Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects
Sol Niger Within


4.0
excellent

Review

by BugZoid USER (6 Reviews)
September 28th, 2011 | 21 replies | 5,725 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Like science fiction meets B-horror meets stream of consciousness meets progressive metal rock opera. This album will give you a ride that won’t be forgotten. And that also may result in probing.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

We all know Mr. Thorendal for his extended range guitar work in the highly influential progressive metal group Meshuggah. This is the group that has, without a doubt, influenced an entire sub-genre of metal that is now known by the masses as “djent”. This term was coined by Fredrik Thorendal himself, given that the particular guitar tone that the band settled upon seemed to coincide with the term as an onomatopoeia of sorts. What began as Meshuggah spreading its wings and influencing a quasi-generation of metal enthusiasts has undoubtedly been blown out of proportion today with copycats being shat from the woodwork like an intestinal infection spreading across the constantly evolving promise land that is metal, and progressive metal in many instances.

On a timeline we can see that Meshuggah’s first album was released in 1991, the second in 1995, and the third in 1998. The fact that this album was released as an almost “solo album” by Thorendal in 1997 explains the vast evolution that we hear in those Meshuggah albums from 1995 to 1998. This record is the archetype of musical evolution.

What we’re handed on this record is a smorgasbord of influences crammed into one spastic package. This album, though split up into 29 distinct (albeit mostly short lived) tracks, plays as if it were just one schizophrenically orchestrated song. Though I wouldn’t say that there is a concrete, easy-to-follow storyline, I would dub this a concept album in the respect that it delves into aspects of sci-fi, the concept of existence, and maybe even a sublevel of religion as far as I can conclude.

I sing in colors. My mother is god, my father is god, my brothers, my sisters; all are god. God to the right. God to the left. God overhead. Christ-encounter of the fourth kind.


Whether the listener is predisposed to enjoying this type of music or not they certainly cannot deny the sheer finesse and skill showed in the musicianship. The guitars bounce from polyrhythmic chugging to soulful jazz solos to frantic tapping as if influence is just another member of the outfit. The bass (which Thorendal also recorded) growls on the low end with the same start-stop techniques as the guitars. Morgan Ågren pounds away at the drums, utilizing his title as a progressive music percussionist in more of a jazz aspect than anything else. Amongst this volatile combination is still keyboards, synthesizer, saxophone, and even a church organ. Whether it be the guitar eerily backing the rhythmic chaos with an off kilter screech, the synth humming as a wall of haunting sound, or even Tomas Haake’s horrifying spoken word vocal segments, the variety is unmistakable, and rather impressive if I do say so myself.

Now with all of this avant-garde, extraterrestrial time signature clashing how could one possible see a deterring side? Well, in all reality, which this album seems to ignore in its own dimension of existence, its standout figure seems to play the role as the end-all weapon on both sides of the battle, making it somewhat of a paradox. While you will truly never hear anything quite like this with its instrumental arithmetic, dizzying concepts, and pure guttural experimentation it is also that experimentation that could prove to be the biggest downfall for some listeners. With the 29 tracks running rampant, some ending almost as quickly as they began, some may struggle to find something to hang onto and remember throughout the whole experience that is this record.

However this record fares for you one thing is for certain: You will not forget it.

I've become the nuclear image of eternity. I'm the original stuff. All the universes find their pattern in my being, for I'm the cosmic infinitesimal. I'm the source. I'm the fountain, exploding in your face. With a flick of my wrist a new cosmos begins.


An album of this magnitude deserves at least one solid listen before it’s put down as pretentious and self indulged. Because, being the enigmatic piece that it is, some of its most off-putting characteristics to some may be the biggest show stoppers for others. In a literary sense it may lack the musical motifs that hold many albums together. However, sort through its more than two dozen separate chapters of concepts and its frightening technique of aural assault and I promise you nothing will ever scrape the surface of the experience you take with you.



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user ratings (56)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
BugZoid
September 28th 2011



331 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I hope everyone enjoys. After starting the writing process I soon realized why it hadn't been reviewed yet: It's a bitch to put down on paper.

Mordecai.
September 28th 2011



8270 Comments


I'm the fountain, exploding in your face.

pizzamachine
September 28th 2011



12571 Comments


YES! Finally a review for this! Great album!

Relinquished
September 28th 2011



24428 Comments


now why the fuck would you recommend Born of Osiris

KILL
September 28th 2011



70586 Comments


rules

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

MO
September 28th 2011



18231 Comments


lol so true relinq

this album rules hard, Thordendal's a beast

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2011



5915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Finally a review for this! [2]

I was planning to review this, but you did justice to the album aptly.

Good review, pos.

Please merge the first two paragraphs, so as to have a proper prologue.


I really dig the saxophone track on this album.

It's like listening to Jan Garbarek jamming with Meshuggah.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

BugZoid
September 29th 2011



331 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why the fuck would I recommend Born of Osiris? They both are certainly a style of "metal", even progressive to some, and they both revolve around science fiction themes. That's why I'd recommend it. Doesn't seem to outlandish to me.
Thank you everyone!

Piglet
September 29th 2011



4651 Comments


I have this lying around somewhere, should listen to it

TechieCore
September 29th 2011



662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Relinquished

The fuck is wrong with BoO? They slay dude.

Anyways, good review. Album rules hard.

Relinquished
September 29th 2011



24428 Comments


"They both are certainly a style of "metal", even progressive to some, and they both revolve around science fiction themes."

if I listened to that after this I'd be heavily disappointed. I wouldn't want too much chugging and death/metalcore vocals and shit after listening to this, it's not even relatable. just because this is "metal" and "progressive" with "science fiction themes" then I'd listen to Atheist and Cynic. have you even heard of Blotted Science.

taylormemer
September 29th 2011



4913 Comments


still gotta hear this

BugZoid
September 29th 2011



331 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well Relinquished, I believe the section that I featured Born of Osiris in is called "recommended by reviewer", which means I would recommend those albums. I don't see what you're making this fuss about. I like this album, and I also happen to enjoy the albums I recommended, even if it is for reasons you disagree with.

bloozclooz
September 30th 2011



1770 Comments


track 28 has something to do with bieber confirm/deny?

taylormemer
September 30th 2011



4913 Comments


lol

BugZoid
September 30th 2011



331 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

...confirm.

bloozclooz
September 30th 2011



1770 Comments


oh fuck yes, gonna go grab my justin bieber beats™ by dr dre™ and listen to this shit

YankeeDudel
September 25th 2012



9305 Comments


I have the 99 version of this but it still goes hard

Digging: DJ Spooky - Songs Of A Dead Dreamer

cagedescending
September 25th 2012



4124 Comments


props on a good review, pos

this sum crazy shitt, i've only heard the 33 version though

guitarvibe75
January 2nd 2013



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Abstract heaviness and lyrics so deep they could make Tool jealous



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