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MESHUGGAH

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Sweden


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Meshuggah biography
MESHUGGAH are a swedish heavy metal band who formed in the late 80's. They have had a few line-up changes over the years but their current line-up consists of Mårten Hagström, Fredrik Thordendal, Jens Kidman and Tomas Haake.

MESHUGGAH stand out from other heavy metal bands by having quite unique complexities that make their riffs and styles extra interesting. Blending styles of thrash in their early works, they have gone on to write more complex and challenging pieces album by album, taking a much more progressive feel to their music album by album. MESHUGGAH are famous for their strong use of unusual time signatures, often relating to jazz complexities. This makes their thundering riffs take a much more challenging and progressive form.

MESHUGGAH are quite unlike any other metal bands on this forum and are certainly an interesting pick of the prog metal genre. Sometimes described as "Math Metal", MESHUGGAH will go down well with fans of heavier DREAM THEATER tracks and other bands like TOOL for their unique complexities. MESHUGGAH's highest rated albums are "Destroy Erase Improve" and "Catch 33". One of their proggiest works is the 21 minute epic, "I" which is on a separate EP and is definetly worth checking out as it is a brilliant example of their odd shifts in time signatures and shows off their complex structures really well.

: : : Frenchie, ENGLAND : : :

See also:
-Thordendal's (Fredrik) Special Defects

Meshuggah official website

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Buy MESHUGGAH Music


KolossKoloss
Nuclear Blast America 2012
Audio CD$7.29
$7.00 (used)
ObzenObzen
Nuclear Blast America 2008
Audio CD$6.88
$1.89 (used)
Catch Thirty ThreeCatch Thirty Three
Nuclear Blast Americ 2005
Audio CD$7.27
$3.89 (used)
NothingNothing
Remastered
Nuclear Blast Americ 2006
Audio CD$11.77
$9.69 (used)
Destroy Erase Improve: ReloadedDestroy Erase Improve: Reloaded
Extra tracks · Remastered
Nuclear Blast Americ 2008
Audio CD$6.88
$6.17 (used)
ChaosphereChaosphere
Limited Edition
Nuclear Blast Americ 2013
Audio CD$11.74
$14.46 (used)
Destroy Erase ImproveDestroy Erase Improve
Nuclear Blast Americ 1995
Audio CD$37.99
$3.70 (used)
Contradictions Collapse ReloadedContradictions Collapse Reloaded
Remastered
Nuclear Blast Americ 2008
Audio CD$9.00
$11.59 (used)
Rare TraxRare Trax
Nuclear Blast Americ 2001
Audio CD$5.99
$3.75 (used)
Contradictions Collapse/NoneContradictions Collapse/None
Nuclear Blast Americ 1999
Audio CD$24.99
$2.48 (used)
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MESHUGGAH shows & tickets


  • Meshuggah at Tivoli Gröna Lund, Stockholm on 31 May 2014
  • Meshuggah + Between the Buried and Me at The Wiltern, Los Angeles on 6 Jun 2014
  • Meshuggah + Between the Buried and Me at The Regency Ballroom, San Francisco on 7 Jun 2014
  • Meshuggah + Between the Buried and Me at House of Blues, Dallas on 11 Jun 2014
  • Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival 2014 on 12 Jun 2014
  • Meshuggah + Between the Buried and Me at Pop's, Sauget IL on 14 Jun 2014
  • 25 Years of Musical Deviance on 15 Jun 2014
  • Meshuggah + Between the Buried and Me at The Fillmore Silver Spring, Silver Spring, MD on 17 Jun 2014
  • Meshuggah + Between the Buried and Me at House of Blues, Boston on 18 Jun 2014
  • 25 Years of Musical Deviance on 19 Jun 2014
  • Amnesia Rockfest Petite-Nation 2014 on 20 Jun 2014
  • Meshuggah + Between the Buried and Me at Best Buy Theater, New York on 21 Jun 2014
  • Graspop Metal Meeting 2014 on 27 Jun 2014

MESHUGGAH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MESHUGGAH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.02 | 48 ratings
Contradictions Collapse
1991
3.82 | 109 ratings
Destroy Erase Improve
1995
3.96 | 137 ratings
Chaosphere
1998
3.57 | 114 ratings
Nothing
2002
3.59 | 144 ratings
Catch 33
2005
3.82 | 80 ratings
Nothing (New version)
2006
3.73 | 177 ratings
ObZen
2008
3.75 | 73 ratings
Koloss
2012

MESHUGGAH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MESHUGGAH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.22 | 28 ratings
Alive
2010

MESHUGGAH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.54 | 8 ratings
Contradictions Collapse & None
1998
2.50 | 10 ratings
Rare Trax
2001

MESHUGGAH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.07 | 6 ratings
Psykisk Testbild
1989
5.00 | 2 ratings
Ejaculation of Salvation (Demo)
1989
5.00 | 2 ratings
Promo Tape
1991
3.66 | 19 ratings
None
1994
2.79 | 5 ratings
Selfcaged
1995
2.18 | 3 ratings
Selfcaged (USA version)
1995
3.50 | 2 ratings
Hypocrisy/Meshuggah (Split)
1996
2.43 | 10 ratings
The True Human Design
1997
4.16 | 102 ratings
I
2004
3.17 | 4 ratings
Pitch Black
2013

MESHUGGAH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Koloss by MESHUGGAH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 73 ratings

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Koloss
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 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 actually find more enjoyable and interesting to listen to than early Meshuggah works like Destroy.Erase.Improve, and has rekindled my interest in the band.

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 Destroy Erase Improve by MESHUGGAH album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.82 | 109 ratings

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Destroy Erase Improve
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Meshuggah are innovators, and Destroy Erase Improve is where they wheeled out many of their innovations for the first time. There's little question that this album is of crucial importance to progressive metal, particularly that odd little strand we call "djent".

At the same time, though, simply because you originate something doesn't mean you've perfected it. The Wright Brothers' first aeroplane was an important innovation, but you wouldn't want to fly such a plane for any reason other than sheer historical interest - there are better planes that give smoother and more comfortable rides and can do more tricks these days. Destroy Erase Improve is kind of like that: I can see why it's important to djent, but I can't help but think that later bands such as Animals as Leaders have actually taken the genre in a much more interesting direction since then. (In particular I find the album to be frequently a little emotionally sparse and cold, and not in an interesting chilly cyberpunk way but more in a dull "these guys are more interested in showing off than emotionally connecting or constructing a meaningful aesthetic" way.)

I say give it a go if you're interested in where the djent craze came from, but don't judge the entire subgenre on the grounds of this shaky early blueprint.

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 Pitch Black by MESHUGGAH album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
3.17 | 4 ratings

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Pitch Black
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Pitch Black" is an EP release by Swedish technical extreme metal act Meshuggah. The EP was released through Scion Audio Visual as a free download in February 2013.

The EP features two tracks and a full playing time of 15:47 minutes. "Pitch Black" is a new studio recording while "Dancers to a Discordant System", which was originally featured as the closing track on "obZen (2008)", is featured here in a live version. If you are familiar with Meshuggah's distinct sounding trademark style you won't be surprised when I tell you that "Pitch Black" is somewhat rooted in heavy groove laden thrash, that it features a hypnotic odd metered groove, that the riffs played are downtuned and crushingly heavy and that the vocals by Jens Kidman are raw, distorted and aggressive. The last part is not exactly true on "Pitch Black" though as Jens Kidman sings/talks in the mechanical way he has done before a couple of times in the past. The track is also in the atmospheric end of the band's repetoire with odd clean guitars and multible solos. Production wise it sounds like "Pitch Black" could be a leftover track from the "Koloss (2012)" sessions.

The live version of "Dancers to a Discordant System" is executed to perfection and yet another example of how relentlessly aggressive and skilled a machine Meshuggah really are. I think the vocals by Jens Kidman could have been slightly better, but it's a minor issue when listening to the band perform this killer track with a technical precision that seem almost inhuman to me. But as always they groove in a hypnotic fashion that's completely their own.

"Pitch Black" is a nice free EP, but it's not exactly the place to start if you're a new commer to Meshuggah. For that the title track isn't representitive enough of the band's usual style. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted.

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 ObZen by MESHUGGAH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.73 | 177 ratings

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ObZen
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars A combination of "zen" and "obscene", this album, like much of Meshuggah's output, to me works best as a sort of meditative piece, similar to what that character on this album's cover is undergoing. The music is so rhythm-based, that to capture the genius of what this band can accomplish, one should relax and let all these crazy polyrhythmic structures wash over you. Yes, it's loud as hell, and consistent at that, plus there's also vocals giving the impression of some chained pitbull being taunted by a bunch of kittens just out of reach. Still, after a bit, ObZen as a whole reveals itself as this musical shifting machine that fascinates with its tight yet insanely off-kilter pacing.

Looking for catchy melodies in a Meshuggah release is like looking for unbridled guitar solos in a Renaissance album. Melody isn't their thing. But it's not to say that some of the basic riffs utilized aren't cool sounding. If you're in the right frame of mind for this sort of thing, the polyrhythmic patterns are astonishing and even a delight to focus on.

ObZen is a heavy as their immediate prior material, but there is also a nod to their earlier thrash-influenced days, particularly regarding opening cut "Combustion", which begins things on a high and furious note. Man, it was nice to hear something like that from them after such a long time wallowing in mid-tempo-ville. Other highlights are the propulsive, heavy "Bleed", the energetic "Pravus", and the album's best track, closer "Dancers To A Discordant System", which may be my favorite tune by them. There are vocal variances to start off with, which are much appreciated after such relentless high-registered toneless barking by the vocalist, and the tune's epic nature allows for a good scope of what this band represents in one tune, with some real heavy riffing combined with amazingly complex time- signatures. Again, don't expect a slew of fretboard histrionics, although theirs some layered atmospheric melodies and rather unusual guitar soloing.

This album and their breakthrough release Destroy, Erase, Improve usually trade off as my favorite by the band, with this album's overall heaviness and cold production giving ObZen a bit of an edge in achieving this monolithic factory-from-hell aura. Not every song works, as "Lethargica" does somewhat put me in a state of lethargy as it channels Nothing's more banal moments, but for the most part, when the mood arises for some chugging fury, ObZen is one of my main drugs.

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 Nothing by MESHUGGAH album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.57 | 114 ratings

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Nothing
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars Like an Energizer Bunny running increasingly low on batteries, Meshuggah's Nothing still putters along pounding its bass drum, but with less speed, spark, and, in keeping with the simile, energy. I will say that it's almost an exemplary feat that a band can create such technically astute music that also manages to crush me with unrepentant ennui and even repugnance. This stuff physically hurts after awhile with its perpetual mid-tempo barrage of what often seems like two note chord progressions chugged ad-nauseum over precise yet sluggish polyrhythmic drumming. There's also the vocals, constantly yelling like a drill sergeant losing his mind dealing with stoned slackers who just want to eat nachos and nap.

I know a decent portion of Meshuggah fanatics at this point would be shaking their collective heads with the understanding that I just "don't get it", but here's the thing; I am a fan of much of their material. I love ObZen and some of their other albums, but man Nothing just removes much of what I dig about the band's aspects and leaves the pure basics in a stripped down shambling form. There's no energetic speediness or change of format to counter the heavy groove-based numbers, resulting in an excursion that impresses early but settles into a tedious display of nu-metal grooves spliced up and reassembled in occasional jarring fashion. Like a heavier Korn with mathematics degrees.

Granted, I do admire the production in that this album is unquestionably heavy sounding with its extra stringed guitars groaning and "djenting" (silly word, I know) out hellish low notes in mean calculating fashion. As well, on a few occasions interesting melodic soloing appears to add a bit of ambience to the mechanical display, and yes, the tempo virtuosity is exceptional. But I will also say that they do the polyrthymic wackiness much more impressively on other efforts, including the equally plodding but overall better and more interesting Catch 33. As someone who likes what this band can achieve concerning what I would consider their best releases, I can't really recommend this album at all as it churns out one similar mind-numbing sequence after another. I need aspirin and coffee now.

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 ObZen by MESHUGGAH album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.73 | 177 ratings

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ObZen
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by progbethyname

5 stars THE HARDEST, MOST DEVISTATING ATTACK ON THE SENSES.

Not gonna get too deep and crazy with this review because the music just speaks for itself. If you are a person who is looking for music with a crazy-hard edge to it, then youve found your band and your album OBZEN. This is the hardest music I've ever heard in my life, but it's the hard aspect of the music that makes it so great. Tracks like COMBUSTION and BLEED offer up some wild and extreamly odd time signatures with the use of Guitar. I've never really heard such hard music played with so much finesse and technicality. Wow. I'm pretty blown away. I actually laugh by just how crazy this music is, but I laugh cause it really is incredible by how fast and technical the music is. I have a new found respect for the tech/extreme prog metal genre and because of Meshuggah I will venture further into the genre. I thank Meshaggah for opening my eyes to see the creative, ahnillative and destructive force they are. Dam!!! Be prepared to be blown away by great musicianship and hard-assed guitar riffing that is sure to please any sane metal head. Enjoy. ObZen is a masterpiece and it warrants a 5star rating.

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 Koloss by MESHUGGAH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 73 ratings

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Koloss
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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.

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 Koloss by MESHUGGAH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 73 ratings

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Koloss
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by arcane-beautiful

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 flawless, the concept is on the money...the only problem that I saw with the band was that their songwriting was never really for me.

The closest thing the band have been close to wow me was Catch 33, and that was because it almost one big epic track. Now the album which followed it up Obzen, showed a lot of potential, especially with songs like Combustion, Bleed & Dancers To A Discordant System, where there was a lot of intricate songwriting techniques found in the tracks.

Now this album has seemed to take the best bits from Obzen, and really highlighted them.

Yes, this is definitely one of my favourite Meshuggah albums. I didn't know what to expect from this album, and I'm really happy that I left it really satisfied with the album and no blaming it for wasting my time. The first half of the album especially is the most significant, whilst the other half may have certain old Meshuggah qualities, it still is a great listen.

Musically the band have adapted a better songwriting style and have experimented with more tempos and other types of riffs, rather than having the complicated djenty nonsense over and over again. At times, the band even return to their thrashy roots now and then. Basically, this album, musically, is a very different approach for the band.

Lyrically the band are at their best. Their lyrics aren't just silly nihilistic nonsense, but rather take on more organic and meaningful forms. Jen's vocals are also the best I've ever heard. He really screams and growls his heart out on this album, with a more raw approach to his vocal style.

1. I Am Colossus - Wow! What a way to start off an album. Powerful riffs and epic moments. Can you think of a better way to kick off an album. 10/10

2. The Demon's Name Is Surveillance - I was surprised at how fast this song was. A very kick ass thrashy influenced song. 10/10

3. Do Not Look Down - Best song on the album. I was surprised how poppy and catchy this song was, especially this being a Meshuggah song. The riff in the song is actually rather funky too. 10/10

4. Behind The Sun - A very doomy, dark and dank song. Quite a powerful moment. 9/10

5. The Hurt That Finds You First - Again, I was surprised how different this song is for Meshuggah. A return to their thrashy roots. The song also had live sounding drums...which surprised me. 9/10

6. Marrow - One of the most jazziest songs on the album. One of the best instrumental moments on the album. 8/10

7. Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion ' A return to the Meshuggah style I'm not the biggest fan of. Very slow and a tiny bit boring. Still not too bad, but still not the best. 6/10

8. Swarm - Contains some very bone shattering riffs. Beware. The song also contains actual off time riffs (rather than 4/4 drum patters with random off time beats). 8/10

9. Demiurge - This song is probably one of the heaviest Meshuggah songs I've heard. Very heavy and monstrous. 8/10

10. The Last Vigil - A nice little ending to the album. Eerie yet beautiful. 8/10

CONCLUSION: This is probably my second favorite Meshuggah album. This is

8/10

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 Catch 33 by MESHUGGAH album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.59 | 144 ratings

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Catch 33
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Like an enormous fat round ass, Meshuggah grazes in the musical meadow oblivious to its fellow donkeys and indifferent to calls by its so-called human masters to pull fruit carts. It does its own thing, lumbering around in beastly fashion, snorting at those who draw near it. Catch 33 offers no attempt to soften up their stance and accept an oat or two from a child without biting its hand off. If anything, it's one of the band's most difficult albums musically and aesthetically. The shifts in tempo, the cold eeriness, the monstrously heavy sections, the persistent barking by the frontman, and the general lack of melody to grasp onto; riding on this donkey ain't easy.

The album is essentially one long song divided into 13 parts, in which one part ends and another begins at random moments throughout this piece. It almost seems like some sort of appeasement to their record label after their prior release which consisted of one 21 minute track named "I". The 13 individually named parts may give that feeling of a typical full length album, but it's all just a disguise for one seismic entity which shifts mechanically at random moments of its own design and sense of order.

Musically this whole thing is an exercise in rhythm, consistently utilizing the lower notes of eight string guitars and bass playing odd repetitive riffs over polyrhythmic and downright difficult percussion. The sound is thick and bludgeonly powerful at times, although there are also some reasonably long passages of quiet ambience that ease the ears but add to the overall tension of the piece. Lyrics are usually delivered by an enraged shout that's utterly hoarse but still retains humanity, along with some robotic vocals and whispering at key points. As one monolithic work, this thing can get tiresome with its unbridled constant chugging and yet there are times I listen in wonder as to how the hell are they doing this incredible stuff.

The fact that a drum machine is used instead of their stellar human timekeeper is unfortunate. I understand that the percussion here was composed with loops of Haake's work and some serious programming due to deadlines to be met, but it still takes away from the experience unfortunately even if they do sound incredible and intricate. It's like seeing a favorite singer of yours in concert lip sync because he/she has a terrible cold. The reasoning is completely legit, and you know from previous gigs that this singer is truly gifted, but that doesn't mean disappointment should not be felt.

I'm trying to figure out the Catch 33. I'm insane, therefore the music sounds pretty decent. If I was not insane, then the music would still sound pretty decent, therefore I am actually insane even when I'm not insane, although knowing that I'm insane means that I am not really insane etc.

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 Chaosphere by MESHUGGAH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.96 | 137 ratings

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Chaosphere
Meshuggah Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars My first taste of Meshuggah happened with "Chaosphere" with its absorbing cover art and title. If one is in the mood to hear complex techno thrash, Meshuggah delivers. The downside for me are the vocals that sound like Pantera swallowed Sepultura and was spat out in bursts of gravel vomit. Needless to say the music is designed for the hard core metal addict, and there's a legion of them out there. I am no longer impressed by death metal, finding it infantile and pointless, but am willing to try bands that have original approaches and technical virtuosity. The opener 'Concatenation' is just a grinded out blaze of hate and anger and I was underwhelmed. However, the music becomes intense and gratifying on later tracks.

Very technical hypno riffing guitars with distortion to the max is found on the majority of the album. There is some interesting lead guitar work especially on 'Neurotica', a circus rhythm of squawks over an incessant grinding riff. The vocals of Jens Kidman do nothing for me personally, just lunatic growling like a maniac with rage and anger, but quite dull and monotonous with little variation or coherence, though one has to admit it's appropriate to the manic time sigs of distorted chaos. The atmosphere is dark as night and the mechanised crunches are kind of appealing. The end of 'Neurotica' is like a factory sound with metal grinding on metal by the guitar stabs of Fredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hagström.

There is a blistering metal onslaught on 'The Mouth Licking What You've Bled' and the factory sounds continue. The sound is horrendous but so compelling; this is not designed for the faint of heart or parents, that much is certain. I like the twisted lead break on this track and the pounding off sync drumming by Tomas Haake that attempts to keep up.

The mesmirising rifftastic sounds of 'Sane' maintain the frenzied guitar wrath. One has to admire the ferocity of the riffing on 'The Exquisite Machinery of Torture', and the vocals are more rapping than screaming in some places, though he could be saying woof, growl, bark, snarl for all I know; I cannot understand a word. The time sig is simply uncanny, with short stabs of knife edge crunches with a lead break melting over almost improvisationally.

The 15 minute epic 'Elastic' is definitely a highlight with quick bursts of repeated riffs in the opening section, and it builds gradually into Meshuggah mayhem. The riffs become more technical and are so precise it is staggering. The first lead break is like a violin and the second break is a repeated motif with an ethereal quality, quite chilling actually, nothing like your average guitar break, and it goes on with the same note pattern for quite some time. The guitar even sounds out of tune and then it phases into a feedback loop, with a spacey effect drone. This builds in volume to deafening proportions reminding me of the intense nauseating drones from Sunn O))). The sound reverberates like the pulse of a UFO, sending shockwaves through the skull, until it mercifully breaks into a low volume pulse. The grinding riffing guitars return finally and a ton of screeching vocals that is simply white noise and hard to take.

The brutal intensity is the drawcard for many and will take some tolerance to withstand by the uninitiated. Overall this is an interesting Meshuggah album with a lot of complex time sigs and Meshuggah's defined original approach to metal. I think they improved on subsequent albums but this is still an album that made an impact in 1998. It will not appeal to all certainly but is worth checking out just to hear the sheer ferocity of those factory sounds and distorted downtuned riffs.

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