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Fun if entirely unessential - 65%

Noktorn, March 1st, 2010

This is one of the lesser-known entries in Meshuggah's discography, and though it's entirely unnecessary, it's a nice little item for friends of the band. The super jewel box edition of 'Chaosphere' has the same tracks as are found on this, so if you have that, there's no real reason to pick this up, but for those without it, this is a nice little release to add to your Meshuggah collection.

Okay, so we've got a demo version of 'Sane', which unsurprisingly sounds just like it would on 'Chaosphere', and a live version of 'Future Breed Machine', which unsurprisingly sounds just like it does on 'Destroy Erase Improve' but with worse mixing. Things get more interesting from there on out; the 'Mayhem version' of that same track is about as devastatingly heavy as other reviewers imply. This slowed-down version of 'Future Breed Machine' is laced with added electronic effects, and while I think this is just a slowed-down remix, not an actual re-recording, it's still a pretty phenomenal track and rivals the original, albeit in a very different way.

The last three are just fun little extras; the acoustic version of, yet again, 'Future Breed Machine' is a cute novelty. The concluding two electronic tracks, though, are more substantial; they're entirely unmetal, but they're surprisingly well composed and deep little dance numbers that can withstand multiple listens without seeming shallow or irritating. It's surely not what most people are looking for on a Meshuggah release, but hell, I like them.

Only one of the tracks here really NEEDS to be heard (the 'Mayhem version' of course), so if you just want to hear the most essential item, download that off your favorite file-sharing service. If you like the idea of Meshuggah gone techno or are just an ardent completist, you might as well grab this; it's pretty cheap in any major online storefronts and will give you a hell of a lot more enjoyment for your money than whatever Pelican crapped out last.