Review Summary: Meshuggah say adios to the trendy djent posers and leave them in the dust.
“Djent” has taken the metal world by storm in recent years which has subsequently spawned countless Meshuggah knockoffs and wannabes, but unfortunately for such groups Meshuggah keep getting angrier and more diverse, making these bands all but obsolete. With their latest release, Meshuggah take elements from all their previous records to form a monstrous album that reaffirms why they’re the premier act of the genre. Koloss
sounds like the soundtrack to some cinematic mutated beast rising out of a dark swamp to devour the flesh of children.
has the groovy-ness of albums like Nothing
and the dynamic songwriting abilities found on Destroy Erase Improve
. Notable riffs, melodies, and hooks are all aplenty on top of the group’s trademark style of polymeter, off-beats, purposely strange Jazz leads, and unpredictable song structures. My friends, if there is one thing to appreciate about Meshuggah, it is that they refuse to sellout, and creating top-notch music seems to be embedded in their genes. In short, Koloss
goes far beyond the Obzen
album that left some people feeling like the songs melted together and lacked individuality. Each song here has a unique flavor that sticks out from the others, which is always a positive and key characteristic of a class album.
The sound production is quite different from anything in the past too; the drums are slightly more compressed and the overall sound doesn’t quite achieve the thick, grandiose atmosphere found on earlier records. On paper this appears to be a regression to a weaker and thinner sound, but the final product is stellar and appropriately sounds like an album released in 2012. Fredrik and Mårten’s guitar tones continue to be razor-sharp (similar to that on Obzen
) as they hammer-out crushing rhythms and riffs on their 8-strings as if the damn world is going to end. Another observation is that the duo venture off the low string more often. As for Jens, I give him an “A” because he is still destroying vocally which needs no further explanation.
I’ll briefly mention a few parts that especially stood out; the eerie bridge section in “I Am Colossus” that effectively creates a doomy, suspenseful mood which makes the track even greater. “The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance” features drummer Tomas Haake showing off his endurance as he double-basses for literally the entire 4:40 of the song. “Behind The Sun” is slow, ultra heavy, sounds-like-we’re-at-the-bottom-of-an-ocean type track reminiscent of “Nebulous” from the Nothing
album. “Swarm” has a guitar section that sounds like a swarming flock of flying creatures that would go well with Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds
. Lastly, after an auditory assault for the first 50 minutes, “The Last Vigil” concludes the album with a serene piece of echoing guitar notes that’s vastly different from everything else.
Plain and simple, if you’re a girly-man then you won’t like Koloss
; but if you’re someone who likes the idea of a record tearing out your soul, stomping all over it and pissing on it with no remorse, then this is a record for you. We don’t know how many more studio albums we may or may not get from Meshuggah, but should Koloss
be their final effort, we can say they ended their legendary career with a successful album that may one day be considered quintessential to their discography.
Final verdict: a solid 4
- -“Behind The Sun”
- -“Do Not Look Down”