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A song that runs 20:59.. But could run 6. - 27%

Deliverance, December 13th, 2004

I is currently the most recent offering from Meshuggah.. An EP of a single track.. Also called I. Okay. So I'd heard a lot about how creative and artistic this single track was. While I love Chaosphere and have heard some other Meshuggah and enjoyed it, when I saw this used for $5 I thought I'd pick it up and try it. That was a complete mistake.

One of the most important things in writing a song is to make it actually have a purpose, and go somewhere. If you can write beautiful 20 minute songs that progress somewhere, then you're quite talented. However, no one in Meshuggah understands that they have to progress somewhere. This song drones on in the same pattern as most of the material on Nothing, except they repeat themselves 3 times more than normal. The beginning starts with 1:32 of the same riffs being played.. Over.. And over. And over. Then it stops, and goes on to 20 seconds of screaming and noise. At 2 minutes, you're finally into the song. Nothing spectacular occurs, vocals in the usual manner, music proceeds in a quite generic way. After this set of verses the music picks up a little and has an interesting rythmic part to it, then the vocals kick back in and the guitar effects cut down. Then we go back to boring repetition of a single sound for awhile. Then vocals over that. Simple drumbeats in the background. Insert crazy, random guitar solo here that bursts out of nowhere. Sounds good. Should have been used somewhere that it actually fit.

By the time this is over, you're more than a fourth through the song. Vocals over pretty simple drumming with the usual, fast Meshuggah guitar parts bursting in. Vocals quit, drumbeat continues on the same damn drum over and over. Guitar enters for a short, useless bit, cuts out again, vocals re-enter. Same single drum/symbol pattern continues that you've been hearing for quite awhile. Everything stops for a strange guitar sound, I suppose. This goes on for awhile, quite awkwardly, stopping the already droning and boring pace of the song. Fitting for an end, not for the middle of a song. Then everything starts back up suddenly, with a new drum beat at last, decent guitar riffing. So on, so forth, for the next minute. Then the trademark background wailing guitar sound you expect from Meshuggah comes in, making you think a cool solo's gonna happen, but.. No, it's just two notes held for a long time. Vocals enter, still on the same sounds that have been going on for around 2 minutes now. Everything changes again, new rhythm, based mostly around a pretty simple drumbeat looping and guitar riffs that drone on back and forth between two utterly simple sounds, with vocals going over it once again. Goes on, quits, then vocals over more generic garbage you felt like you've heard for most of the album thusfar. And quits.

Then it starts back up, again, with crazy wailing guitar solo. Again, cool sounding, but it should be put to something good where it was built up to, not from one sudden change to the next.

Rhythm changes again, continues in a semi-interesting manner. Vocals kick up again, and proceeds to go on for all too long. Then it does the whole, stop, and have something that sounds like it's for ending a song, of silence, with sudden guitar riff and drum, fades out.. Four times. Slow, silent guitar played for awhile over the same notes, hold, repeat. It builds up (First time anything has built up in this song, just sudden changes for the rest of it) to louder drumming and 'atmospheric" garbage, while the drumming repeats the same pattern. And finally, it jumps into more guitar playing, in a slow manner.. Still droning on. The buildup was more interesting than the actual result here. This drones on over and over again, like every other part of the song.. Vocals kick in after some guitar is dropped. Decent sound to this part as it changes guitar throughout parts of it. Vocals drop again, guitar starts up playing the same four notes over and over again to everything else that's been going on for the last couple minutes. This seems to end several times as the guitar suddenly drops to a hold for a moment, then it starts back up again. Their guitarist had the right idea to try to end the song, but it's like the drummer wouldn't quit drumming, and thus, keeps repeating the same parts. Finally he holds it on a note, and the song fades out on that note and 30 seconds of feedback.

Really, this isn't a bad song. It would make a rather interesting song if it weren't for the fact that every portion of the song feels like it's drawn out for 2 to 3 times what it should be. Meshuggah pulled off ~10 minute songs fine with Chaosphere, which really is the only full material I have to compare it to, but.. Something happened between Chaosphere and I quite obviously, with which Meshuggah seems to have dropped the creativity and replaced it with forced attempts at being artistic.

It's okay, but not too enjoyable. Some very good parts to it though, if only they were used in a better manner and not reused for all too long. If it's cheap, I suppose it's worth getting. I don't feel bad about getting it. But I don't really listen to it, either. I sits on the shelf.. And, well. Sits there. Chaosphere is pulled out weekly for a listen.

Don't expect much real creativity out of I.