Review Summary: If only all of their albums were live
Meshuggah is a band of consistency. Their albums are always unrelenting hatred in the form of complex time signatures mixed with what has been called robotic vocals. They have also been lauded for their live show, which is where the band truly thrives. The crazy Swedes, with eight string guitars in tow, bring an intense, nonstop atmosphere to all of their shows, which is what makes a live album truly interesting. Can a live album and DVD contain everything that makes their live show great? Yes, it can, and in fact, it is better than their last few albums.
The absolute number one upgrade about Meshuggah live is Jens Kidman. Here is a vocalist who on record sounds like a pissed off robot, yet in a live setting his throaty growl shines. His vocals out of studio are so much better than hearing him on album. Jans Kidman brings the intensity in his vocals to a level that honestly is not and can not be replicated on their studio albums. The rest of the band does not slouch either, with there being no note out of place, and every note being hit with viciousness. Tomas Haake further proves how amazing of a drummer he is with his performance, which bites and punches at all the right spots.
The camera captures the band well, but sometimes the camera does what all cameras in live videos do: go into an intense bout of ADD, flying from shot to shot, making you want to hurl. Also, Jens Kidman is less than talkative on stage, but, in all honesty, this is a metal show, how often do you need to hear, “HOW THE *** ARE YA (Insert city name here)?” Having a metal vocalist shut up and not do much more than introduce the song is kinda nice.
The song selection is on par as well. Other than a distinct lack of songs from Contradictions Collapse
, which is really not surprising, songs were very well chosen, with an obvious majority from ObZen
. The obvious favorites like “Rational Gaze” and “New Millenium Cyanide Christ” are there, as well as songs like “The Mouth Licking What you’ve Bled” which is not as popular of a song, but still a fantastic song to play live. One thing that can’t help but be noticed is that almost all of the songs go so well together partially because Meshuggah has not changed in fifteen years.
captures Meshuggah at their best, pulling no punches and firing on all cylinders. From guitars to drums to vocals, everything sounds great and the wall of sound stays intact. If Meshuggah can finally find a way to translate Jens Kidman’s vocals to studio on their next album, then they could further improve. This live album also serves as a greatest hits album, yet most of the songs sound better than their on-record counterparts. Meshuggah is a live band, and this DVD/Album set does nothing but show that off.