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Meshuggah have always been a weird, strange band. Strange polyrythmics, esoteric (yet very cool) lyrics, super down tuned, repetitive riffing, over and over again. Sometimes the stuff they write sounds more like Industrial building noise then music.
Of course, it's fairly obvious to say that to fully appreciate a Meshuggah album, you need to listen to it again, and again. No previous Meshuggah album takes as much effort as this album, and I definetly don't blame people who say this is a big laod of donkey balls. One big long song divided into a few parts to make it more accessible. A bit more melodic then Nothing.. but then again, what album isn't more melodic then Nothing?
You probably already know what to expect in this album. There's tonnes of those riffs we like, strange drumming, although It would be unfair to say it's like every other Meshuggah album. The lyrics are probably the best I've ever heard from Meshuggah. The lyrics flow very, very well from song to song, though you'd expect that. I have no idea what the theme of the album is.. But then again, Meshuggah have never been easy to interpret.
There's a fair bit of cool experimentation here. Mind's Mirrors sounds nothing like anything Meshuggah, or indeed, anyone else has ever done. Strange, clean robotic vocals coming out of nowhere, slowly echoing around, followed by some clean guitar that becomes extra dissonant by the time the song ends. Marvellous stuff. WHile a lot of the riffs are the usual bottom five frets of the 8th string deal, there's definetly a bit more innovation in the riffs, a bit more of the fretboard used. THere's also a few riffs that appear throughout the album, and they're used to great effect. Shed is probably the most accessible thing Meshuggah have ever done. Yeah, it's still really, really strange and heavy, but it's got a riff that's actually quite easy to head bang too, and the cool, eerie bits of clean guitar really help it. Probably the best song on the album.
So to sum up, this is a very weird album. Basically, if you like it, you're weird. Although it's easier to get into then say, the Nothing album, listening to it the whole way through takes a lot of endurance. Nonetheless, it is a pretty damn good album, and so if you're weird, you should check it out. A good to play if you want to annoy the neighbours. Best tracks: Shed, Mind's Mirrors, and the epic In Death- Is Death.