Genre: Math Metal/ Experimental Metal
Release Date: 23rd March 2012
Label: Nuclear Blast
When I was growing up elsewhere, a different country where I live now, and where some Yiddish interlaced our language, we used to call “meshuge” those, who seemed crazy, but crazy in a dazzling way. MESHUGGAH are one of the bands that had earned the right to be called a legend. Between insanity and genius lays only a silk-width thread. They chose an apt name then. Their superb and pioneering fusion of death, thrash and progressive metal with jazz has spawned off Djent trend (or as some call it ‘anything that sounds like MESHUGGAH’ - it’s frankly impossible not to reference them when reviewing Djent bands). There’s even a detailed study of their music out there.
MESHUGGAH are of the kind of bands that don’t want to stand in one spot and their new album ‘Koloss’ purges forth more straightforwardly, leaning in its sensibilities more towards its thrash metal roots. The sound is darkly apocalyptical, heavy and menacing, steel with grit and wrath - the last of them mostly evoked by Kidman’s vocal, and take the super-furious drumming in ‘The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance’ (superb title!) where it is matched by futuristic and cold and insanely relentless guitars, at times sounding like small drills into one’s skull in juxtaposition. 'Do Not Look Down' has a groove that will leave you feeling as if you were run over by a ghost train repeatedly. Throughout it’s a relentless spin of anger, rage and hurt and all its spectrums passionately hurtled by a human being against the cold, claustrophobic, disintegrating and at the same time towering world around. And yet with ‘Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion’ the band meditates on the impulse of man to revenge and destroy. These endless contradictions in lyrical terms and the unsettling and small shifts of mood provide the fact that even if the album comes out as more simple against their previous work it still offers plenty of thought-provoking content. MESHUGGAH don’t let you get away that easy and like TOOL they not only provide music that has a lot of intelligence behind it, they’ll require that you’ll exercise your brain matter to its max as well in return.
The album has a feel of cohesion as a whole, the band tried to sustain the similar kind of mood and heaviness and streamlined on experimentation and exploration on how far they can push it technically (though their skills are undeniable still). This can make it difficult to make an album where songs don’t sound too homogenous, but the individual songs do stand out with different layering, approaches and giving different aspects prominent role. To use an example let's consider the bass - orientated ‘Marrow’ with a guitar solo piercing it - it feels out of place yet weirdly it fits in too, brought by taking on an approach of jazz. ‘The Last Vigil’ fills in a contrast with its fragile beauty laid against the aesthetic of the weighty ‘ugliness’ of its prevailing darkness, which served as a catalyst for all that within ourselves. Or maybe as koloss is a breakdown of a Greek word “Kolossos” [colossus] as if to denote something broken within a greater whole, essentially a failure of a kind. Ending with a release that does not offer easy happy ending, rather a melancholic requiem after this night of the soul, which is a superb touch especially as within listening it will seem again to somehow not ‘fit in’ yet it’s such a perfect ending in so many ways.
It’s unmistakably one of THE releases of the year. MESHUGGAH after all this time prove their relevance, mastery and unbreakable uniqueness.
01. I am Colossus 4:43
02. The Demon's Name Is Surveillance 4:39
03. Do Not Look Down 4:43
04. Behind The Sun 6:14
05. The Hurt That Finds You First 5:33
06. Marrow 5:35
07. Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion 6:55
08. Swarm 5:26
09. Demiurge 6:12
10. The Last Vigil 4:32
Jens Kidman – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Fredrik Thordendal – lead guitar, backing vocals
Tomas Haake – drums, spoken word vocals
Mårten Hagström – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Dick Lövgren – bass
http://www.meshuggah.net/ / https://www.facebook.com/meshuggah
Total: 10 / 10
Buy the album here!