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Damn, and I thought Nothing was the ultimate in Heaviness. THis album makes Nothing sound as easy as a Nickelback album. Furious guitars, super odd ball guitars an drums.. just one long slab of noise.
There's no room to breathe here, as millions of super odd time riffs just come at you, again and again. While later releases give you a lot of time to breathe, and even allow a bit of groove to get through, there's none of that here. None. Just tonnes of super busy riffs that are ultimately off kilter, being backed by some of the best drumming ever. Tomas Haake is amazing how he pulls off these beats I have no idea. Try New Millenium Cyanide Christ... How many time sigs is he playing??? Amazing.
All this talk about strange riffs and polyrythmics..Most bands who try to do this sound like crap, but Meshuggah manage to pull it off, because they're one of the few math-metal bands that realise odd ball riffs aren't everything. Every riff is full of passion, every riff is full of anger, and that's the odd paradox about Meshuggah. You get some off the strangest, most machine like music ever but there's still plenty of humanity in some form or the other. Maybe that's just me though.
Still, there's a few problems here. Meshuggah riffs are well known for being repetitive, but it's very bad on this album. Worse then the later stuff, definetly. Most of it consists of one or two notes being played in a very fast and off kilter way. While it's quite good, it takes a while to really understand the riffs. But that's always been Meshuggah for you.. Only repeated listening can reveal to you the secrets that the riffs hide. The vocals are fairly weak too, as I've mentioned. Kidman doesn't let any really long screams go through, most of the vocals are off kilter and choppy like the guitars, but for the most part it doesn't work, indeed the vocals even come off as nu-metalish at times. The lyrics aren't quite up to the amazing abstract stuff that's in the later albums, but that's fair enough, I guess. Still, comparing some of these songs' lyrics to the stuff in say, Glints Collide or the whole of Catch 33, you can see that Meshuggah had a lot to improve.
Nonetheless, this is a very good album. It's not Meshuggah's best album by a long way, but it's probably their heaviest, which surely counts for something. Well worth getting for strange people who like strange music.