Meshuggah is one of the few bands which music demands as high audial quality as possible. That is why I don’t frown at the thought of remixing, remastering, re-everything except writing an album released as late as 2002, as I would if any other band would even consider doing it. (Especially when the original artwork is changed and a swarm of uninteresting bonus material is added.) So what do you do when your latest album sound weak and lame? Rerecord the damn thing! Even more if you’ve got one string more on your new guitars… Yeah, it’s the eight-stringed hell-axes again. So, the updates are few. Jens Kidman’s screams are rawer and more guttural. All riffs and rhythms come out much clearer. Nebulous is slower and Obsidian is longer. It’s still one of the best Swedish albums this century has to offer, a bit heavier this time. The traditional mechanized riff-bulldozer is/was stronger than ever, tuning and slowing down the chaotic carnage of the previous releases into a churning menace that will eat you alive.
The rhythmic core and backbone of Meshuggah makes “complex” sound diminutive. It’s all calculated patterns. A basic example…
Thomas Haake plays five measures, like this:
But at the same time Thordendahl/Hagström/Lövgren (gtr-gtr-bass) plays only four measures:
That is, 24/4. Confusing?
At the end it all works out, all is dividable by 4, the magic number. A principle called isorhythm, invented by composers in France back in the 14th century. (Don’t quote me on that though, please mail me if I’m wrong.) Add to this one of Thordendahl’s derange Holdsworthian/Zappaic hyperlochric solos, or Kidman screaming his lungs out in strange polyrhythms or syncopations, you’ll end up with a neurological bludgeoning force that will beat you senseless and make you wet your pants (Spasm is extraordinarily menacing…).
+ The new booklet layout, complete with lyrics. Chemically induced hallucinations, neurocircuitry misused, epileptic seizures… Blue/green beats orange/yellow any day.
+ Bonus DVD; 3 live videos, 2 promo videos (tourbus vs visual effect extravaganza), and a vocalist bored with a webcam and some wigs.
+ Haake recorded the original drums hearing only a clicktrack (note: they are not rerecorded).
+ Jens Kidman in a mullet wig.
Release: October 31st 2006
Label: Nuclear Blast USA
Avantgenre: Meshuggah Metal (mechanic Math Mayhem)
Official site: http://www.meshuggah.net
Review online since: 19.08.2007 / 14:56:15
Disc 1, Sonics
2. Rational Gaze
3. Perpetual Black Second
4. Closed Eye Visuals
5. Glints Collide
6. Organic Shadows
7. Straws Pulled At Random
Disc 2, Optics
1. Straws Pulled At Random
2. In Death Is Death
3. Future Breed Machine
(download Festival, U.k. – 2005)
4. Rational Gaze
5. Shed (catch 33)
6. New Millenium Cyanide Christ (chaosphere)
7. Rational Gaze, Mr Kidman Delirium Version