Review Summary: The gears keep turning in a well oiled machine.Koloss
is a strange beast. It comes from Meshuggah, a band that, for as skilled and mind bending as they are, have basically released the same album over and over again since 1995's Destroy Erase Improve
, yet it sounds unlike any Meshuggah album I have ever heard. Yes, the sound is unmistakably that of the Swedish tech-groove heavyweights, but where they have gone from sounding like the cold and mechanical gears that run our lives to, well, sounding even more like cold mechanical musical mechanisms, Koloss
is unique in that it feels as though it has room to breathe. It is no longer smothered by the layers of twisting and turning polyrhythmic structures layered one by one in a demon's equation. Now the violent industrialism we've come to expect is accompanied by the spacey haze of some rather delightful production techniques which breathe new life into what was once one of the most unique -- now one of the most emulated (for better or worse) acts in metal. Furthermore, the songs on Koloss
are presented in a more straightforward, less labyrinthine manner, creating a flow within their undulating drop tuned pulses that has been noticeably absent since their Nothing
days. This all creates a Meshuggah album that, throughout the entirety of its colossal 54 minute run time, is just as pleasing to listen to as it is fulfilling. Coming after releases such as Catch Thirtythree
, this slight shift is all too welcome, as while they are both quite stunning pieces in their own right, it was nigh impossible to listen to and finish them without feeling as though an exhaustive weight being borne by the listener in the process.
is the perfect next step for Meshuggah. Often times it is hard for such a long running act to stay not only fresh but relevant in a sea of clones, but by making precise tweaks and adjustments to their sound by approaching Koloss
with a new attitude, all the while holding fast to their core strengths, Meshuggah have given us the first truly engaging metal album of 2012.