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Writhingchaos, February 13th, 2016

From the thunderous opening chords of "I Am Colossus" to the ambient fadeout of "The Last Vigil" this album is an exercise in otherworldly brutality like never before. Well of course not, Meshuggah have done it time and time again, but still. It’s just unbelievable how these guys can make such different sounding albums with pretty much the same ingredients over and over again in a career spanning two and a half decades, without losing any of the rhythmic intrigue and intensity, but then again this is Meshuggah you’re talking about.

“The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance” is almost a throwback to the ridiculously speedier days of Chaosphere and “Do Not Look Down” is so ridiculously groovy that you could almost dance to it while simultaneously doing somersaults and breaking the necks of five people around you. On second thought, keep that twisted fantasy in your head; don’t even think of trying it out in real life. You heard me. “The Hurt That Finds You First” keeps up the groove factor by pushing the pedal to the max in the first and middle half of the song, only to apply the brakes towards the end fading out with a slow groovy riff with the clean guitar echoing mournfully in the distance. A colossal (ha!) punch to the face of all the idiotic elitist detractors of the band who claim that they just mindlessly chug away without knowing anything about dynamics and songwriting. Listen to this song, you ignorant fucking hacks, and die.

"Marrow" should get your neck snapping in no time, with its split time grooves compelling you to do nothing but kick multiple holes in your wall till nothing but dust remains. The solo is undoubtedly Thordendal at his best with a heavy dose of atonal alien weirdness. The maestro doing what he does best. The bone-crushing breakdown at 4:47 is guaranteed to make you kill the nearest living person just so you can grind each of his 206 bones into fine dust and pour it on the grave of his forefathers. Definitely my personal highlight of the album. Even "Swarm" has a mind-numbingly awesome combination of groove and technicality with its ascending and discordant guitar progressions tailor made to make lily-livered mincemeat out of you in the next Meshuggah moshpit. You'd better watch out next time. ""Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion" has a similar snaking effect with its slamming polyrhythmic chugs interspersed with the techy guitar parts where Haake really showcases the slower groovier side to his drumming.

Compared to obZen which was more of a straightforward and hellish outpouring, in Koloss the atmospheric and mind-bending (read: alien) elements of Meshuggah’s music has taken center stage just like in the case of previous albums like Catch 33 and the like, with slower with slower more mid-paced riffs carrying an addictive groove slowly burrowing their way into your mind. Check out "Demiurge" and "Behind The Sun" for further proof. Even you don't believe the Catch 33 influence, listen to the final song "The Last Vigil" where you can almost picture yourself watching the perfect sunset of vivid and dazzling colours splashing all over the evening sky and slowly fading away, finally giving in to the darkness of the night. This theme fits the song like a glove. Then again, this is not the first time the band has showcased its ambient side (“Acrid Placidity” on Destroy Erase Improve, parts of Nothing and the whole of Catch 33) and I look forward to more such songs.

Once again the almighty Mesh kill it. This should come as a surprise to no one since that’s what they’ve been doing ever since their inception in 1991. Their discography throughout the last 25 years is the fucking epitome of consistency and perfection emerging triumphant against all odds. It has been said that they are gearing up for another album later this year. I for one can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeve next. Bring on the next album maestros. Another blissful lesson in polyrhythmic ass-whopping awaits.