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Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.76 | 163 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars A marked improvement.

In comparison to their debut, "Contradictions Collapse", this is a very noticeable step in the direction Meshuggah decided they were going to pave. Unlike the first one, which to me is nothing more than a more complex, more brutal form of Metallica, Meshuggah has created their own unique sound and great promise abounds from them. This is probably their most accessible album, as well as a good place to start for someone new to the band. When I say "accessible" however, that's very relative. Meshuggah is by no means accessible in any way for the traditional prog fan, but this album has plenty of places for the listener to catch their breath amidst all the quasi-jazz soloing provided by Thordendal, who to me stands out as one of the most accomplished metal guitarists in modern-day metal. Me saying that Haake is beginning to sound like the beast he will quickly become at drumming is like saying that kittens might enjoy playing with balls of yarn. He's easily the most original drummer of present day music I've heard. Hagstrom and Nordin really help add to the overall heaviness and brutality of this album as well. Granted it's not as heavy as "Chaosphere", but this album is much more machine-gun thrash metal style. This probably isn't fully progressive, but there are plenty of progressive signs in the odd time signatures and polyrhythms beginning to emerge.

Highlights of this album for me are Future Breed Machine, Soul Burn, and Sublevels. As for my favorite track, that could change depending on what day of the week you ask me. Future Breed Machine has a great intro that sets the mechanical tone that this album is going to have, as well as a very good, jazzy solo provided by Thordendal. Soul Burn might be the most brutal, guttural song on the album, and has some of Kidman's best vocal work. Sublevels has some neat growling by Haake that will show up again on later Meshuggah albums. The spooky atmosphere of this song is a great way to close the album up.

Fans of extremely complex music or those who want to hear what kind of brutality progressive music can offer are more than encouraged to check this out, since it's probably the best studio album to start with Meshuggah. However, not all the people who fit my description will enjoy it without some patience in understanding what is going on. While this is a very good album, I still think Meshuggah has to get to Chaosphere before their sound of perfected. Thus I'll give this album 4 stars, but bump it up to 4.5 because it has no real weaknesses other than the issue mentioned.

horsewithteeth11 | 4/5 |


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