Meshuggah
Koloss


4.5
superb

Review

by Philalethes USER (6 Reviews)
March 23rd, 2012 | 43 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hey Djent kids, listen up. Your metal teachers Meshuggah are back, and class is in session.

Whether it was a conscious effort or not, Koloss is probably a direct response of Meshuggah’s feelings on spawning this whole “djent” movement. With Koloss they have said, "Go ahead and take our 8 string, polyrhythmic sounds and turn it into this ambient, “core-type” music. Fine. We will show you what our music is truly all about. It has nothing to do with how low we can tune our guitars, or how many crazy synchopated patterns we can play." As a result, with Koloss the tone of the guitars has slightly changed to a sludgier sound. Furthermore, they even have a couple songs that use 6 string guitars on the new album. All this combines into one of their most “organic” toned, heavy as all hell, and most importantly, unmistakably “Meshuggah” album ever.

What has always separated Meshuggah from everyone else in metal, including the djent clones out there, is their cyclical use of meter displacement. They layer parts in their music that are in different meters, and have different phrase lengths, so they line up on different beats against the main pulse of the song through each repetition. Repetition is key here, as it takes cycles for the beats to move around in relation to one another.

With Koloss, we of course find Meshuggah making use of their signature techniques, but also with more emphasis on form and structure. The two lead singles, Do Not Look Down, and Break Those Bones Whos Sinews Gave it Motion, are probably the perfect examples of this emphasis on form. You almost get sense of a straight forward verse, chorus, bridge, chorus structure that is found in a lot of popular music. This makes Koloss, on the surface, a little more accessible than previous works. Underneath however, Meshuggah is as complex as ever.

Scattered throughout Koloss we find moments that are reminiscent of all their previous work. The solo in Marrow sounds like it is straight from Destroy, Erase, Improve/Caosphere. The crazy, speedy The Demons Name is Survelince, is aesthetically reminiscent of Bleed from Obzen. At the end of Do Not Look Down there are some moments which remind me of the more melodic moments of Nothing, specifically the ending of Straws Pulled at Random. The Hurt that Finds You First, has an awesome drum part that, like a section from I (staring around 5:40 on I), plays a ridiculous blast like beat on the snare. None of this, I must point out, means Meshuggah is running out of ideas. Rather they have had a chance to reflect on what they have accomplished in their career, created moments that allude to it, and then expanded it into something that is nothing short of brilliant.

At this point in their career, it is amazing that even Meshuggah was able to achieve an album like Koloss. Koloss follows on the heels of their most successful album to date, Obzen, which was critically acclaimed for its great songs that seemed to represent so well many of the elements from their entire discography. But Koloss takes Obzen to the infinite level. It is Meshuggah at its heaviest, sludgiest, grooviest, progiest, and all the while maintains interest and sense of direction. What surprised me the most about this album is, for the first time, they have produced an album where every single song has something incredibly unique to say. To put it simply, this is an album without a single weak track. As a fan of Meshuggah’s entire discography, even I can admit that almost every one of their albums has a song or two that sound a little redundant, and I find myself skipping from time to time. With Koloss, this just doesn’t happen.

There is much more to be said about this album, as it has some of the subtlest moments ever found in Mehsuggah’s music. Mehsuggah is a band that will be studied and remembered for a long time. They truly have created something unique in the world of music, especially when it comes to rhythmic theory. Koloss continues this tradition and is another great entry into their catalog. It has once again reminded us why we are all just students, and Meshuggah are the teachers.



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user ratings (1204)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
MO
March 23rd 2012


18867 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

seems like you wrote this really fast and didn't proofread, some parts read REALLY choppy, you might wanna look over

good overall though, the second paragraph was interesting

NeutralThunder12
March 23rd 2012


8742 Comments


best album of all time 5/5

Ignimbrite
March 23rd 2012


5392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

not a bad review, but i agree with MO on his points. also, idk really about the first paragraph: i'd edit it down a lot or delete it, because it seems really similar to a lot of other reviews for this.

Digging: Jakob - Sines

Philalethes
March 23rd 2012


245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Haven't read other reviews yet other than Adam's. Thanks for the feedback. I will try to edit a little when I get time. It was written pretty quick. I do think it is important to point out that Meshuggah is a very different band than all the new djent bands that have emulated their 8 string guitar sound. I think this album, whether intended or not, is their reaction to the djent scene. Meshuggah knows how different their music is, even if most people don't.

ConsiderPhlebas
March 23rd 2012


6157 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The recommended by reviewer section is hilarious

Tyrael
March 23rd 2012


20904 Comments


Melvin sighting!

Review's really sloppy

Zettel
March 23rd 2012


599 Comments


This is still the best review on the album available at the moment on the site. Have a pos.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2012


50598 Comments


Man I cannot stand that guitar tone

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

MO
March 23rd 2012


18867 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

downtuned deliciousness

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2012


50598 Comments


It sounds like satan queefing


KILL
March 23rd 2012


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thats a bad thing?

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

KjSwantko
March 23rd 2012


9443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I guess I like sound of satan queefing

SpiritCrusher2
March 23rd 2012


3170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

tnx for the 2nd paragraph. I wanted to explain that to the one guy yesterday when we talked about Meshuggah, but I didn't know hot to explain it well in English lol

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Tyrannic
March 23rd 2012


3262 Comments


"If this album never were released, Obzen would have been the album that people would say represent the overall Meshuggah “sound” the best."


uhhhhhhhhhhh.............................



debatable?

KjSwantko
March 23rd 2012


9443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah I'd debate the shit out of that too Tyrannic.

Tyrannic
March 23rd 2012


3262 Comments


let's debate the shit out of it kj

I THINK THE CLAIM IS FALSE, REBUTTAL?


also, dude, that summary is awful. i want to punch you right now.

KjSwantko
March 23rd 2012


9443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I THINK THE CLAIM IS FACTUALLY INACCURATE AS WELL, and the author is mistaken while conveying his views.

botb
March 23rd 2012


9721 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5


"If this album never were released, Obzen would have been the album that people would say represent the overall Meshuggah “sound” the best."

if you have only heard obzen then sure

Tyrannic
March 23rd 2012


3262 Comments


i mean obzen is sweet and all but they did exist prior to 3-4 years ago.

Philalethes
March 23rd 2012


245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I had a feeling that comment might get taken the wrong way. I was just trying to say that each of their previous albums prior to Obzen,had a very different feel. Obzen seemed to be the album that bridged a lot of sounds and ideas from their previous works into one album. It still has its own flavor, but was fairly representative of the sounds achieved on their previous albums.



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