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Meshuggah Koloss album cover
3.57 | 118 ratings | 7 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I Am Colossus (4:43)
2. The Demon's Name Is Surveillance (4:39)
3. Do Not Look Down (4:44)
4. Behind the Sun (6:14)
5. The Hurt That Finds You First (5:34)
6. Marrow (5:35)
7. Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion (6:55)
8. Swarm (5:26)
9. Demiurge (6:13)
10. The Last Vigil (4:33)

Total Time 54:36

Line-up / Musicians

- Jens Kidman / vocals
- Fredrik Thordendal / lead guitar
- Mårten Hagström / rhythm guitar
- Dick Lövgren / bass
- Tomas Haake / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Luminokaya

CD Nuclear Blast ‎- NB 2388-2 (2012, Europe)

2LP Nuclear Blast ‎- NB 2388-1 (2012, Europe)

Thanks to Anthony H. for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MESHUGGAH Koloss ratings distribution

(118 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

MESHUGGAH Koloss reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rune2000
4 stars After four years of touring and promoting obZen, Meshuggah have finally returned to the studio and carved out a new batch of groovy compositions that all rhythmically inclined lunatics have been waiting for!

It really feels like the band where downgrading their level of ambition on obZen, which featured clear reliance on the sound of other acts and genres to enhance the classic Meshuggah sound. Even though I still think that the writing wasn't a big problem, I can't deny that the band were relying on simpler and groovier riffs to enhance the all around experience of their music. This alone might just have been the reason why obZen was the breakthrough album that it was.

Even if Koloss might seem like a logical followup to obZen, the album also features sounds of the past that I've been lacking for almost a decade! I hear sections that remind me of the slow atmospheric riffs of Nothing, rhythmic insanity that was their masterpiece I and let's not forget the scope of possibilities that was Chaosphere. This doesn't mean that everything Meshuggah does becomes an instant masterpiece, compositions like Do Not Look Down and Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion were just too repetitive to my ears and brought back the bitter taste of obZen. Luckily there are enough imaginative moments that make Koloss a standout moment in the band's discography.

The Demon's Name Is Surveillance has the riffs and the groove that can only be labeled as classic Meshuggah at its finest, featuring a mindboggling attack that you'll want to keep returning to just for the sheer thrill. The next great moment takes a bit longer to manifest itself, but once the first sounds of Marrow come around you know that you're in for another juicy piece straight out of the Thordendal/Haake cannon. But it all sounds pretty unimpressive once Swarm comes right in act three and completely mesmerizes with a slightly new take on the classic Meshuggah sound of I that singlehandedly breathes in new hope into the band's future endeavors!

I'm sure that fans of obZen will not be disappointed by Koloss, but ultimately it is the fans of the band's glorious past that will get most excitement out of this new release. Even though Meshuggah is no longer the creative force they once were, there are still enough signs of sheer brilliance here that make me excited about their possible perspectives, especially since the album ends on a very meditative note with The Last Vigil.

***** star songs: The Demon's Name Is Surveillance (4:39) Marrow (5:35) Swarm (5:26)

**** star songs: I Am Colossus (4:43) Behind The Sun (6:14) The Hurt That Finds You First (5:34) Demiurge (6:13) The Last Vigil (4:33)

*** star songs: Do Not Look Down (4:44) Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion (6:55)

Review by JJLehto
2 stars I was very cautiously optimistic about this album, mainly due to claims from Meshuggah fans it was "different" but sadly I was quite let down, (which maybe shouldn't have surprised me).

I fully admit I'm not a big fan of Meshuggah but here's why, they have always bored me. Their fans (who have really grown in number over the years and have reached "fanboy" status) are quick and passionate to tell me how technical they are and I understand that and appreciate it. It's just boring. Meshuggah is of course technical in regards to their insane time signature use and polyrhythms but not so much in terms of musicianship and song writing. The shame is they used to display such tendencies, and their albums "Destroy Erase Improve" and "I" are awesome prog metal works in my book. They have largely abandoned this for whacking the crap out of a few djent notes, or repeating two riffs, for 5 minutes and purposefully anti tonal brutality. This generally upsets fans who repeat "technicality" to me and I again ask to understand something can be impressive and still boring.

That was not a rant for the sake of it, but basically how I feel about this album. More of the same. One person I know said this album was proof that all those who think Meshuggah just do the same thing need their sanity checked, or something like that. Well check me in to the asylum.

"Koloss" sounds like same old Meshuggah to me. This is perfectly fine for fans, but I am just confused as to where the difference is. Djent and brutality abound. Whacked out time sigs, sub drop A djent riffs, and intentionally unforgiving brutality are a plenty. Every song sounds like Meshuggah by the numbers to me, and I admit every song on "Koloss" is different, which is nice, but the songs themselves tend to be repetitive. I think it's bad when a song feels like it was twice as long as it really was...

A prime example of my beef with Meshuggah is the song "Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave it Motion". It starts off cool, and has one hell of a brutal riff. Then that one riff continues for more or less 7 minutes. There is one part when it lets up, and it's a decent section but man what an unrelenting song overall. Especially with Jens screaming away.

Jens' vocals are, as always, completely atonal, non pitched and anti melodic. I get it. I know it's what they want to do, and I applaud them for taking no prisoners, but I just don't care for it. No variation, no pitch no nothing...just shouting at the absolute max. I will say they actually seem to have toned down the vocals a bit, it's not as piercing as previous albums. I'm not a fan but I can at least tolerate them on "Koloss"

For some good news, this album is better than recent Meshuggah output. I like the song "Behind the Sun" because it actually feels like a song, it progresses. I don't get bored after a few minutes and it builds to a powerful climax!

"The Hurt That Finds You First" starts off nice and thrashy, which is welcomed, and the song really changes throughout. How nice!

"Marrow" isn't bad, nothing new to say but it does change it up a good bit and even has some classic Thordendal random tapping solos. OK, not to take away from the guy but seriously, youtube can make a Fredrik sounding solo by finding a certain way to tap 3 notes all over. Not a bad song, some cool parts.

"Swarn" OK now this starts off kicking some ass. Unfortunately it gets repetitive quick. There are some pretty sweet moments, but they are like islands on a trip across the ocean. Also there's more of that Meshuggah guitar noise just floating around the background. An alright song.

"Demiurge" isn't too bad either. The epic brutal riff is a bit boring, but the song does enough to at least keep me from wanting to hit next. Though really, the changes aren't drastic, just difference in the brutal riff being played.

The album ends with "The Last Vigil" another Meshuggah classic, the clean song. Not groundbreaking but very relieving! A melodic, clean guitar song that drifts you away. Very nice.

So that's what we got. I stress I get the band wants to do, and appreciate their technicality, (Tomas Haake is still one of my favorite drummers) but I am just left cold. Maybe that's the intent. Another repetitive, by the book Meshuggah album, though admittedly better and a bit more varied than recent work.

"Koloss" will be a damn fine album for any Meshuggah fan, while those who are not will find nothing here worth buying. I find half the songs boring, the rest are decent and a couple I actually enjoy. So while I recommend "Koloss" only for Meshuggah fans, it's not a bad album by any stretch, and feel a 2.5 is fair.

Two and a half stars

Bump: Two Stars

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Koloss" is the 7th full-length studio by Swedish technical/experimental extreme metal act Meshuggah. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in March 2012. Meshuggah have become such a prolific and influential act in the last 20 years, that expectations to their studio output are always extremely high. By now there are literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of imitaters and acts influenced by their unique and distinct sounding odd metered extreme metal. It must be an almost unbearable pressure on the band when they begin writing new material, but you don't become the leader of the pack for nothing now do you?

On "Koloss" it's apparent from the get go, that Meshuggah have lost none of their heavy edge, their caustic aggression, the alien sci-fi atmosphere, or their dominant use of odd time signatures. The "core" features of their music style are intact. When that is said "Koloss" further develops on the more accessible direction of the material on "obZen (2008)", and it's perhaps the band's most accessible release since "Destroy Erase Improve (1995)" (which was also what I said about "obZen (2008)" when it was released). The less raw and sligthly more organic sound production probably has a lot to do with it, but to my ears Meshuggah have also begun to focus a lot more on memorability and "hooks" than earlier and that often leads to a more accessible sound. At this point I think it's the right path to take for the band. They've explored the extreme limits of their music style, pushed boundaries like few, and have now found a balance between extremity and accessibility that appears to suit them well. "Koloss" was, unlike most of it's imidiate predecessors, mostly written as a group effort and I think that approach has given the album a more groove based and imidiate sound than what we've been used to from the band.

"Koloss" is still a damn heavy and aggressive album though, so there are no loss of integrity (to those who care about such things) and still very few signs of mainstream appeal in the band's sound. The playing is outstanding as ever and you'll probably find yourself hynotized by the groove, the razor sharp riffing and the heavy beats that these guys deliver like no one else. So have they burned out on ideas or begun to repeat themselves? Hell no!!! "Koloss" is another high quality and distinct sounding album by Meshuggah, showcasing that they are fully capable of sounding unmistakably like themselves while at the same time incorporating enough twists to their sound, to make each album they release stand out as an individual entity in their discography. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

Review by Warthur
3 stars By the time they came to record Koloss, Meshuggah's distinctive "Djent" sound was no longer their unique quirk but the hallmark of a whole subgenre of progressive metal, many of whose proponents such as Animals as Leaders I find more interesting than Meshuggah's early works. Happily, Koloss finds Meshuggah stepping up their game accordingly, tightening up their compositions and working on balancing their technical capabilities with producing music which actually connects with the listener on an emotional level. The end result is an album I at first found more enjoyable and interesting to listen to than early Meshuggah works like Destroy.Erase.Improve, and momentarily rekindled my interest in the band. That said, the work still feels a bit calculated, with generic death metal patching over the holes left in their sound by scaling back the Djent.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Released four years after the landmark Obzen, Koloss was met with much anticipation. You see by 2012, the metal world, and the prog metal world especially, was in the throws of a "djent" revolution. And the undisputed progenitor of that revolution was Meshuggah. The metal world was eager to see ... (read more)

Report this review (#2353784) | Posted by ssmarcus | Thursday, April 23, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Now Meshuggah have been a bit of a meh factor with me. I do like the band, but I'm not a die hard fan. I do own a few of there albums, and to be honest, as much as I love the band's musical philosophy, the band have never really done it for me. Their sound is spectacular, the musicianship is flaw ... (read more)

Report this review (#779401) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Friday, June 29, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Dear Meshuggah, Meshuggah, I want to personally thank you for persevering through the years. You have been my absolutely favorite metal band since 1994. I've stuck with you through the thick and the thin. When you changed the world with None I was there. When you destroyed the scene with t ... (read more)

Report this review (#709549) | Posted by besotoxico | Thursday, April 5, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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