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Colossal In Every Aspect - 92%

Xho, February 24th, 2013

Meshuggah's 2012 album Koloss. Well, what can I say? It's Meshuggah.

We might as well start off with the general theme. When we compare this to obZen, we instantly recognize the fact that Koloss, in terms of aggressiveness, is somewhat diminished. Koloss has its very heavy moments and its not so heavy moments. I think most listeners will agree that the heaviest song is either 'I Am Colossus' or 'Swarm' - it can definitely stack up to obZen songs such as 'Pravus' or 'Bleed'. However Koloss is significantly calmer and more controlled in its form, and is far more...mature (?) and serious in musical advancement than obZen.

The album's first song, 'I Am Colossus' is more of a masterpiece on lyrics than the musical backdrop. When one looks at said lyrics you understand the whole feel of Koloss as an album. It gives you the feeling that Koloss presents god-like imagery (see 'Demiurge') and I Am Colossus is possibly the most 'evil' sounding song on the album. Unlike other Meshuggah songs which are in design to throw off the listener, I Am Colossus is almost operatic in nature. A very cool opera if you're asking me.

Other songs I can name which stand out in this album is 'The Demon's Name is Surveillance' and 'Demiurge'. 'The Demon's Name is Surveillance' is one of few prime examples of Haake's stamina in drumming. 'Bleed' from obZen is the other example - both songs are physically demanding and Haake's drumming drives this particular song in a palpitating rhythm.

The other song I mentioned, 'Demiurge' is simple, but very, VERY effective in its form. Out of all Meshuggah songs, 'Demiurge' is probably the easiest song to grasp. As a result it is innately heavy to anyone who listens to it and with a very memorable rhythm. One of Meshuggah's best songs on the album and incidentally one of their best overall but for completely different reasons.

My main criticism of this entire album is 'The Last Vigil'. Whilst having a great quality of its own, it has little place in the thunderous nature of Koloss. It is quite easily the most mellow of Meshuggah songs, and as far as I know, Meshuggah isn't known for its light-base songs. Very nice and hypnotic don't get me wrong, but it feels almost placeholder-ish.

In total, Koloss is a 'colossal' album. Certain songs cleave straight through the extreme-metal/avant-garde genre, and is memorable to say the least. Very heavy, but not as heavy as obZen. Perhaps for the better?