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A Pleasant Surprise - 90%

Atheimetal, June 11th, 2008

I was not even aware of this album's release until the week it actually came out. The reason for this being that I haven't liked anything Meshuggah has done since Chaosphere, and had lost interest in them accordingly. I liked the aggressive pounding of the song Bleed, so decided to pick up the CD since it happened to be in stock where I work. Initially I thought, "Eh, it's alright." But as I listened to the CD more.. well, wow.

I started off by listening to Bleed a lot, eventually I discovered the song "Dancers to a Discordant System" which alone warrants this album a 60% in my book considering it's raw intensity and lyrical content. From there I really started to listen to the other songs, and while I don't love every song on the CD I have to say most of it is generally impressive. The best way I can describe the feeling you get from this album is this: Spiraling out of control as you fall closer and closer to a bottom you can't see.

The CD does a fairly good job of mixing up in-your-face riffs, to somewhat more groovy subtle riffs, and at times slows down a fair bit entirely. It definitely feels like a hybrid of much of their past work. Overall this is probably the best CD I've picked up in 2008 (although that's not saying much) and definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of any of Meshuggah's past work.