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Meshuggah - Catch 33 CD (album) cover

CATCH 33

Meshuggah

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.59 | 145 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Metal is a funny thing, isn't it? Structurally and tonally limited, dismissed by anyone who isn't a fan (including many ex-fans who believe they've 'grown out of it'), and frequently poised to plumb recesses of the human spirit to which no other genre will do more than allude. As soon as some tentacle of the genre gains wider credibility, another will dive into the depths with a renewed conviction to wreak musical havok. For every SLIPKNOT, there must be a MESHUGGAH.

And with Catch 33, they pull no punches. No instrumental solo relief, no cliche 'acoustic part/ heavy part' pop metal dynamics, no nu-metal hip hop urban affectations...nothing but the hard stuff, from start to finish. Sure, many bands can do the unrelenting low-string riffing thing, but very few have the balls to take a single improbable riff and pound it into your head from countless angles the way MESHUGGAH does. As with previous albums, there's an expansion of the HELMET/ SEPULTURA feel here, an industrial tension without industrial pretensions. "Catch 33", however, is even more conceptual- but in a very different way than the usual narrative or thematic focus of most concept albums. This is not as much a story as it is a refined expression of a complex but primal state of being...though the specific definition of the details of this state are best left to the individual listener. Everything up to and after the catching of the breath that is "In Death - Is Death" is hardcore grindage of the highest caliber, toying deliberately with rhythmic and tonal variations that have nothing in common with the DREAM THEATER school of self-conscious musicianship. MESHUGGAH don't give a damn if you respect them.

But you should...apart from the uneasy ambience of the "In Death" intermission mentioned above (which I alternately endure or appreciate depending on my mood), "Catch 33" is a rare journey into the harrowed souls of very bright guys making very dark sounds. If you have absolutely no use for metal, or you prefer your metal to be reasonable in intent and delivery, you won't get anything from this album anyway. For the rest: when you want impassioned self-expression and textured tonal variety in your prog-metal, you have OPETH and PAIN OF SALVATION. When you need to grind your teeth in darkest darkness with no safe corners or instant gratification, there's "Catch 33".

James Lee | 3/5 |

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