MESHUGGAH
Thrash Metal / Avant-garde Metal • Sweden

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Meshuggah, whose name is taken from the Hebrew and Yiddish word for "crazy", are a five-piece band from Umeå, Sweden, founded in 1987. Their style is most easily described as extreme/technical metal with some jazz influence. They use extended polymetric passages, complex drum patterns, angular, dissonant guitar riffs, and harsh vocals. Their lineup has always been consistent, apart from bass which has been handled by many people since the band's conception. Their current lineup consists of Jens Kidman (vocals), Fredrik Thordendal (lead/rhythm guitar + backup vocals), Mårten Hagström (rhythm guitar + backup vocals), Dick Lövgren (bass) and Tomas Haake (drums).

Meshuggah is widely acknowledged as an influence on many modern metal bands from Textures to Tool. They are regarded as pioneers by critics and musicians alike. Band history

Meshuggah was formed in Umeå in 1987; two years later, the band released their first record, an EP entitled Psykisk Testbild
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KolossKoloss
Nuclear Blast America 2012
Audio CD$7.29
$7.00 (used)
ObzenObzen
Nuclear Blast America 2008
Audio CD$6.88
$1.66 (used)
II
EP
Fractured Trans 2004
Audio CD$24.99
$3.55 (used)
Catch Thirty ThreeCatch Thirty Three
Nuclear Blast Americ 2005
Audio CD$7.27
$3.80 (used)
Destroy Erase ImproveDestroy Erase Improve
Nuclear Blast Americ 1995
Audio CD$37.99
$3.74 (used)
ChaosphereChaosphere
Limited Edition
Nuclear Blast Americ 2013
Audio CD$11.74
$14.46 (used)
Catch Thirty ThreeCatch Thirty Three
Limited Edition
Nuclear Blast Americ 2013
Audio CD$11.97
$14.53 (used)
NothingNothing
Remastered
Nuclear Blast Americ 2006
Audio CD$11.84
$9.69 (used)
Destroy Erase Improve: ReloadedDestroy Erase Improve: Reloaded
Extra tracks · Remastered
Nuclear Blast Americ 2008
Audio CD$6.88
$6.17 (used)
Contradictions Collapse/NoneContradictions Collapse/None
Nuclear Blast Americ 1999
Audio CD$24.99
$2.36 (used)
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MESHUGGAH Discography

MESHUGGAH albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 2.93 | 14 ratings
Contradictions Collapse
Thrash Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 3.73 | 31 ratings
Destroy Erase Improve
Avant-garde Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.28 | 36 ratings
Chaosphere
Avant-garde Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.56 | 32 ratings
Nothing
Avant-garde Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 3.67 | 31 ratings
Catch Thirtythree
Avant-garde Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.33 | 14 ratings
Nothing (2006 Remaster)
Avant-garde Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 3.49 | 42 ratings
obZen
Avant-garde Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 3.87 | 22 ratings
Koloss
Avant-garde Metal 2012

MESHUGGAH EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 2.05 | 3 ratings
Meshuggah (Psykisk Testbild)
Thrash Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 3.88 | 4 ratings
None
Thrash Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 2.14 | 3 ratings
Selfcaged
Thrash Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hypocrisy / Meshuggah
Thrash Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 1.58 | 4 ratings
The True Human Design
Thrash Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nothing / Reroute to Remain
Thrash Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 4.02 | 35 ratings
I
Avant-garde Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 3.40 | 6 ratings
Pitch Black
Avant-garde Metal 2013

MESHUGGAH live albums

.. Album Cover 4.25 | 4 ratings
Alive
Avant-garde Metal 2010

MESHUGGAH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ejaculation of Salvation
Thrash Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
All This Because of Greed
Thrash Metal 1991

MESHUGGAH boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Contradictions Collapse / None
Thrash Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 1.63 | 4 ratings
Rare Trax
Thrash Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Singles Collection
Thrash Metal 2009

MESHUGGAH singles (1)

.. Album Cover
3.00 | 1 ratings
I Am Colossus
Thrash Metal 2012

MESHUGGAH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.54 | 3 ratings
Meshugga Alive
Thrash Metal 2010

MESHUGGAH Reviews

MESHUGGAH Koloss

Album · 2012 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
By the time they came to record Koloss, Meshuggah's distinctive "Djent" sound was no longer their unique quirk but the hallmark of a whole subgenre of progressive metal, many of whose proponents such as Animals as Leaders I find more interesting than Meshuggah's early works. Happily, Koloss finds Meshuggah stepping up their game accordingly, tightening up their compositions and working on balancing their technical capabilities with producing music which actually connects with the listener on an emotional level. The end result is an album I actually find more enjoyable and interesting to listen to than early Meshuggah works like Destroy.Erase.Improve, and has rekindled my interest in the band.

MESHUGGAH Pitch Black

EP · 2013 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
bartosso
An Étude in Z minor

Meshuggah are allegedly from space and they're in fact of alien, post-organic origin. It's just a rumour, but given the nature of their music, that might actually be true! Having been spawning groundbreaking albums, one after another since DESTROY ERASE IMPROVE, the spaceship with the band on board was finally grounded in 2005. After releasing the majestic, avant-garde/post-thrash masterpiece, CATCH 33, Meshuggah ran out of ideas.

PITCH BLACK doesn't surprise. To be honest, KOLOSS didn't surprise either and OBZEN was surprising only because it was the first unsurprising album by Meshuggah (paradox!). The band seems to go round in circles since CATCH 33, and there wouldn't be anything wrong about it, if their sound wasn't so sterile. Groups like Meshuggah simply have no choice but to push the envelope in order to avoid getting stale. The style they invented, often called "djent" by mathcore aficionados, is like a firework - it's great and sparky but it needs other fireworks to have any impact. Shit needs fuel, god dammit! You won't find no fuel here, bro. PITCH BLACK is just another Meshuggah track reminiscent of "Spasm" (NOTHING), "Shed" (CATCH 33) and "The Exquisite Machinery of Torture" (CHAOSPHERE). Jens Kidman reciting a posthuman poem, if I'm not mistaken. The live recording is well done, too, but again, I'm not excited.

It's a decent release. A Meshuggah fan has nothing new to discover here, though. It's free for download so no harm done, but it's still kind of depressing that for last six years or so, Meshuggah have been rehashing the same old ideas over and over again.

MESHUGGAH I

EP · 2004 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Earendil
I is an unadulterated vision of absolute Ego. It is the antithesis to the natural order of the universe. It is chaos.

"Miracles inverted by default, a reflex to devastate / Soaking in the will to violate, to castrate / Soiling the purpose of mankind / Shifting through worlds from chaos, to chaos, to chaos."

It recognizes its perversion only through the observations of others; it is unable to find any positive emotion or state because it is Ego, intrinsically opposed to the natural order.

"The illness that they whisper of, is that what makes me fail? / I see through the eyes of the of the blind / Not clear what it is to be this self I dread, the immense, the rabid I am / The cogs turn, grinding away at ceaselessness-willing it to dust."

According to the band, the music was composed virtually without a pattern: it is chaos composed by chaos. The music and lyrics reinforce each other as they assault the listener, utterly indifferent to him. I is crushingly heavy, vastly and deeply chaotic, and a singular vision of incredible ambition. The authority of this piece of music is absolute; there are no pulled punches.

I is a unique intersection; it's rare that this many elements can converge to convey a single message. The music, the music structure, and the lyrics are all intense meditations on the chaos of Ego. Also, the intro to the song is one of the heaviest things I've ever heard.

Rating: 10/10



MESHUGGAH Destroy Erase Improve

Album · 1995 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Meshuggah are innovators, and Destroy Erase Improve is where they wheeled out many of their innovations for the first time. There's little question that this album is of crucial importance to progressive metal, particularly that odd little strand we call "djent".

At the same time, though, simply because you originate something doesn't mean you've perfected it. The Wright Brothers' first aeroplane was an important innovation, but you wouldn't want to fly such a plane for any reason other than sheer historical interest - there are better planes that give smoother and more comfortable rides and can do more tricks these days. Destroy Erase Improve is kind of like that: I can see why it's important to djent, but I can't help but think that later bands such as Animals as Leaders have actually taken the genre in a much more interesting direction since then. (In particular I find the album to be frequently a little emotionally sparse and cold, and not in an interesting chilly cyberpunk way but more in a dull "these guys are more interested in showing off than emotionally connecting or constructing a meaningful aesthetic" way.)

I say give it a go if you're interested in where the djent craze came from, but don't judge the entire subgenre on the grounds of this shaky early blueprint.

MESHUGGAH Pitch Black

EP · 2013 · Avant-garde Metal
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UMUR
"Pitch Black" is an EP release by Swedish technical extreme metal act Meshuggah. The EP was released through Scion Audio Visual as a free download in February 2013.

The EP features two tracks and a full playing time of 15:47 minutes. "Pitch Black" is a new studio recording while "Dancers to a Discordant System", which was originally featured as the closing track on "obZen (2008)", is featured here in a live version. If you are familiar with Meshuggah´s distinct sounding trademark style you won´t be surprised when I tell you that "Pitch Black" is somewhat rooted in heavy groove laden thrash, that it features a hypnotic odd metered groove, that the riffs played are downtuned and crushingly heavy and that the vocals by Jens Kidman are raw, distorted and aggressive. The last part is not exactly true on "Pitch Black" though as Jens Kidman sings/talks in the mechanical way he has done before a couple of times in the past. The track is also in the atmospheric end of the band´s repetoire with odd clean guitars and multible solos. Production wise it sounds like "Pitch Black" could be a leftover track from the "Koloss (2012)" sessions.

The live version of "Dancers to a Discordant System" is executed to perfection and yet another example of how relentlessly aggressive and skilled a machine Meshuggah really are. I think the vocals by Jens Kidman could have been slightly better, but it´s a minor issue when listening to the band perform this killer track with a technical precision that seem almost inhuman to me. But as always they groove in a hypnotic fashion that´s completely their own.

"Pitch Black" is a nice free EP, but it´s not exactly the place to start if you´re a new commer to Meshuggah. For that the title track isn´t representitive enough of the band´s usual style. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted.

MESHUGGAH Movies Reviews

MESHUGGAH Meshugga Alive

Movie · 2010 · Thrash Metal
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Matt
Recorded throughout the tour of their latest album release at the time(Obzen) in 2009 and released in February 2010 on Nuclear Blast which could be the best description of this extreme metal bands music style. Uncompromising,frantic,pounding and hardly a normal guitar solo too be heard, just the scream of the chords played. Drumming as fast and as tight as you can get it. Tomas Haake knows how to keep time and not easy would that be in this outfit. Dick Lovgren on Bass is simply as good as they come in Metal. Jens Kidman of course with his growl style of vocals fronting the band with his own distinct sound.and the two guitarists Fredrik Thorendal on lead guitar and and Martin Hagstrom on rythmn guitar. The majority of the songs are from the albums "Obzen" and "Nothing" which make up nine of the twelve tracks with two from Chaosphere and one from the EP None.

"Perpetual Black Second' is first up with the lyrics pertaining to a second of violence and with the intro of the guitars and the drums the song quickly takes us into that rapid style with the twin guitars, with the drumming not really providing support but stating its own time.Of course we get Fredrik's Thorendal approach to a guitar solo which is such an important component in the bands own sound.The only track within the album that does not seem to gel is Lethargica with its off kilter rythmn but that is more personal taste as the song as usual is tight and played spot on."Bleed" which is one of my favourites off the album Obzen is given the treatment and what a blast it is. The version on the cd is from Montreal whereas the dvd is in New York due to better footage I would guess as the venue and audience provide great material for the clip used. Special mention must go for the version of "Rational Gaze","Pravus","Straws Pulled at Random","Stengah","The Mouth Licking What You've Bled" but others who are fans of this band most likely will have their own list from this great live album.

With over twenty years of experience the band shows exactly that with its extreme and original approach to modern metal and one very tight outfit is the result.Fantastic full on live album even a bit more so than their studio recordings and masters of the extreme they have become. The dvd also provides footage in between songs off the band on the road.Shot in black and white and it gives a nice feel to the down time the band has. Also you get a drum kit and guitar tour as a bonus. The cd song order is not the same as the DVD

4.5 stars but in 12 months I may revisit this review to update this to Five.

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