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A Placeholder and Nothing More - 60%

Xenokrist, February 16th, 2013

A relatively new label that's garnered a lot of attention lately is Scion A/V, and I have no idea why a car company would have anything to do with music, but they've released a lot of EP's from bands like Arsis and Revocation, and now Meshuggah has decided to release an EP on the label. The reason, I think it's because they need a placeholder until their next album comes up.

The song Pitch Black is actually an unreleased song from 2003, and it's a pretty odd one, because it doesn't have any consistency between the two albums recorded before and after it, 'Nothing' and 'Catch Thirtythree'. In the beginning of the song, it seems to have a nice flow to it, but about a minute into it, there's a sudden unnecessary pause for 5 seconds, and then it goes back to the regular polyrhythmic music. The rest is admittedly very forgettable, and it's quite a shame, it was a big letdown. The second track is a live version of Dancers to a Discordant System, which is an amazing track off of obZen. Very well played, extremely tight and cohesive.

Fredrik Thordenal and Marten Hagstrom have never been known much for being technical or fast guitarists, but they do know how to write polyrhythms and play them extremely heavily. However, the production of the song masks all of that and makes it not so heavy, and it's trebled until it's just a bunch of high-end noise in your ear, and that's another thing that bothers me about that song other than the forgettable music. The drums sound muffled, and you would think Tomas Haake would get some reprisal for his amazing, tight performance. But unfortunately, that isn't so. The live version of Dancers to a Discordant System is very well mixed and sounds like it could've came off of the Alive live album. The guys really show off their technical, polyrhythmic ability on this song quite well and it actually sounds pleasant to the ear other than that failure of a song Pitch Black.

In conclusion, this really has no other purpose than to be a placeholder. There's nothing really groundbreaking on this release, but hopefully their next album will make up for it and be as good, if not better, than Koloss.