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It's really good, but I still don't like it much - 78%

Evil_Sock_Puppet, November 13th, 2006

First of all, let me just say that I really, really wanted to like this album. I'm familiar with the way Meshuggah's claim to fame is the way they can absolutely obliterate time signitures/structure/etc, and while the idea of an album consisting of one single continuous song sounds a little like a gimmick to me, I was still interested to hear it.

Don't get me wrong, this disk is as impressive as hell musically, and anyone who thinks otherwise should listen to it again. The "song" immediately goes right into the main musical thread that pretty much carries through the entire 47 minutes; an irregular stop-start, choppy dischordant rhythm that then gets molded and mashed through a whole bunch of different melodic and rhythmic variations as the song progresses.

Overall, though, while I do appreciate the complexity and originality that this band has to offer, I really don't find this release to be particularly listenable. I really like a lot of the riffs and individual moments, they just don't hold up for as long as they get dragged out. There are particular moments, in fact, like in the last minute of "Entrapment," where the song definitely sounds like it hits a rut, and just sort of hangs around going absolutely nowhere for minutes at a time. This sort of thing, along with some stretches of "filler" (like the last 4-5 minutes of closer "Sum"), say to me that it doesn't really have to be this long.

All in all, if you took this song, compacted it down to about 10-15 minutes long, and made it the last track on a more diverse album, then you'd have yourself one HELL of a closer, and it would easily be one of my all time favorite songs. But as much as I love progressive metal, this one ends up being something I really respect, but don't really enjoy listening to.