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Meshuggah as hell - 65%

Kheygo, January 29th, 2016

Meshuggah was the first band I've listened to that featured growled or screamed vocals. At first, I didn't really know whether I loved it or hated it. The only thing I was absolutely sure was that I didn't like the vocals, but, over the time, not only the vocals, but the whole dynamic of the band grew on me. It grew so much that, for about 3 months, the only thing I listened to was Meshuggah, and this album was the first of their discography I've ever heard, back in 2013.

Koloss is the band's seventh studio album and was released back in early 2012. When I listened to it for the first couple of times, I was fascinated by songs like Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion. The creepy, dissonant intro followed by that bassy, chugging, bone-crushing riff with Jens' classic vocals on top and that bridge where everything calms down for a while, with the guitars dissonating over the bass and drums. If there's one thing this album nails in almost every song, it's the intro. Like in the song "Swarm", where the intro literally sounds like a swarm is approaching you.

As always in Meshuggah's catalog, Koloss shows how brilliant the band members are. The guitars are played in such a strange tempo that it makes it hard for anyone to headbang to any of the songs of their discography. The tone the guitars bring is absolutely amazing. It's so bassy, so chuggy, but at the same time, we can hear every note played. It doesn't get muddy, and it doesn't turn into that blob of notes, where you have no idea what is being played. The riffs are pure obliteration. Meshuggah really knows how to create them in a way that you feel them reverberating in your soul. Every time that 8th string is played, it seems like you get stomped by a giant in the chest. The drums are a different show. It's no surprise Tomas Haake is one of the best and most technical drummers in our time. He plays extremely odd patterns and time signatures in sonic speed with an unhuman accuracy and he does it without getting boring on either the slow ones like Behind The Sun, or in the ones Haake breaks the speed of sound with the constant, destroying double-bass, like The Demon's Name Is Surveillance.

Although I can't praise this album enough for its technicality and brutality, I still have some problems with it. When I first heard New Millennium Cyanide Christ, back in Chaosphere, I remember being confused and, also, amazed by that guitar solo, if it can be called that way. It's, to this day, one of the weirdest guitar solos I've ever heard. And this album lacks this kind of sensation. The solos don't do much for me. It seems they were put in the album just to be there, they don't add a thing to any song of the album. The riffs are incredible, but the guitars don't do much else. Variety was never something Meshuggah was known for. They always played that same formula and went on an endless journey to perfect that sound with each album. And I can understand that, but I don't think I want it anymore. I just wish they experimented a little more, because going through this whole thing for me, was a little tiring and, at times, excruciating.

Koloss is a solid album, although it's not the best they can do. Not even close. If you want to get into this band, there are much better albums that I'd recommend you, like 'Destroy Erase Improve", "Chaosphere", "Nothing", or, more recently, "Catch Thirtythree".

Favorite tracks: "Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion", "Marrow", "Demiurge" and "I Am Colossus"