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Reality Check. - 70%

Perplexed_Sjel, October 15th, 2007

If only this full-length was released after the previous one and following two. One could quite easily state that it (DESTROY)ed Contradictions Collapse, it (ERASE)d Chaosphere from the memory and it (IMPROVE)d upon Nothing. Meshuggah's often chaotic, generally aggressive and undeniably technical approach to music is what has given them their rather large fanbase over the years. With a massive following comes a love/hate relationship. Generally when a band gains a certain amount of recognition their fans divide. The long standing fans who have seen it all and love the good old days and the newest fans who love the here and now. Meshuggah are a band whose fans fall exactly into that category. Although I haven't liked Meshuggah for long, and don't necessarily like them that much, I can't state precisely where I come in all of this. So, i'll sit on the fence and try to give an impartial opinion.


Destroy Erase Improve follows a pattern. It's chaotic, much like every other release the band have issued to the world. It's based around technicalities and it fuses melody with aggressive to create an unstoppable force. Though a pattern exists, it's quite an unusual one given the fact that Meshuggah's sound has quite clearly changed. The pattern exists in the form of the underlying goal. The idea is to portray your lyrical themes, which are dowsed in emotion and raw feeling, in a manner that is incomparable to anyone else. Through sheer creativity and innovative exploration, Meshuggah have made a sound unlike anyone. Given that fact, Meshuggah deserves some credit. Though with several bands emerging on the scene that play a perhaps better style than Meshuggah's jazz fused brutal assault, Meshuggah are losing touch with reality. A sheer lack of structure is what they would find if they opened their eyes.


It's difficult to make something that no one else has in this day and age. They do this through using two very different styles. The first being a highly technical side and the second being a very industrial base. Experimentation is the name of the game. Though this is a very risky game. Odd time signatures are usually Meshuggah's downside when it comes to the audience. Odd time signatures are again a persistent nuisance throughout. They detract from the atmospheric touches Meshuggah attempt to add. They lack direction at times and can force the music to become somewhat subpar and cause it to lack substance. It makes it very hard to hold a high opinion of the music. Riff after riff churns out in an aggressive manner. The vocals are even more so aggressive than the riffs. The firm, forceful and self-assured vocals have always been the main negative for me. I can't get into them at all. They irritate me and sound robotic, which I suppose suits the music which has a very mechanised feel.