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Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.81 | 156 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
4 stars Destroy Erase Improve was my induction into the fascinating world of Meshuggah!

Granted that I originally put them off as just another Death Metal clone of bands like Cannibal Corpse and Slayer, Meshuggah's material did in fact improve upon revisits. After just a few spins of this album I was surprised by how original their music sounded in comparison to everything else remotely related to the Extreme Metal genre. These subtleties are difficult to spot by the untrained ear but what a difference they created for my overall appreciation of this music. If you're new to the genre then you're probably only going to hear the brutal wall of sound made out of downtuned guitars and crazy polyrhythmic song structures, I know this from my own experience. Just give it time and the music will definitely grow, especially if you're a fan of avant-garde music.

The album begins on an all-time Meshuggah highlight where Thordendal adds unexpected melodic elements to his sound by using some sort of a breath controller type of device which he blows into to produce that distinct sound on Future Breed Machine. I've had the honor of attending three of the band's live performances which all concluded with this marvelous composition. Actually it's usually fairly obvious when the band choses to perform the track since Thordendal always prepares his breath controller device just in time for the performance.

The second and a much less expected stand-out track is Soul Burn which is a really groovy composition. It's also somewhat distinct for having backing vocals on it. The section where the lyrics go "step by step I'm taken through the past" is one of those really unexpected moments that make my smile every time I hear it.

I should probably note that the album's second part is not as heavy as the first and actually relies much more on atmospheric guitar playing. It all begins with Acrid Placidity which is an interlude of a sort which takes the album into a real pleasure dome. There is of course one brief but an even more pleasant interruption of this with Suffer In Truth. This song is another live favorite that I originally didn't like but learned to appreciate after seeing Meshuggah performing it on stage.

It's safe to say that Destroy Erase Improve will always remain a favorite of mine in terms of great performance combined with even better material. Still I doubt that fans of progressive rock would have the patience and time to undertake this excruciating journey for the pay-off that awaits them on the other side. Therefore an excellent, but non-essential addition to any prog rock music collection.

***** star songs: Future Breed Machine (5:49) Soul Burn (5:18) Suffer In Truth (4:20)

**** star songs: Beneath (5:08) Transfixion (3:34) Vanished (5:05) Acrid Placidity (3:16) Inside What's Within Behind (4:31) Terminal Illusions (3:47) Sublevels (5:14)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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