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Meshuggah I album cover
4.18 | 143 ratings | 37 reviews | 46% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I (21:00)

Total Time 21:00

Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

CD Fractured Transmitter Recording Company FTRC 001 (UK) (2004)
CD Hideous Appendix, Fractured Transmitter Recording Company HA 001 (US) (2004)

Thanks to frenchie for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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MESHUGGAH I ratings distribution

(143 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(46%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Heavy Metal.

Truly an impressive performance, but to call it a masterpiece of progressive rock is excessive to say the least.

I is progressive heavy metal within the narrow area of heavy metal that it explores, and if you like your metal intense, brutal and relentless, then this is a great "EP" - I use quotes, since it only contains the single track and thus would more accurately be described as a single. The opening riff and overall style hearkens back to Slayer in many ways, so if you liked "Reign in Blood", there is much to like here.

With the accent very much on small changes to otherwise repeating riffs, and an unchanging vocal style, this will prove too much for anyone into dramatic music. The main problem with maintaining this level of inensity for so long is that it quickly becomes old, and the impact wears off.

There is a guitar solo around 5:42 which is intriguing, and resembles computer "talk" of the kind you might hear from a modem or fax, which is unexpected and slightly puzzling, given the brutality of the riffs - we might have expected the guitar to puncture through, but unexpected is good...

The respite around 7:52 is welcome, but when the music kicks back in, in what I have come to percieve as typical Meshuggah style, the same ideas are worked, with surpirisingly subtle riff changes going for the hypnotic approach, but ending up as a bit of a repetitive tedium on the whole, even given the stops/starts at 12:02 and 14:15. The latter seems somehow lazy, with simple explorations in texture that maintain the overall dark feel and create a sense of expectation of the build-up to the final demolition run, which begins with the most "complex" riff thus far with atmospheric guitar - but the constant unison between guitar and bass is ultimately a bit boring and one longs for some dischordant harmonies or invention in spectrums other than just rhythm and timbre. Melody, harmony and form are all but ignored throughout.

So really there are a mere one or two progressive ideas being worked out in this track, which are of far more interest to those inclined towards metal than true prog rock - which this is not. It maintains a level of interest fairly well

As with Catch 33, a treat for fans/collectors of metal, but a no-go area for prog rock fans, remembering that this is a Prog Rock site, and these reviews are entirely to do with the progressiveness of the music, not simply how much we like it. I like this track a great deal, but would not recommend it to, say, a Genesis, Yes or Spock's Beard fan.

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This EP represents on the of the most extreme and complicated achievements to ever face the metal scene, and Meshuggah were the creators of it and they really topped themselves this time. Their earlier works such as "Chaosphere" were extreme and monothonic, "I" however manages to sound like a mix of both that one and their 2002 "Nothing" album, only more progressive and even more technical. Again, we see a lot of polyrhythmic activity but the riffs are just so messed up rhytmically that they're really hard to keep up with. Fans of this band will drool while listening to this though, and Im paralyzed in joy everytime I give it a spin. It's just so amazing and well put together and being progressive and insanely technical as well. HIGHLY recommended!
Review by TheProgtologist
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Call it math metal,call it death metal,call it prog metal,Meshuggah is an entity onto itself.Awkward and mind boggling tempo changes along with 8 string guitars and the growls of Jens Kidman make this an absolute sonic assault to the senses.The 21 minute track on this ep plays with complicated song structures and tempo changes.Guitarists Thordendal and Hagstrom churn out aggressive bursts of power among a chaotic background of off-beats.The track resembles an orchestral arrangement with mounting peaks,deflating mood and progression to a violent climax.Love them,hate them,no one can deny the creativity,originality and musicianship of this band.4 stars and highly recommended to fans of this type of music.
Review by frenchie
5 stars Now this is one hell of a track/EP. Meshuggah pull out pretty much all the tricks in the book here. "I" is an absolute definition of an epic. This is one big journey of all things that make up extreme heavy metal, with an overall feel of prog. This could have easily been a suite but instead it only needed to be represented by one letter, I.

"I" displays brutality and chaos in it's no holds barred wave of utter heaviness. There are a few quiet moments though, perhaps to give the listener a bit of a rest before returning to complete chaos. The term chaos can be used to describe this 21 minute track because of the vast changes in tempo. This track weaves through speedy sections, some relating back to the thrash roots of "Contradictions Collapse" and "Destroy/Erase/Improve". It also weaves through the slower, sludgier moments that are more reminiscent of the bands latter album.

The concept of this track is an experiment that is perhaps a preparation for "Catch 33" which shows similarities in it's epic proportions. This EP shows off the best prog moments and insane time signatures and tempo shifts that have become one of Meshuggah's most famous trademarks. Music like this definetly separates them from other extreme heavy metal or prog metal bands, with only bands like CYNIC being able to compare.

"I" starts off with a sludgy, chuggy riff with the drums rattling away. The length of this almost grindcore reminiscent opening creates tension and paranoia. You know it is going to explode into something, just "when?" is the question. Suddenly, after over a minute and half, the listener is caught off guard as in comes a wall of sound displaying the most brutal barricade of vocals, guitars, bass and drums I have ever heard. This is heavy metal at it's most brutal. This is probably my favourite moment of the whole epic but as a whole i think it is a masterpiece.

The track carries on through different sections, the 8 string guitars pounding away menacingly. The vocals are top notch here and the drums are quite godlike in that they manage to pull off so many different time signatures and speedy fills, keeping up consistancy for a whole 21 minutes! Rarely have I heard an EP worthy of 5 star rating, but music like this is what makes a masterpiece, epic complexity, comsistancy and longevity. Still this one is only for fans of extreme heavy metal, and what a treat to those fans it is!

Review by JJLehto
5 stars A member of this sites forum recomended "I" to me saying it was a work of true genius, how right they were. There is no other way to describe this work.

The first minute and a half is slow and gives you a very gloomy feeling. Suddenly, there is an explosion of ear-shattering noise. It is the most brutal guitar and drums I have ever heard, even from Meshuggah.

The rest of the EP is of true Meshuggah style. Bizzare time signatures, tempos, and sudden changes. It is amazing how quickly they just burst into seeming chaos, it is almost schizophrenic.

Of course Thomas Haake's, almost unhuman, drumming is just that. It is beyond me how he can keep up the sheer pace for such long periods of time, not to mention the complexity of it all. The drums, guitars, vocals, structure, absolutely everything about it is flawless.

A true masterpiece, and perfect for any fan of prog metal and even heavy metal.

Review by OpethGuitarist
4 stars Very interesting album to say the least. These guys are able to do what I hear no other band do. The only reason this isn't 5 is because it lacks what most in prog land look for. Melody.

This band is not about melody. Don't expect any soaring guitar melodies or vocal lines, you wont find them here. You will find "machine-like" vocals and total devotion to rhythm. You will find the most extreme time signatures of any band. They never have been about melody, and most likely never will be. This band is about chaos. Chaos and complexity - that should be the name of the next album they come out with, cause thats what these guys are in a nutshell.

On to the album. Most of it is hit or miss with me, with the hits being very big and the misses being small. I am in awe of how well these guys are able to play together on this single. They really show how well they mesh together here. About 14 minutes in many will feel the piece start to drag, and it will have been too much chaos for many. Those who can make it through will be rewarded by a monumental finish. Not recommended for those in the Yes/Pink Floyd vein, however I'm positive if you listen to it once or twice you will get something out of this. There's plenty of substance here.

Review by GoldenSpiral
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Meshuggah is one of the bone-crunchingest metal acts going today. Their chugging, thrashy sonic onslaught is rough on the ears, but enticing to the mind. Their single "I" is undoubtedly one of the most "progressive" prog metal tracks ever created. This piece refuses to fall into any of the prog metal cliches so often encountered, and instead creates a truly original and highly technical sound.

The 20+ minute track begins with about 2 minutes of monotonous chugging in some ridiculous time signature(s) which I have yet to figure out, despite several efforts. This gives way to an all-out grinding noisefest, but quickly regains composure. The next few sections feature variations of Meshuggah's signature chugging riffs, while the vocalist screams in what seems to be a different time signature from the rest of the band. My personal favorite part of the piece is around the fifth or 6th section of the song, a real thrashy part begins, and it becomes apparent that the drummer is playing in (at least) two different time signatures at once. His right and left hand are going at completely different and seemingly unrelated tempos, while the kick drums beat out ungodly numerical patterns. The song moves abruptly back and forth between extereme volume and ambience, and by the end it feels like you've been on one hell of a heavy metal roller coaster ride.

Don't try this record (or any Meshuggah record) if you're looking for melody, because you won't find any. This gets 4 stars for being one of the most complex and original metal songs ever composed, and for being unrelentingly brutal, to the point of (almost!) being unlistenable.

Review by 1800iareyay
4 stars Meshuggah cannot be comprised of human beings. Their music sounds like an aural manifestation of Skynet from the Terminator films. I is an EP consisting of one 21 minute track that will go down in history as perhaps the heaviest epic ever. While there are symphonic epics that rock throughout, this is a hammer to your skull. Those who are not well versed in prog metal are not suggested to start here.

First, ignore the awful visual pun that is the album cover. The song opens immediately with pummeling riffs, the musicians fly at the speed of light through the first few minutes. When the death screams come in you know this isn't going to be a happy affair. Things begin to slow down around the 5 minute mark from hyperspeed licks to solos at the mere speed of sound. While Fredrik solos, Marten plays a melody that doesn't match at all and yet it all fits.

If you think the relentless shredding is terrifying, you'll wet yourself around the 14:40 mark when the band halts to doom metal speeds and let each sinsiter riff and bass pound sink in. The sound reverberates through your brain and it sounds like a mechanical hell, where there is only hollowness and despair. When the other guitar and drums re-enter, you get pummelled to the very end where the distortion builds and builds until the point where you can't take it anymore before cutting out suddenly.

This busts all preconceived notions of prog epics. There is no soft acoustic part and no slow build up from near silence to normal (this goes from loud to punishing). It stands as one of the top prog metal epics, alongside DT's Octavarium, Fates Warning's Ivory Gate of Dreams, and Symphony X's Divine Wings of Tragedy. This is dizzingly complex, particularly the insane drumming of Haake. These guys are airtight as a unit and can do whatever they want on their instruments. Only the heaviest of metalheads should flirt with the awesome power of this band.

Grade: B+

Review by el böthy
5 stars Ok...where to start? mmm...let's start with the fact that Meshuggah used to be the one band I thought I would never get into and, to be honest, it's quite logical why. I mean... heaviness just for the sake of heaviness, no melodies, the singing (or should I say screaming?) the cold, soulless feelings to it, really, how can somebody even like this band? Well... look at me now...

This is the first album (or EP to be more specific) from this guys I have, I thought it would be a good place to start. Why?... I don't know, I guess cause I'm like the biggest epic fan ever and thought I should give this 21 minutes song a try, cause if I didn't like this, then I could easily move on to something else, knowing I had listened to the "best" Meshuggah song. Also, and this is kind of strange, I read the lyrics before I even heard the song, just cause I was so intrigued of it´s name. "I". "One has to have a lot of balls, or be reeeeally pretentious to name an epic this way" I thought, "I´ll check out the lyrics, cause for sure they can´t be that good". Guess what, the lyrics are genius! Chaotic but in an almost poetry-like way. awesome!!! And then I heard not one, not two, but a lot of people praising that this was THE BEST METAL SONG EVER. well now I have to listen to it. So, I got "I", almost sure I was making a huge mistake. Only once did I have this feeling before: when I bought "In the court of the Crimson King", and it turned out to be my favorite album ever. Man do I like to be wrong sometimes!!!

This song, this monster, is like the most brutal experience ever. I can't say this was love at first sight. In fact, I got a headache the first time I listened to it, but I immediately knew there was something to it, something special. So I kept listening to it, and the more I listened to it, the more I liked it. By the fourth time I had no doubts, this is a work of genius! There is no weak spot, no filler what so ever, just 21 minutes of pure brilliance. And there are some parts here and there that are just too good, like the whole 10th minute for example, with Kidman chanting "Shifting from worlds from chaos, to chaos, to chaos" and then the best part of the whole song. Meshuggah plays in 4/4!!! The result? One of metals best riffs ever, certainly one of it's heaviest. By far, the best part of the song, yet, after this, it doesn't drag or get dull, it continues truly great, until the big finale where Kidman delivers that final shout: "I" and the creepy outro begins.

I can now agree, this is one of metal best songs. I think it's important to remark the importance of the lyrics, which I noticed nobody really does. They match the music perfectly, and although shouting might not be the best singing technique, it fits the music and concept of the lyrics like a glow. 5/5; a masterpiece. Meshuggah truly are "crazy".

Review by russellk
4 stars This is a brutal monster, a terrifying, ear-bleeding experience that takes a few listens to let go of your throat and ease its way into your ears.

MESHUGGAH are a Swedish extreme metal band who have developed from a thrash metal beginning to a chaotic, progressive sound, replete with deep, 8-string riffs, double-bass kicks, screamed vocals and all the rest one would expect from this sub-genre. But they put quite a different spin on the material. Traditional measures are broken up into extraordinarily compex rhythms: in fact, it's as though in 'I' they rolled a die to decide how many beats each measure should have. There is certainly a random element in the progression here. And it works!

'I' starts with an extended, randomly repeated riff: a monotony in contrast with what is to come. A crash, an enormous scream coupled with a mighty thrash, and the journey is on its way. I'm not going to describe in detail what happens; I don't think that's the point. Let each change in structure come as a surprise.

'I' is one of MESHUGGAH'S stronger offerings, along with 'Destroy, Erase, Improve'. They do have progressive sensibilities in spades: complex rhythms, thoughtful song structures and humour to go with their metal attitudes. Enormous fun.

Review by Zitro
3 stars Huh??

That was my initial reaction when I listened to this brutal and mechanical piece of work. This is not an album, but an EP composed of a single massive song that is 21 minutes long.

Why this album is great

The musicianship is absolutely mind blowing. these guys play perfectly with insane speeds and time signatures without a single flaw in a continuous 20+ minute track, and the guitar solos are musically impressive as well. The rhythm section is usually composed of time signatures that probably don't even have integers as it seems to be undecipherable. The music manages to be very coherent from one section to another for the whole time, never letting go the heavy sound except for a few eerie soft moments that work very well and are never out of place. The riffs are all based on these rhythms and appear to have subtle variations in every measure, and despite the unusual rhythms, it still manages to not sound awkward and come off as extremely brutal, mechanic, and some of the heaviest guitar-driven recordings in the history of music. In addition, the majority of these guitar riffs are phenomenal, including the only one you can headband to midway into the song (it is on 4/4). The heaviness of the rhythm guitars is amplified by the maniacal double-bass drumming and the death-metal vocals, making complete this machine that is ready to annihilate your ears.

Why this album is horrible

Please, dear machine, have mercy on me! Being musically brutalized for 21 minutes with barely much of a break is just exhausting to the ears! The death-metal vocals are in my opinion completely unnecessary except for the lyrics which really fit and are poetic, if in a violent way. This song could have just been instrumental. Also, there is hardly any melody or harmony to be found in here, making this musical journey difficult. I mean, how can you listen to a 21 minute long song without really any melody? The only kind of melody to be found is in minute three, when a nice lead guitar plays along with the brutal guitar riff very beautifully. In addition, the music just has no emotion, no soul ... it's purely calculated and mathematical. The bass is as inaudible as in Dream Theater, which is a shame as it could have played some neat bass lines as a counterpoint to the rhythm guitar. Another problem I have with it is the beginning of the piece which is nothing but trashy noise for almost two minutes. the last problem is repetition, you have music based on guitar riffs and the death-metal vocals always sound the same. It's just overkill!

Well, my 5-star and 1-star qualities cancel each other into a 3 star album. I recommend this album to extreme-metal lovers and anyone who is adventurous to try something radically different. Symphonic rock lovers, approach this EP with extreme caution.

Review by Moatilliatta
5 stars Prepare to be destroyed! Meshuggah's "I" may very well be the most crushing piece of music in existence. Not only that, it is 21 minutes long and with polyrhythms galore! Frankly, it's impossible to desribe the music, but if you know the general sound of 21st century Meshuggah, you'll get an idea. However, this song is unbeatable. Meshuggah has culminated with this work. It has everything that Meshuggah is known for and it's all turned up a couple of notches. It's heavier, faster, crazier, etc. There is nothing else I can say. Get "aj" and be leveled!
Review by LiquidEternity
2 stars I suppose a few of my other reviews of Meshuggah albums make it clear that I am not much a fan of the band. But why review only bands you enjoy?

I contains, as many have said before, some of Meshuggah's most brutal and crushing riffs ever recorded on an album. Neat. This is a band built for drummers. The entire four piece act is one massive (and kind of bland) rhythm piece, with the guitar and bass laying down the polyrhythms, the drums doing their thing in time with the guitars, and the harsh screams that sound like the vocalist has just endured the wrong end of the Spanish Inquisition for a couple of hours. Hey, it works for a number of people, so I really can't call them worthless, but coming from a guy who really enjoys some variation in his music, let me warn you: no matter what kind of polyrhythms and complicated ways you can play your instruments, it will all end up sounding the same unless you start playing some different notes. But as far as a rhythm machine goes, Meshuggah isn't bad. They could make a cool backing to a talented orchestra.

I is (that's not bad grammar, right?) not a particularly different release from the rest of theirs. It opens with a couple of minutes of shifting polyrhythms of one note and just the bass drums. Actually, this is pretty much the coolest part of the song. It's fast and crazy and there's a technicality beneath it that keeps giving me the strong desire to pull out of a calculator and figure out what's going on. But from there, the song dives into more atonal screaming and yelling. It's hard to discuss what happens in the last fifteen minutes of the song, because no matter how hard I try, I can't keep my brain from shutting down five or six minutes in. All I can tell you is that unless you are a very big fan of Meshuggah, this will just sound like Meshuggah. There are a few melodies here and there in this song's twenty one minutes, but they are few, far between, and mostly unremarkable.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Meshuggah fans are tired of people whining about how their music is too brutal and too lacking in melody and blah blah blah. Well, for hardcore death metal fans and whatnot, this is probably pretty cool. But for people who are not quite so intrigued by that scene, this album presents what all Meshuggah albums present: a brick wall of painful and nerdy noise. I'm giving it two stars because I know it's not bad, just something that I and most others cannot enjoy. There is a lot of technical skill here, just not much of it going into creative songwriting.

Review by The Pessimist
5 stars If Chaosphere is THE Meshuggah album, then this is THE Meshuggah song. I actually think that this is the band's crowning achievement, and hasn't been topped yet. In fact, if the song I had finished the album Chaosphere, perhaps watering down Elastic to the first 6 minutes, then Chaosphere would be THE extreme metal record of the 21st century. The band just explode with technicality, virtuosity and creativity from start to finish, and although intense, you honestly shouldn't care; it never gets dull and there are short mellow sections around every corner to allow breathing space.

The most bewildering thing about I is the musicianship. Tomas Haake is literally a machine on this EP as all the drumming is programmed, but there is no escaping the world class drum patterns live. If ever they do perform this song live, I imagine all drummers will want to give up their profession for a short while. The guitarwork isn't too shabby either, with the duo of Fredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hagström working with time signatures that are next to untrackable by the human mind. Furthermore to that statement, this album has helped me come to this conclusion: Meshuggah are in fact NOT HUMAN, as no-one else in the world could possibly play this music up to speed.

Now onto some detail. Although the track is unbelievably technical on the highest level and 20 minutes in length, there aren't too many sections in question. I counted 12 in total, you may count differently, but the fact of the matter remains: this isn't a technicallity us prog-metalheads are that familiar with. The first section features a 7/8 riff that holds nothing back. The computer-Haake is playing like he has 16 arms, the guitar goes on repetitively without getting dull and the rhythmic phrasing changes more often than the tide. You will find this to be a trait of most of the album.

I will not bore you by going through all sections in detail. That is enough for you to get the idea on what this EP is all about: raw rhythmic technicallity with almost no melody whatsoever. Is it music? Of course it is. Is it progressive? A resounding yes from me. In fact, I find this one of the most progressive CDs registered on this site, for one reason alone. It pushes more boundries in musicianship and art itself than anything has for a long time. It has raised the bar by a considerable height for metal bands everywhere. It is a very important project, and deserves praise. I cannot rate it any higher than a masterpiece. Beware though: this is dark, heavy stuff. Approach with caution if you are not prepared for this sort of thing! 5 stars from me, the only EP in my small collection of them that ever gets played.

Review by CCVP
5 stars FAST, HARD AND BRUTAL!!!! Meshuggah's best song to date!

Meshuggah recently (also known as last year or 2008) released their 6th studio album entitled ObZen and many say that it was a return to form. I disagree with that mainly because ObZen is way slower than Meshuggah albums were, and this is the last proof of their traditional sound, since from Catch 33 on they have become really fond of mid tempos.

Actually, their music here fits better in their Chaosphere phase than in any other, since I shares with Chaosphere many traces. For example, both are relentlessly fast and heavy with very aggressive riffs, drum pieces and specially harsh vocals (in a good way). I, unlike their 1998 album, have only 21 and that is, at the same time, its best and worst characteristic. Listening to this kind of music for all 21 minutes non-stop is not easy for everyone, so I is definitely is not for the faint of heart, but it clocks less than half of Chaosphere, what makes I definitely easier to sit through.

But in the end, i don't really care if it is easier or not, the point is that those guys from Sweden know how to make great disturbing music when they want to, and this is the point of I: to shake you,to disturb you, to take you from your safe zone and blow you mind away. Just surrender to the confusion of the machine and enjoy your journey.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars And so we've come to the Supper's Ready of the Tech Metal genre!

After more than 17 years of existence and four studio albums Meshuggah had finally released a monster of a composition and a definite highlight of their career. I is a 21-minute long EP that consists entirely of one track. The journey that the listener undertakes during its playtime can only be compared to some of the classic compositions of the '70s rock era, although sound-wise you would probably put this comparison off for the lack of any relevance. This is where I think you're wrong because what Meshuggah is doing here is pushing the boundaries of the music format and, just like Genesis, Yes, ELP etc, creates something new and original.

Unlike many of the retro-progressive bands of our era Meshuggah's I just isn't another tribute to the music of the past but more of a window into the possibilities of this new century and should be embraced as such. There are so many excellent moments here like the intro section where Thordendal is showing that he is the master at odd time signatures at untraceable pace. Or how about the middle section which starts off around the 9th minute and slightly resembles Apocalypse In 9/8 from Supper's Ready. I lack the words to describe the ending section but I would like to highlight it as a definite highpoint which just needs to be experienced to be believed!

I'm aware that the band continued the same ideas on Catch 33 which pushes this formula even further by delivering one continuous piece of music, but I honestly never cared much for that release which has to do with the inclusion of a drum machine that totally ruins the mood for me.

So why was I released as a separate EP and not as a part of a studio album? My answer is that it doesn't resemble anything that the band has done before and therefore wouldn't fit in with any of their other material. It was a bold move to release I as a stand-alone EP and I solute Meshuggah for that.

This is an important piece of progressive rock history that cannot be overlooked!

***** star songs: I (21:00)

Review by Andy Webb
4 stars The word stamina is an understatement when describing this song.

I (I have no idea if it's the letter or the number so don't ask me) is a rather adventurous idea by Meshuggah. The EP is just one track, the title track, that runs for an incredible 21 minutes, flat. The song doesn't let up once, not once, throughout the whole 21 minutes, except for those typical discordant and dissonant clean guitar solo things that Meshuggah does. The song is fast, it's hard, it's intense, it's brutal, it's heavy, goddammit it's Meshuggah!

The song starts out with a 2 or so minute long session of just crazy riffing. Two whole minutes of just wacking on the band member's guitars and drums and basses and whatever else they used. Like I said first thing, stamina is an understatement when describing how they did this. Once the craziness "breaks," there was no stopping these guys. The whole way through they played their music, that crazy brand of Meshuggah-intense music, until their fingers were bleeding (at least that's how I envision it). The polyrhythmic journey is full of intensity and fear- breeding fury that could make a seasoned metal-head's ears bleed. The song contains every aspect that Meshuggah fans enjoy, from crazy time signatures to crazy thrash metal riffs to the signature djent, to discordant solos to so much more. Overall, this is easily one of Meshuggah's best tracks.

ALBUM OVERALL: This song is almost too intense. And that's the reason I'm not giving it 5 stars. For musicianship, intensity, polyrhythmic value, and all those types of quality, the song is perfect. But in a musical sense, there is no melody, no harmony, or any of that. Now of course this is truly one of the things that Meshuggah has prided themselves on, but I think that they should let up somewhat somewhere in the song so your head doesn't explode whilst listening to it. Overall, the song is fantastic, but can be a little overkill at points. 4 stars. 0 second ago Permalink Sha

Review by Tom Ozric
4 stars Now, me being a fan of virtually every sub-genre of Prog, even all things regarding Iron Maiden, Henry Cow, Zao, Spring, Fantasy, Univers Zero etc.... Tool, even Mastodon....... I expected something 'special' from this offering. I came across this vinyl release whilst on holiday, courtesy of Euclid Records, Nawlins, - complete 21min. version of this meisterwerk, with 2 live tracks and a studio recording tacked onto the 2nd side of this 12" platter. I am NOT a fan of the 'death growl' style of vocals - I do, however, realise, that there is a bucket-load of talent and control to achieve this 'death growl' vocal. And I can't see someone like Jon Anderson spewing out lyrics convincingly enough to suit this incredibly abrasive music. Within a few seconds of the side-long piece, 'I', I listen carefully ; I'm convinced my limbs would fall off within the 17th bar......... These guys from Sweden need to be aware they need some O2 cylinders in tow wherever they go. This is technically proficient metal, with respect to some of the 70's giants. I really get into this music, but I do find these death-growl vocals somewhat immature. Take my analysis with a grain of sand, but I don't dig it, but I do return to this album, enjoy every minute of it. The sound is crisp, tight and clean by today's standards - really a notch beyond 'mainstream' dark-metal acts, and I can say that upon the first few plays of this album I did think that this is not the styling that is 'me'. Well, doesn't matter ; I honestly enjoy this music : The ambitious 21 min. 'I' track, begins with a harsh barrage of palm-muted guitar chunking in 7/8 time, cacophonous and noisy, breaking into the vocal part that is jagged, yet flows effortlessly blow-by-blow, until a dead-stop offers some strange singular guitar notes, springing up and down, as if being de-tuned, then BANG ! - complex rhythm that recalls Genesis' Apocalypse In 9/8 section, but heavier, more tech-oriented, and the band continue. Simply put : very impressive,. Moving on, the live tracks, recorded during the Ophidian Trek tour 2012-2013, titled 'Bleed' (7:20), and 'Dancers To A Discordant System' (9:51), show that these guys know their material inside-out, have the intelligence and stamina to pull this music off. It's tough, heavy, dark and ferocious......... I don't claim to be a specialist in this style of music, but it does tick most of the boxes for my ears. There is a 3rd track called Pitch Black, at 6 mins long, and features robotic vocals (better than the growl for me), and a repetitious riff, heavy on bass, that reminds me of something the Zeuhl bands indulge in. Oh how I wish this was instrumental. No doubt, EXCELLENT in most ways.

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Report this review (#505480) | Posted by Earendil | Thursday, August 18, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I -- Meshuggah Meshuggah's EP, I, is yet again another step in the evolution of technical-metal rhythmic mastery. I finds Meshuggah extending their song length to one 21-minute track. Their sound hasn't changed very much since previous albums such as Chaosphere and Nothing; perhaps their ... (read more)

Report this review (#428573) | Posted by The Monodrone | Wednesday, April 6, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It is short, it is deadly. If "Nothing" was cold and ruthless in your opinion, then you'd better leave this one in the box. After releasing NOTHING which was "softer" in a way than fantastic CHAOSPHERE, Meshuggah recorded this EP, consisting of one 21-minutes long piece. When I've heard it for the f ... (read more)

Report this review (#306974) | Posted by bartosso | Thursday, October 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is my first review. So, the english here can be... well, poor... Complex. Brutal. Technical. And sometimes atmospheric. Meshuggah is one of the most creative and original bands of the metal genre, expanding the boundaries of their sound to something that is inimitable (well, ALMOST inimitabl ... (read more)

Report this review (#266089) | Posted by tupan | Sunday, February 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Hm... this album is very interesting to say the least... It's just a song. The first Meshuggah that my friend showed to me was a song called Bleed from their new album, and I was aware of its technicality, but not that Meshuggah was like this normally. But I began to see them appear on progressiv ... (read more)

Report this review (#246757) | Posted by HammerOfPink | Tuesday, October 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If you are a fan of Extreme metal and extreme time signature work, this is probably one of the best EPs you can get. This is a 21 minute piece of absolutely brutal metal that experiments with some of the most complex rhythmical work ever created. It starts off with a brutal quick tempo double ... (read more)

Report this review (#180582) | Posted by topofsm | Friday, August 22, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "The EP that will change the world!" If you stick this quote on this material, it wouldn't be a strategy to market a product but be the truth at its barest form. This EP, if it had arms and legs, could've changed the world.. And yet it doesn't have arms and legs, but it still does.. The arms an ... (read more)

Report this review (#155079) | Posted by hybreda | Monday, December 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars short and sweet with tons of variety, without falling into the trap that they did on Nothing, absolute snooze-inducing repitition....there are some avant garde moments on this one, yet they do not overstay their welcome lengthwise. Their most focused and exceptional work in my opinion..... ... (read more)

Report this review (#150009) | Posted by avalanchemaster | Saturday, November 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars WAENING: This is not for every one, symphomaniacs and fans of that melody stuff should turn back now, you will find none of those wussy "harmonies" or "melodies" here. (Laugh) With that said this is one of the most brutal and inaccessable chunks of metal that was ever made. The best way for me ... (read more)

Report this review (#136290) | Posted by Proletariat | Tuesday, September 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars MINOR UPDATES 05/08/07 I spent a lot of money on i-tunes recently, stocking up on RIO/Avant-prog and Krautrock when, on a whim, I decided that I ought to try Meshuggah. I'm not exactly sure why, as I was almost certain that I wouldn't like it. Reviews I read warned me to stay away unless I ... (read more)

Report this review (#110545) | Posted by Pnoom! | Saturday, February 3, 2007 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Great musicians but.....where's the melody?? Where's the soul?? Where are the true songs with real meanings?? Meshuggan is a metal band with some progressive elements but not in the style of Pain of Salvation, Opeth, Dream Theater and others that really make outstanging progressive metal recor ... (read more)

Report this review (#109329) | Posted by Sassequece | Monday, January 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I was Meshuggah's second work with the low-tuned 8 string guitars, So you may have expected this to sound like the previous album, but that's so wrong. The song "I" is split up in 3 very diffrent parts, each one representing a part in the bands career. The First part, 00:00 to 05:09 represents ... (read more)

Report this review (#102585) | Posted by Abstrakt | Monday, December 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Yeah, I've been meaning to submit a review for this one for a while. Listening to "I" after many spins of "Nothing" feels like a sucker punch right to the skull. Don't get me wrong, "Nothing" is a great release, but "I" just don't see it coming. Some words that come to mind...Technical, hy ... (read more)

Report this review (#57503) | Posted by | Tuesday, November 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I love this song, despite the fact that I have a hard time listening to it. Quite the Catch twenty two, eh (no pun intended)? That's the the with Meshuggah for me: They're an excellent group and are certainly very progressive (come on gang, they push the envelope so hard how couldn't they be c ... (read more)

Report this review (#40063) | Posted by mits5k | Saturday, July 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 1. I (10/10) Considering this is an EP, I am going to be rating this entire thing on the one song presented here, and that is I...I is a TRIP. The entire song represents everything you look for in Meshuggah, challenging grooves, and crushing style. The song reaches points of dissonance and he ... (read more)

Report this review (#39572) | Posted by | Friday, July 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It seems that all the best progressive or progressive-influenced bands have their best tracks (or at least really awesome tracks) clocking around the 20-minute mark. Dream Theater had "A Change of Seasons," Yes had "Close to the Edge," and now Meshuggah has "I". I am new to Meshuggah, just buying ... (read more)

Report this review (#37964) | Posted by coffeeintheface | Tuesday, June 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I do not consider Meshuggah to be "Progressive Metal" let alone Progressive at all, but because people insist on adding groups that have no reason to be on the website, I will honestly say for an EP, this isn't too bad. One fairly good track, especially since it's a "complicated" metal group a ... (read more)

Report this review (#37959) | Posted by The Ryan | Tuesday, June 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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