REGARDED IN SOME circles as the ‘quantum physics’ of music, Swedish progressive death metal overlords Meshuggah return with their seventh album Koloss.
The word ‘subtle’ does not exist in their universe – everything is played with a relentless machine-like precision that is made all the more scary when you realise that though everything you are hearing is processed via the latest computer technology, all instruments are played in real time by human beings lead by the demon-invoked vocals of Jens Kidman, whose throat is surely lined with the highest grade titanium!
Meshuggah’s secret of the deep bottom end is the use of 8-string guitars that lend a depth of unimaginable power and brutality – and that of the polyrhythm – the simultaneous use of two or more conflicting rhythms, that are not readily perceived as deriving from one another,
or as simple manifestations of the meter.
Yes, there may be slight jazz fusion and thrash metal components added to the melting pot, but on the whole Meshuggah are of a level of musicianship that is simply unmatched by any of their peers or outside of their particular genre of music.
Of interest is the Limited edition CD/DVD digipak that comes with a documentary in two parts – showing the band in the process of making the new album, and Meshuggah on a quick, sharp tour of… India, which is bizarre as it sounds. Music really is the universal language, I just didn’t realise it was in Death Metal Cookie Monster vocal dialect! JASON DONOGHUE