MESHUGGAH — I — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of

4.44 | 44 ratings | 6 reviews
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EP · 2004


1. I (21:00)

Total Time 21:00

2014 Special edition:

1. I (21:04)
2. Bleed (live) (07:33)
3. Dancers to a Discordant System (live) (09:48)
4. Pitch Black (05:57)

Total Time 44:22


- Jens Kidman / vocals
- Fredrik Thordendal / lead guitar, bass
- Mårten Hagström / rhythm guitar
- Tomas Hakke / drums

About this release

CD released 13th July 2004 on Fractured Transmitter Recording Company (FTRC 001).

CD special edition released 26th September 2014 on Nuclear Blast Records (NB 3402-0 / 27361 34020) and in Japan released 22nd October 2014 on Avalon (MICP-11190).

Recorded at Fear & Loading in Stockholm, Sweden.
Mastered at Stockholm Mastering.

Thanks to The Angry Scotsman, bartosso, xaxaar, Bosh66 for the updates

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Specialists/collaborators reviews

This was an experience I'll never forget. Being a huge fan of Animals as Leaders, I had heard that this was a similar band, and I was interested. So, being a big ol' Progressive Metal fan, as I scanned through their albums trying to decide where to start, I saw this one had one track clocking in at 21 minutes long, and I thought "that's the one!" Well...I can't say it's my usual cup of tea, but I will say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the complex drumming, and the absolute ruthlessness of this album. I remember thinking, as I listened to this in my car, "I hope someone tries to carjack me. Because I will totally rip that person apart. I don't care how big they are, I can take them!"
The word stamina is an understatement when describing this song.

I (I have no idea if it's the letter or the number so don't ask me) is a rather adventurous idea by Meshuggah. The EP is just one track, the title track, that runs for an incredible 21 minutes, flat. The song doesn't let up once, not once, throughout the whole 21 minutes, except for those typical discordant and dissonant clean guitar solo things that Meshuggah does. The song is fast, it's hard, it's intense, it's brutal, it's heavy, goddammit it's Meshuggah!

The song starts out with a 2 or so minute long session of just crazy riffing. Two whole minutes of just wacking on the band member's guitars and drums and basses and whatever else they used. Like I said first thing, stamina is an understatement when describing how they did this. Once the craziness "breaks," there was no stopping these guys. The whole way through they played their music, that crazy brand of Meshuggah-intense music, until their fingers were bleeding (at least that's how I envision it). The polyrhythmic journey is full of intensity and fear-breeding fury that could make a seasoned metal-head's ears bleed. The song contains every aspect that Meshuggah fans enjoy, from crazy time signatures to crazy thrash metal riffs to the signature djent, to discordant solos to so much more. Overall, this is easily one of Meshuggah's best tracks.

ALBUM OVERALL: This song is almost too intense. And that's the reason I'm not giving it 5 stars. For musicianship, intensity, polyrhythmic value, and all those types of quality, the song is perfect. But in a musical sense, there is no melody, no harmony, or any of that. Now of course this is truly one of the things that Meshuggah has prided themselves on, but I think that they should let up somewhat somewhere in the song so your head doesn't explode whilst listening to it. Overall, the song is fantastic, but can be a little overkill at points. 4 stars.
This is my first review. So, the english here can be... well, poor... Complex. Brutal. Technical. And sometimes atmospheric. Meshuggah is one of the most creative and original bands of the metal genre, expanding the boundaries of their sound to something that is inimitable (well, ALMOST inimitable, just listen to Coprofago...). This huge twenty-minutes song sounds like the lost soundtrack for a cult horror movie - like the japanese Tetsuo - The Iron Man. Must be an interesting experiment, to listen this movie with "I" as soundtrack... I will not give 5, because the vocals could be less repetitive (and even melodic). Recommended for all the Tech/Death/Thrash progressive fans.
If you are a fan of Extreme metal and extreme time signature work, this is probably one of the best EPs you can get. This is a 21 minute piece of absolutely brutal metal that experiments with some of the most complex rhythmical work ever created.

It starts off with a brutal quick tempo double bass part with the guitars chugging away in all their polymeters. As the pattern continues, it seems to stay the same. Is something going to happen? Suddenly, something does. It bursts into a blast of noise simply all over the place, an outpouring of aggression. Then the piece truly begins. The blatant thrashing Meshuggah riffs are here, with the constantly shifting rhythms and odd grooves. Patterns get twisted, and change ever so slightly, so that each section with a different groove moves easily into the other. This song explores the abilities of rhythmic exploration in abrasive metal, not only going into the complex insanity we all associate with tech bands, but eerie ambient sections, and straightforward groove parts. All of them contribute to the whole, making this one of the most uncomfortable, pulse-heightening, loud, and simply wonderfully complex pieces of metal period.

I am very impressed in the way this band develops rhythms as opposed to the way most bands develop their melodies. I am also impressed at how they can make good transitions from one sections from the next. And their way of making near-no melody brutal metal have distinct sections throughout the entire piece is very interesting. I definitely recommend this EP to any extreme metal fan. It is truly something different and a work that needs to be listened to.

Members reviews

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

The djentlemen have created a masterpiece here. The EP consists of one twenty-one minute song of brutal guitar riffage, extremely complex time signatures, screamed vocals and the complete disregard of melody or regular song structure. The song must contain at least several different riffs. The signature Thordendal solos are present. Brilliant drumming from Hakke who manages to keep up with the tempo changes and time signatures, very technical, complex drumming but done with amazing precision. I recommend ‘I’ to those who are just starting out with Meshuggah. It encompasses everything the band has done, in my opinion. Definitely a masterpiece of metal music.

Ratings only

  • Peacock Feather
  • GWLHM76
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  • BitterJalapeno
  • tapfret
  • Fant0mas
  • Unitron
  • Bosh66
  • Nightfly
  • kx1992
  • 666MetalFrank
  • peccatum
  • Hazy7868
  • MetalMirror
  • trickster B
  • armadillo212
  • renkls
  • IMPF2112
  • IMPF
  • Bubbix
  • kogaionon
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  • Gi
  • luanpedi
  • vikt73
  • The Angry Scotsman
  • Wilytank
  • sauromat
  • loggerhead
  • Xaxaar
  • Coracin
  • bartosso
  • CCVP
  • NorseGangsta
  • justametalfan
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