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I Was Astonished - 84%

SwallowTheMorning, August 2nd, 2008

As you can tell the EP is only one song and it's a 21 minute song. This is just one of the types of experimentation Meshuggah has tried. They also made a one-song full-length album entitled Catch Thirty-Three where they divided it into several sections.

The EP begins with a one minute long showcase of the drumming of Thomas Haake who has been awarded best drummer awards for his drumming skills in Meshuggah. Then there's a long shriek followed by Jens Kidman and his vocals that make the band. They are very crazy and give you a feeling of pandemonium when listening to them. The song shows a lot more technical work and chaos then vocals which is not a bad thing at all since the instrumental side of it is what makes Meshuggah so popular. The lyrics are also great as well, as I find most of their lyrics tend to be. I cannot listen to this EP without opening up the lyrics and reading them along with the song. I've heard a lot of people who tend to not like Meshuggah due to the vocals and that's understandable as they take some tolerance and in this album there is no part where you can say he does better vocally as he does well throughout the entire EP. My only complaint with the song is that it has some elements that are quite boring and in fact you at times have the urge to just shut the song off and go listen to something less hectic but those times are few and far between. Unless you're a vocal junky and need to hear vocals, then you minus as well not bother with the EP at all.

This EP is one of my favorite EP's I have heard and even though there are times when you feel like it's just a bunch of random instrumentals, it shows the talent of all the musicians in the band and highlights each members strengths and weaknesses all in one song. Really, if I were to single out one member's performance on this it would be Thomas Haake's as the drumming is just insane and cannot just be recreated by anyone. Unlike other songs I've heard that are long, this EP has too much energy shown to not recognize each member of the band as supporting the sound. Definitely worth the purchase, especially for aspiring drummers and Meshuggah fans.