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Meshuggah - Catch Thirtythree CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.63 | 183 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Be forewarned: if you are not into extreme metal, and you like your music to have more normal chords than not, this is not for you. Imagine the theme to the Twilight Zone with shrieking lyrics and brutal, unrelenting rhythms, and throw in a little of PINK FLOYD's "Interstellar Overdrive" for good measure and you'll start to get an idea of what Catch-33 is all about--and even then you're likely to find it hard to take in your first time around. It's almost an endurance test that first time around when you don't know where the breaks are.

The kind of music theory that went into this is of a level I've never encountered before except in the works of modern classical musician Steve Reich, and I've heard that Schoenberg was involved with it to an even greater degree. It's very clear that they listened to atonal/12-tone pieces when composing this. Iin fact, the Twilight Zone theme is the most well-known example of a piece that follows this theory, so it's no surprise that came to mind. And for another reason it's very appropriate; there's something very sci-fi-like about the atmosphere of the album, all the way from from the grating, futuristic "chords" made up of the "devil's interval", and the perplexing rhythms, to the distorted, sometimes computerized voices.

It's hard to name specific musical highlights on this album, but I thought the lyrics, especially for "Mind's Mirrors" and "Disenchantment" went a long way to add to the mood of the album. Whether they describe a bad acid trip, a near-death experience, or actual death is anybody's guess, but they manage to be beautiful and harrowing at the same time without resorting to vulgarity. Since this album is for a niche audience, my rating would be 3.5 (i.e. only essential if you're into the genre), but this is incredibly well-performed can't even tell that the drum machine is a machine!

FloydWright | 4/5 |


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