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Very...Different - 80%

Xho, February 24th, 2013

Generally speaking, most of Meshuggah's songs have a very unusual, difficult-to-grasp feel to them if you're not very familiar with them. Pitch Black as a song, however is different even for the general Meshuggah consensus.

First off, the general feel of the song. For fans of Meshuggah, it can be compared to 'Dancers To A Discordant System'. It has a very low-lying but insidiously menacing theme to it. The riff in general is very typical of Meshuggah and their ability to manipulate one note in unconventional patterns. I could compare it to 'Bleed' in that respect as it has a driving feel to it but not for its tempo - the song is, much like most of Meshuggah's songs, slow and focuses on warping a single element of the song - the riff. The vocals are also very respective of Dancers To A Discordant System as well, for the main part anyway. I'm not sure whether it is Kidman or Haake doing it (my guess is Haake, but I could be wrong) and has this also increasingly menacing theme to the vocals.

Jens' trademark vocals then kick in, followed by an incredibly Thordendal-style solo. I myself can't really compare it to any other solo, but my best comparison could be anything from Chaosphere. It's incredibly abstract, and when you hear it first time you can't really understand it. My main word for the solo is 'dissonance' but getting used to the solo afterwards is all you can do to numb the attack.

The song then breaks into something sort-of-calmer again, but eventually goes into a very heavy riff nearer the end followed by a chorus-style lead. I do have to say hats off to the chorus lead at the end, because it works very well with the clean lead over the rhythm in particular parts of the song. Nicely done if you ask me.

In total, Pitch Black as a song is incredibly different. If you're a fan of Meshuggah you will wonder first time round as to what's going on. It's generally quite mellow for a Meshuggah song, and by itself is very difficult to compare to. Dancers is the most you can size it up with because of how divergent it is from other Meshuggah songs.

Secondly, Dancers To A Discordant System live. If you know background Meshuggah antics, you'll know that Dancers To A Discordant System was Hagström's and Thordendal's bane - they intended to play it live eventually and they pull it off very well here judging the somewhat metronome-shattering intro. There is not much to say on Dancers as it is a song from Obzen, and not a unique song by itself. But for live quality, it is almost pristine.