Meshuggah
Catch Thirtythree


4.0
excellent

Review

by Aaron USER (7 Reviews)
November 19th, 2007 | 13 replies | 2,988 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For me, their most accomplished, atmospheric and unique effort to date.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Meshuggah has come along way since the debut album 'Contradictions Collapse'. Not exactly a landmark in metal music, the follow-up ‘Destroy Erase Improve’ most definitely was and still is, containing fan-favourites such as ‘Future Breed Machine’ and ‘Soul Burn’. Since these times the band have progressed and refined their sound into a more experimental, but extremely heavy form of metal.

Catch Thirty-Three, being the experimental album that it is, has been described by Meshuggah as “one song” in a similar vein to previous release ‘I’. I guess the difference being that this album has been divided into sections with clusters of them making one “mini song”. Pretentious? A little bit, not that this really matters though as the musicianship on display is of a considerably high calibre.

Like the EP ‘I’, Catch Thirty-Three insists on repeating the rhythm sections until you can think of nothing else. The repetitive nature of the album will leave the listener hypnotized and immersed in the dark, heavy, artificial atmosphere created, making the album completely memorable as you’re repeatedly pummelled by this truly intriguing music. You can visualise the scene of production; a bleak, barren factory which just fits the almost mechanical, empty feel of the album. The emotionless, robotic screams courtesy of vocalist Jens Kidman, stop-start crushing guitar riffs, rumbling bass and off-beat drums all contribute to making this album their most accomplished, atmospheric and unique effort to date.

Guitar duo Fredrik Thordendal and Marten Hagstrom have really come together in this album; that’s not to say they haven’t been great on previous albums but ‘Entrapment’ really demonstrates what they’re genuinely capable of. Hagstrom keeps the rhythm section going, while Thordendal introduces an incredible, although short, erratically played solo. It just fits the album so brilliantly and when complete with the rest of the album, it’s some of Thordendal’s best guitar work yet.

Vocally, Jens is very one-dimensional on this album. That’s not to say his strained screams are weak or that they don’t work well with the sound Meshuggah are striving to achieve, because they do, it’s just it would be nice to hear a little variety. He does include some spoken word (well whispered parts really) like on previous albums but I think to have made this album truly experimental, he could have been more adventurous/imaginative with his choice of vocals. Even if his voice was not suited to clean vocals or if the clean vocals weren’t suited to the type of music Meshuggah play, it would’ve been interesting to hear him trying something new and to see him expand on his current talent. It was surprising though however, to hear Haake’s spoken word in ‘Mind’s Mirrors’. It fits the mood of the album perfectly with its abstract lyrics and computerised voice, bringing a calming half time break from all the musical mayhem.

The drums on this record are as expected, technically proficient and well executed but this isn’t because Tomas Haake is a fantastic drummer. It’s because they were programmed. Not that this really matters because it adds to the detached vibe of the album and most music fans will realise that Haake himself could have probably played these complex drum patterns if time permitted. For those who are unaware, the album was rushed for release.

The most impressive section of the album has to be the two part mini song ‘In Death - Is Life’ and ‘In Death – Is Death’ that displays everything in which Meshuggah is really about in just thirteen minutes. Essentially a two part song, you’re hit with fast thrashing guitars, slow and heavy, mammoth like riffs and crazy lead work. The ending to the song is fantastic, with Thordendal utilising his instrument to create a creepy, suspense filled atmosphere. Slowly the guitar fades out whilst an alarm sound fades in, getting louder and louder until the you’re hit with a terrifying scream which begins the albums single, ‘Shed’.

Overall, this album is enjoyable. The only criticisms I can honestly make of the album are the lack of variation in the vocals and the fact that it can be difficult to listen to this album the entire way through, despite it being only forty-six minutes long. The sheer weight of the album is skull crushing and can be easily compared to being hit by a musical sledgehammer. Some listeners may also find the album repetitive and half-arsed although if you were to look at this album in a completely different light you’d be able to distinguish the true charm of Catch Thirty-Three. To put it bluntly, you’ll either love it or hate it but I for one, love it.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
BurlySlayerFan
November 19th 2007



51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is my first review pretty much ever. If it sucks, constructive criticism would be nice.

Willie
Moderator
November 20th 2007



15876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The drums on this record are as expected, technically proficient and well executed but this isn’t because Tomas Haake is a fantastic drummer. It’s because they were programmed.
That's why I didn't buy this CD ever... the drumming is one of the coolest parts and knowing it's a live drummer has something to do with that... using a drum machine this time was enough for me to ignore it.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

ReturnToRock
November 20th 2007



3448 Comments


Good for a first review, but in subsequent ones, watch your grammar and syntax; there are a few minor, avoidable mistakes.

but it's a thumbs-up, no doubt.

Altmer
November 20th 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can listen to this all the way through no problem. I also don't really pay attention to the vocals.

Good first review.

Tarantino's Tarantulas
November 20th 2007



819 Comments


Haake used a special program which helped with coming up with some of the crazier stuff and also may have sampled some of his kit for a better sound but I think he can pretty much play everything on here.This Message Edited On 11.20.07

Confessed2005
November 20th 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haake is a talented guy, I'm pretty sure he could handle anything on this album. They play it live, right?

Altmer
November 20th 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Only a small part, iirc...As it was recorded in fragments every person knows but they can't perform it all together live iirc.

So they just perform a 9 minute snippet.This Message Edited On 11.20.07

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2010



5906 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The drums on this record are as expected, technically proficient and well
executed but this isn’t because Tomas Haake is a fantastic drummer. It’s because they were programmed.

That's why I didn't buy this CD ever... the drumming is one of the coolest parts and knowing it's a live drummer has something to do with that... using a drum machine this time was enough for me to ignore it.


I'm totally with you on that Trey, but on this album the drum machine programming is EPIC.

It's funny this coming from you, because i know that you quite fancy industrial music.

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fr33convict
August 27th 2010



11687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I never realized the drums were programmed. Huh.

DeathByAstonishment
May 10th 2012



269 Comments


Programmed with the drumkit from hell

evilford
May 10th 2012



21127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

funny thing is Haake sounds way better than that drumkit

and the drumkit sounds decent anyways

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mindleviticus
May 11th 2012



8157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

By far my favorite meshuggah album. Hypnotizing and brutal the whole way through.

LoneWanderer
May 11th 2012



180 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"By far my favorite meshuggah album. Hypnotizing and brutal the whole way through."

This.




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