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Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.82 | 158 ratings

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The Pessimist
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Well I think Meshuggah may have nailed it with this album. This, paired with Chaosphere, is possibly the finest album of technical metal I have ever heard. The music is mathematically bombastic to no limit, however it isn't pompous, as pomposity would probably turn its nose up at the raw brutality and violence of this music. Once again, no melody to be found here, and even if you can call some bits melody, those parts are scarce. This is one of the reasons I love this album, and furthermore, this band in general. In ways, I do prefer DEI to Chaosphere. There is a lot more variety here, for example, and the riffs are generally way more inventive, however there is one thing that seperates the two, and makes Chaosphere the more superior: the latter mentioned is more of a statement in metal, it is way more technical and probably the least accessible of all Meshuggah's discography. It is a hard concept to grasp, but those who are fans of Meshuggah will hopefully understand what I mean.

Now onto the actual tracks. The album opens with a bang, Future Breeding Machine is by far one of Meshuggah's strongest tracks, and features the heavy technicallity that fans love in abundance. It then leads into Beneath, that kicks off with a mellow intro and moves forwards into a creative onslaught. The only disappointing thing about this track is the unbearable ending, but you can merely skip that section. Soul Burn is another candidet for Meshuggah's greatest song ever. Tomas Haake is at his very best here and I never get tired of listening to any of it. The best bit is the middle section, in which in a nutshell, the band goes nuts on a heavy influenced avant-garde-jazz jam. Nothing more can be said, other than it is incredible music.

Transfixion once again showcases Haake's amazingly tight drumlines, and some blistering tapping courtesy of Thordendal. Another very strong track that never gets dull, nor simple for that matter. Vanished is the weakest track off the album, however it still melts face in the vein of all it's prequels. Acrid Placidity is the mellow track which on any band's standards is superb to listen to. Quite on the contrary to the rest of DEI, this song is lush and clean, mellow and floating.

This however only lasts for approximately two minutes, after which we are bombarded once again with Inside What's Within Behind, which is a confusing song to say the least. Tomas Haake really shows his rhythmic dexterity here by deliberately adding his ride symbol precisely one semi-quaver after the main pulse generated by the band and his right foot. Now I'm no expert on drum history, but I'm guessing that hasn't been done too many times before has it? Terminal Illusions opens up with a very eerie synth intro that although is mellow in comparison, is probably the most unnerving section of the album. We are then treated to what Meshuggah do best: technical, fast, heavy music for around three minutes. Here we see in technicolour how the band quite literally turn rhythms inside out. Listen to the 1st verse and 2nd verse in adjacence to understand what I am talking about.

Suffer in Truth is a slowish number that is truly brutal. Some polyrhythms dot this great track, and the particular one in the middle maybe one of Meshuggah's funkiest. Sublevels is a standout track as is features Haake's spoken voice as the primary vocals instrument. An unusual track, this is littered with untouchable rhythmical dexterity and is just a treat to hear as the other songs.

All of the tracks on DEI are wonderful and unique in their own way, despite their many similarities. Once again though, as with Chaosphere, this is the modern prog-metalhead's album. I couldn't recommend this any more to anyone with a good taste for adventure though. Superb, but not as innovative as Chaosphere; 4 stars.

The Pessimist | 4/5 |


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