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3.30 | 7 ratings | 2 reviews
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EP · 2013


1. Pitch Black (05:56)
2. Dancers to a Discordant System (Live) (09:51)

Total Time 15:47


- Tomas Haake / drums
- Fredrik Thordendal / guitars
- Jens Kidman / vocals
- Mårten Hagström / guitars
- Dick Lövgren / bass

About this release

Digital EP and 10" 33⅓ RPM vinyl EP released 4th February 2013 on Scion Audio Visual.

Digital EP offered as a free digital download from Scion A/V.

Thanks to UMUR for the addition and Bosh66 for the updates


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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.
"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.

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