|Meshuggah – ‘The Violent Sleep Of Reason’ (Nuclear Blast Records)|
|Written by Nick Russell|
|Thursday, 29 December 2016 05:00|
Swedish techno gods Meshuggah simply aren’t like other bands. There may be many who try to sound like them but ultimately, they all fail. In this day and age it’s unusual to find any band that ploughs their own furrow and is pretty much unique, Meshuggah are such a beast. With this, their eighth album, they continue their well-founded legacy of musical genius.
‘Clockworks’ opens the album in the style you expect, heavy discordant riffs, drumming that borders on the side of crazy and times changes all over the place. With ‘Born In Dissonance’, things actually take a turn for relative normality, a fairly straight forward song that is actually quite commercial, well as commercial as they would ever get. ‘MonstoCity’ has a down tuned riff that it could almost be a proggy Korn whilst ‘By The Ton’ has a slower grinding riff with an overall spaced out sound. The title track has a fairly standard drum pattern and brings to mind Gojira.
‘Ivory Tower’ has a real grinding riff and I love the way that it builds up, leading to a dreamy sounding solo. Whilst the next track ‘Stifled’ has an extremely dense and heavy riff, there is an overall feeling of a Pink Floyd-esq proggy vibe to it. One of the highlights of ‘Nostrum’ is the ridiculous drumming of Tomas Haake, the main is like 10 drummers in one, a true force of nature. Another relatively simple start to ‘Our Rage Won’t Die’ before it descends into chaos. The album closes with the ultra-heavy off-time riff of ‘Into Decay’, a dark slow and sludgy song, the perfect way to finish off.
There is always a lot going on within a Meshuggah album, some would say too much, with no groove to it. But if you really delve in to any of their albums, amongst the twisted poly-math rhythms, you can really get into it, with this album being no different. The playing is immense, stunning guitar work and an out of this world drum performance, with singer Jens Kidman adding his vocal prowess. Its sounds immense, very heavy, a great production where amongst all the madness, there is a clarity of sound.
Far from a casual listen, you do have to immerse yourself into the record; it is challenging but ultimately very rewarding. It may not be the usual Uber Rock crowds' listening pleasure, overt technicality against glunky rock’n’roll, but you would be missing out on a record of Death Star destroyer of planets level heaviness and greatness.
Meshuggah kick off an eight date UK and Ireland tour in Bristol on 12 January.