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Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.80 | 149 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Considered by many to be the band's Magnum Opus, "Destroy Erase Improve" is certainly one mind blowing album. That is not even a stretch, after the first listen I thought my brain exploded. This is the album that truly defined the Meshuggah style. Crushingly heavy riffs, jazz fusion, extreme technicality, and bizzare time signature use. Truly the epitome of technical metal, (but not quite yet Prog-Metal, although it's getting there). It should be noted this album still has a thrashy feel to it, but not nearly as much as "Contradictions Collapse"

This album has all the we love and expect from Meshuggah. Crushing riffs, and insane drumming. Though it is not to the level of later albums you can clearly hear the magnificent work of Thomas Haake. His playing runs the gambit on this album. We hear double bass pounding thrash beats, to slow jazzy drumming, (that is quite beautiful) to has signature off beat, poly-rhythmic patterns.

Although we heard bits of it before, this album really expands on the jazz fusion elements. The drumming and guitar work in these parts are simply beautiful. Best examples are in Future Breed Machine, Vanished, Inside What's Within Behind, and Sublevels.

You can hear it in many of the solos as well. To a less musically traveled ear the solo's may sound like crazy metal shreds, but we here know better. The solo's are very jazzy. It also creates a very interesting juxtaposition. Not often can you hear high pitched, jazzy solos over brutally crushing guitar rhythm's.

There are 10 songs on this album. All are good. Some are stronger than others. Some are absolute winners I could always listen to, some are good but not anything spectacular. I will talk about the best few on this album.

Future Breed Machine. One of their most well known, and I see why. After a 30 second long intro that sounds like a factory the song kicks in. Overall, a pretty thrashy song, with heavy riffs and some pounding vocals. The double bass part just after 2 minutes is very intense. However, just after is one of the best parts on the whole album. This jazzy section is just wonderful. Then it's back to brutality.

Acrid Placidity. This song is a total departure from the album. It is slow, mellodic with beautiful guitar work and almost no drumming. Yup, it's all about the guitar, and words can not describe. A must listen. Interesting to note: this song was written by rhythm guitarist Marten Hagstrom. We're so used to his crushing rhythm guitar work, it is amazing to see his melodic side. And after hearing this song it is no surprise Meshuggah started moving in that direction since his entry on this album.

Suffer in Truth. A slow, bassy, double bass drum pounding intro. This song features some of the best bass guitar on the album. Not to mention some superb drumming and guitar work. It is a very mechanical song with a great feel.

Sublevels is a great song, and has one of the best intros! Also, some of Haake's best work.

Overall, a great album. Obviously not for the regular progger or even the standard metal head. This album is INTENSE. It is not the easiest to listen to, (although better than some later works). You must like this kind of music. The vocals of Jens are a drawback. His vocals have always been tough. They are not deep growls, or high pitched shrieking...just loud. They can be very piercing. It is tolerable though.

Great album. Great sound, later to be expanded. If you are a fan of more extreme metal, technical metal, and the more extreme side of prog-metal this album is a must listen. 4 stars.

JJLehto | 4/5 |


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