind of bland) rhythm piece, with the guitar and bass laying down the polyrhythms, the drums doing their thing in time with the guitars, and the harsh screams that sound like the vocalist has just endured the wrong end of the Spanish Inquisition for a couple of hours. Hey, it works for a number of people, so I really can't call them worthless, but coming from a guy who really enjoys some variation in his music, let me warn you: no matter what kind of polyrhythms and complicated ways you can play your instruments, it will all end up sounding the same unless you start playing some different notes. But as far as a rhythm machine goes, Meshuggah isn't bad. They could make a cool backing to a talented orchestra.

I is (that's not bad grammar, right?) not a particularly different release from the rest of theirs. It opens with a couple of minutes of shifting polyrhythms of one note and just the bass drums. Actually, this is pretty much the coolest part of the song. It's fast and crazy and there's a technicality beneath it that keeps giving me the strong desire to pull out of a calculator and figure out what's going on. But from there, the song dives into more atonal screaming and yelling. It's hard to discuss what happens in the last fifteen minutes of the song, because no matter how hard I try, I can't keep my brain from shutting down five or six minutes in. All I can tell you is that unless you are a very big fan of Meshuggah, this will just sound like Meshuggah. There are a few melodies here and there in this song's twenty one minutes, but they are few, far between, and mostly unremarkable.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Meshuggah fans are tired of people whining about how their music is too brutal and too lacking in melody and blah blah blah. Well, for hardcore death metal fans and whatnot, this is probably pretty cool. But for people who are not quite so intrigued by that scene, this album presents what all Meshuggah albums present: a brick wall of painful and nerdy noise. I'm giving it two stars because I know it's not bad, just something that I and most others cannot enjoy. There is a lot of technical skill here, just not much of it going into creative songwriting.

LiquidEternity | 2/5 |

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