Meshuggah ‘Koloss’

Meshuggah 'Koloss'

1. I Am Colossus 2.the Demon’s Name Is Surveliance 3. Do Not Look Down 4. Behind The Sun 5.the Hurt That Finds You First

6.  Marrow 7. Break the Bones Whose Sinew Gave It Motion 8 Swarm 9. demiurge 10. The Last Vigil

Jens Kidman-vocals, Fredrik Thordendal – guitar

Marten Hagstrom – guitar , Dick Lovgren – bass

Tomas Haake – drums

In some ways this is one of Meshuggah’s most important albums. Their  influence on the ‘djent sound’, if only in name to some, has meant that their musical contributions post ‘Ob Zen’ subject to the utmost scrutiny. The question on Internet music geeks finger tips is nearly always the same ‘ are Meshuggah still revolutionary? In the musical post-djent landscape are they still relevant?’

The answer? I don’t know that it matters because ‘Koloss’ proves one thing: Meshuggah don’t really give a fuck.

The album is heavy. Incredibly so. It’s almost unrelentingly Single minded in its heaviness. But every single song on the album runs on a monstorous groove. The album is much more focused and directthan the expansive and indulgentapproaches of both ‘Catch Thirty Three’ and ‘Obzen’.  It reminds me much more of ‘Chaossphere’, if only because it’s the first Meshuggah album since then that has instantly obvious singles and live highlights such as ‘Do Not Look Down’ and ‘Marrow’.

This groove centric approach is both a strength of ‘Koloss’ and a weakness. It’s focus on driving, aggressive songstakes each track a decent stand alone headbanger, and for myself ideal gym music. On the other hand, that is more or less the only real dynamic on the album. The wholething is punishing, aggressive andresolutely in the same vein. On first listen, I found this left me feeling the album was somewhat stale and one dimensional. That said, by my third listen I’d almost entirely changed my mind. The album may be one dimensional, but it certainly isn’t stale. In fact, currently it sits second to ‘Chaosphere’ as my favourite Meshuggah record.

The fact that the band have delivered a record so single-minded and selsatisfactory demonstrates the band have seemingly been unphased by the explosion of the ‘scene’ theysupposedly inspired. Instead of bringing out an album designed to show that they were the ‘djent’ kings, shiny time signatures, flashy polyrhythms and more strings than thou, the band have given us what probably passes as a punk rock album so far as Meshuggah goes.

Which in itself proves they are still undisputed monsters of experimental heavy music.

Long live the kings.

‘Koloss’ is available now at all good record stores and digital outlets.

C.McMillan

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