Tag Archives: meshuggah

Technical Tuesday – The half-year best of!

I originally had numerous ideas for this week’s column, but while at work (I think about metal a LOT at work) it occurred to me to check which albums I had listened to most in 2012. The list was completely dominated by technical death metal (naturally) as well as the latest Paradise Lost and Cannibal Corpse offerings. Then, I thought to myself, “Man, metalheads LOVE (and HATE) lists! This is a great idea!”

This list is based entirely on number of plays. Hence, an album like Detrimentum’s Inhuman Disgrace, released in January, has a major edge on something like Nile’s At the Gates of Sethu, released months later. Gojira, also a recent release, simply didn’t have enough plays to make the top 15, along with other major players that will most certainly see better representation in a year-end list based on my opinion of the albums. Continue reading Technical Tuesday – The half-year best of!

Review: Meshuggah – ObZen

MESHUGGAH
ObZen (2008)

Sweden, Nuclear Blast Records, Undefinable.

On May 9th, I lived one of my greatest dreams; I saw Meshuggah live, truly solidifying my unwavering love and devotion to their music. It was easily one of the greatest shows I’ve ever been to and while I paid a hell of a physical price, it was worth every bit of aching, bruising and pain. Since the show I’ve been on an almost all Meshuggah diet. (Save for occasionally discovering a new band to be reviewed, Cattle Decapitation for the upcoming staff review and one of my two other great metallic loves, Suffocation) I’ve gone through their whole discography once again and now at the tail end of their godly gifts to music I find myself pondering what I’ve decided to call ‘The ObZen Conundrum’. Continue reading Review: Meshuggah – ObZen

TDM Staff review: Meshuggah – Koloss

meshuggah-kolosMESHUGGAH
Koloss (2012)

Sweden, Nuclear Blast Records, Progressive Metal

 “March to the core…”

I love Meshuggah for one specific attribute. They always bend the guitar neck for some crazy, non-proportional rhythm exhausts. This time is no exception. “Koloss” is one big rhythm battle cruiser. Breaker of worlds pulled 2000 meters underwater and exploding as huge tsunami. Guitar work here is a different dimension, different story or different pair of boots… call It what You want. Those parts are like consuming fire. It can last for very long time or can swallow all neighborhood in just seconds – depending on the surface. The important thing – it’s pretty easy to get intoxicated by the smoke! Easy if You “Meshuggist” or at last You’re into dysfunctional, technical music hehe. It’s even hard to tell they’re strictly technical. They’re in some sick way, progressive but none of this terms describes the music.

The probability that You didn’t heard a single track from their discography is lesser than eagle poking You in the eye. In case You actually DIDN’T heard them, You must be warned. It’s either love or hate… some say it’s music for musicians and those less familiar with such abnormal sounds may get epilepsy so be careful. Let’s summarize… exceptional but motoric  guitar work is controversial but that’s the beauty in it. Tomas Haake holds to a specific schema. Something like tribal drumming or something. Minimalistic but well done. Eerie – thickening atmosphere – keys are also present and I love them. Vocals are nothing more than we heard before from Jens. The conclusion is too simple for me… I liked “ObZen” more but I still love “Koloss”.

8/10 – Rimmon

“Kneel before Meshuggah, mortals!”

It should come as absolutely no surprise that I consider Meshuggah the greatest band in the entire universe. I’ve long considered ‘Nothing’ my favorite album. As such, I had extremely high expectations for ‘Koloss’ when it was described as slower and groovier.

When ‘Break Those Bones(…)’ and ‘Do Not Look Down’ were leaked, they were beset by a legion of ignoramuses and contrarians; some were bandwagon hopping ‘Bleeders’ who only care about Meshuggah in relation to ObZen and would honestly take Periphery over ‘Destroy Erase Improve’ while others could only muster the tired refrain of ‘Why isn’t this like their old stuff’? Now that ‘Koloss’ has been out for almost two weeks, I invite both groups of detractors to stick their heads in buckets of piranha fish. ‘Koloss’ is the best album of 2012 and the band’s best work since ‘Nothing’. The best way to describe Koloss is in fact as ‘Nothing’s organic counterpart. ‘Koloss’ has made me even prouder to be a Meshuggah fan. Fredrik Thordendal, Mårten Hagström,,Dick Lövgren, Tomas Haake and Jens Kidman are unstoppable. This album utterly annihilates ‘ObZen’. I now have a new key article of worship for my Thordendalist faith. Hail Meshuggah! Hail The Koloss!

11/10 (OK, OK, 10/10. If only 11/10 was mathematically sound.) –  Goshuggist

“I am the great leviathan, I am LIFE AND DEATH”

In recent years, Meshuggah has hit what can be called “the curse of the great.” As an undeniable innovator to the genre of metal, the purveyors of deviant Swedish audio have become absolute canon. See “djent,” an entire sub-subgenre (microgenre?) of bands trying to sound like Meshuggah. I thought that Nothing was undeniably in the top 5 most influential metal albums of the last decade. With all the hype ( Meshuggah had the most hyped song in the US, according to Last.fm) the question then is, “Is Koloss as good as [insert favorite Meshuggah album title here]?” Hence, the curse of the great.

Koloss is exactly what the name suggests: a blunt, discordant juggernaut bulldozing its way through buildings.  It starts with a lumbering swing, picks up into an odd-stepped sprint on track two, and continues in a variety of oddly time signatured paces.   Slow, fast, and everywhere inbetween, all in the alien robot metal that has made Meshuggah so essential. Long forgotten are silly nonsense things like breakdowns…. or everyone playing in the same time signatures. However, the album lacks some of the general creepiness seen in previous songs such as “Spasm.” Which is my complaint with the album – it sounds just a bit simple. Straightforward.

I once heard a local metal show where the dj commented that he tried to like Meshuggah, but he just couldn’t get into it. Later, someone said to me “You have to understand Mesghuggah albums,” which didn’t make sense until I finally, really, understood the album.  Koloss lacks that feeling of “I don’t even understand how this song works, this is absolutely mind-blowing.” That being said, its still great material, just not the absolute puzzle I had hoped for.

9/10 – Witness to the Void

“Meshuggah: still not faltering since 1987”

This album is pretty unique, it has to be said. Not many other bands out there are writing music like this; it’s gloriously dissonant, off-time, and hard-hitting. The whole thing has a quality unlike any other band around. It sure provides hope for future metal. It’s practically perfect.

Songs like “I Am Colossus”, “Swarm” and “Marrow” provide some inane chugs and riffs; a great deal of it even has a funky feel to it. In fact, the entire album has a chunky groove rushing through it. All the members know how to work together to keep a sweet groove interesting.

Now while we’re talking members, I’ve always respected Thomas Haake’s skill. As a drummer myself I realize just how challenging these polyrhythms are. I was shocked and amazed to find out that he wrote all the lyrics for this album, bar “The Hurt That Finds You First” and “Demiurge”, which were written by Mårten Hagström. However Jens puts in more than enough talent with his vocals, wherein I’m noticing an increasing amount of Strapping Young Lad influence. Given, my favourites are still ObZen and Chaosphere, but this is still an above average release, and a shining example for experimental metal.

8.5/10 – InexorableRotting

AVERAGE RATING: 8,9/10

Technical metal getting some attention in the US!

Last week in the metal news….

The United States has a fair amount of metal bands, some of the quite technical and heavy, but for the most part the genre maintains more of an underground following. We don’t turn on the radio at 2 p.m. in a big city and hear Slayer, much less something like Gojira.

However, that could be changing, albeit slowly.

For the week ending in March 24th, the number one hyped track on Last.fm was “The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance!” Now of course Last.fm isn’t an accurate depiction of the listening trends of the entire nation, but it still shows that metal is getting more and more listeners. Now of course the next week’s most hyped track is by Nicki Minaj, but take your victories when you get them, right?

And the number 2 most hyped track? Meshuggah’s “Marrow.” 

Number 3? Meshuggah’s “Behind the Sun.”

Number 4? Meshuggah’s “I am Colossus”

And can you guess number 5? I bet you can’t. Well its Madonna, so not Meshuggah, unfortunately.

Nonetheless, Koloss is getting some mainstream attention. About time, right?

Now Playing: The Second Annual Technical Tuesday

Technical Tuesday II – The Return

Welcome to the second annual (weekly) Technical Tuesday! In case you missed last week’s program, I will be giving a short description of each complete album I listened to today, and choosing a weekly victor. I was really looking forward to this week for two big releases, or at least what I thought was supposed to be the release date for two big releases: Koloss by Meshuggah and A Perfect Absolution by Gorod. Unfortunately, my usual retailers (iTunes and Amazon) decided not to offer Gorod’s new album for digital purchase, so it looks like I am going to have to wait. Anyway, that doesn’t prevent me from listening to the new Meshuggah… Continue reading Now Playing: The Second Annual Technical Tuesday