I can’t even believe this Meshuggah record. Just this morning I woke up feeling like I had nothing to listen to. I was officially sick of all the music in all the world – and then I got into work and logged into Spotify to find that KOLOSS was available on Spotify.
And I no longer had a problem.
Meshuggah is such a unique band in that no one quite sounds like them. When you hear Meshuggah there is no mistaking it and there aren’t a ton of bands out there that can try something new and yet still sound exactly like you would expect them to sound. So when Meshuggah began working on and started handing out glimpses of their latest album, KOLOSS, I had no doubt it would still sound like them. And yet – they’ve charted new territory here. It has to be heard to be believed.
Metal in general isn’t for everyone. A lot of people can’t deal with harsh vocals, especially those of Jens Kidman who is not only excessively harsh but pretty much the angriest man alive. Meshuggah is essentially the Jonathan Toews of bands – they have a near-robotic, unwavering steeliness to their music. Those qualities as well as their driving, polyrhythmic percussion make them a band with low-accessibility. This is no gateway band for the uninitiated.
They are, however, doing things with heavy music that no one else is doing. From the the chainsaw-like effects on “The Demon’s Name is Surveillance” to the strange, alien solos to the always masterful drumming of Tomas Haake there are so many ear-popping moments on this record that’ll have you hitting back so you can hear it again to make sure it’s real.
As someone who has an annoying habit of tapping my feet, fingers and even clicking toes together to the beat of whatever song I’m listening to – these rhythms are almost tap-proof. I’ll probably spend months trying to catch on to the bass drum patterns on this album. That’s the case with all Meshuggah records but this time they’ve created something special. I don’t think Meshuggah is the type of band that’s ever going to achieve the mainstream success that we’ve seen bands like Mastodon garner in recent years but they’re always going to be recognized as groundbreakers and pioneers. Their only mission with each album seems to be to push the limits of what is possible in music.
I know metal isn’t for everyone but if you have any inclination toward heavy music and can stomach some yelling, I urge you to check this album out immediately. If you’re looking for something to work out to, or just blow off some steam to – this is your best bet. It’s definitely going to end 2012 as one of the best things I’ve heard even with three-quarters of the year left.