Meshuggah - I
Fractured Transmitter Records
Technical Death Metal
1 songs (21:00)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Jay

Known for producing strange and outlandish albums, Sweden’s darlings of mathematical death metal return this summer with an EP sure to boggle a few minds. This EP is one epic 21-minute song that highlights almost everything that the band is capable of. It starts off with some frantic drumming and guitar riffing which soon becomes sheer brutality lasting for nearly a minute. Screams, blast beats and insane riffs just give way to typical Meshuggah-style song structure. The brutal part incorporates many elements of noise music and once the singing begins, Jens seems to be using lower registers of his voice than he typically did in the past. As usual, the vocal delivery is tied to guitar and bass hits.

Soloing abounds left and right with eerie guitars swirling all around the music. Another break comes about 3:30 into the song when a more organized and melodic part begins. The drums have a more defined pattern and the rhythm guitar and bass actually have a melody as opposed to hits. It is a true technical masterpiece. Around 5:30, a frenetic crazy soloing second with a stepped up-tempo begins. This breaks new ground for the band and begins to sound like Cephalic Carnage inspired grind rather than the Meshuggah we know. This brutality is unrelenting as Jens joins in again and delivers some powerful lines before the band breaks into speed mode and rips some motor-like blasting again. The snare and double bass are unrelenting for minutes at a time. Tomas Haake is a machine behind the kit.

And then there was silence. About the 8th minute, we get a cessation of everything except the high-pitched ringing notes of the guitars. Do not be scared, the ferocity of the track sets in about a minute later. The next few minutes are pretty standard fare again with the vocals juxtaposed against instrument hits. The most amazing solo on the track starts at about 12:45. It twists, turns, and explores some of the middle-eastern associated maqam scale. The rhythm guitar and bass provide an excellent scale climbing effect during this solo as well which continues on past the end of the solo and into Jens’ delivery again. A few minutes of "Obsidian" style experimentation is the transition that takes us to the death metal again. The tempo remains decidedly slower for the final minutes of the track. While the beginning is truly vicious, the first break seems to tone down the speed significantly for the rest of the song. It is good to see Meshuggah experimenting with speed in this way and by doing so allowing each different aspect of this recording to distinguish itself.

Aside from the fact that this can only be purchased online at the present time, it would be a valuable addition to any prog or technical death metal library. This band keeps you guessing about what will be around the next turn in their convoluted and sinister music. That is what music is all about. I certainly hope this EP is a preview of the album they're going to drop later this year.

Killing Songs :
Jay quoted no quote
Other albums by Meshuggah that we have reviewed:
Meshuggah - The Violent Sleep of Reason reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Meshuggah - Koloss reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
Meshuggah - Alive CD/DVD reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Meshuggah - Contradictions Collapse & None reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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