Meshuggah
Koloss


3.0
good

Review

by kwitel USER (1 Reviews)
April 1st, 2012 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Left wanting more...

Let me preface this review by saying, I am a die-hard fan. Meshuggah to me are one of the most innovative and influential bands in HISTORY, and in my opinion the most important metal band of the last 20 years. As a result, with regard to a new release, the bar for me is set quite high.

In an attempt to not make a hasty review and, taking into account the complexity found within a typical Meshuggah song, I deliberately listened to this album 20+ times before arriving at a final conclusion and writing a review. That said, this a very good album indeed but when taking into account Meshuggah's evolutive nature and overall discography, I find "Koloss" to be a lateral move at best, as opposed to one of progression.

Bottom line, it's a just a boring album. Fantastic musicianship, spot on vocals (as usual) and super-tight production all lend themselves to what is a ultimately very good album, but boring nonetheless. I'm looking for the dissonant chords, the more abrupt tempo and time-shifts, the mathematical song structures and although I can spot bits and pices of these characteristics, they are neither prevalent nor coming together in excess...to allow for the intensity and (ultimate originality) that Meshuggah is known for. It genuinely saddens me to say that I find this album bland and downright tedious to listen to.

First off, they've made a move away from the super technical riffs of the past, in favor for a more thrashy, straight forward presentation, which (subjectively) just doesn't do it for me. There's variety here...from thrash, to tech to groove but it in the end, it feels like the B-sides to Obzen.
When listening to (and analyzing) songs like "The Demons Name is Surveillance", "The Hurt that Finds you First" and "Swarm", I appreciate the minimalistic approach but where are the subtle, yet complex structural changes that only Meshuggah can develop? Why aren't these songs developing and evolving the way I expect them too? Yes, some might (and already have) said that they are going for a more "organic" sound. What does that mean exactly? Do more oddball time-signatures, polyrhythms and poly-metered riffs correlate with an INorganic sound?

Secondly, Haake is simply not bringing it the way I expect him too at this point in his career. In my opinion, he is the most technically proficient drummer alive today (other than maybe Neil Peart) and an absolute prodigy. On Koloss, He just sounds lazy and uninspired. I am so accustomed to being blown away by his (off) timing and utterly original compositions that when I hear him play alongside the tempo set by (a) guitar and can actually follow what he is doing, I am left disappointed.

Thirdly and, related to the above points, the songs feel under-developed; incomplete. There is some really solid material here but it is either too short or just forgettable, relative to their previous efforts.
This album doesn't hold a candle to Obzen; "Electric Red", "Pineal Gland Optics" and "Dancers to a Discordant System" is some of the best and most forward-thinking material the band has ever produced and with the exception of the beautifully complex (yet frustratingly short) "Demiurge" and the crushing and brooding atmospherics of "Behind the Sun", not a single track can hold up to anything on the aforementioned album. Its not necessarily about complexity or the lack thereof rather, Obzen feels more complete, more well-thought out while Koloss feels underdeveloped, one-faceted and frankly, under-whelming. Its quite possible that they deliberately moved away from complexity and focused purely on groove-laden thrash (to simply thumb their noses at the "Djent" movement), but considering that there is some of the former here, it feels incomplete...almost like a tease. Moreover, Meshuggah tends to not care or be influenced by the "scene", their critics or their counter-parts.
To me, the album feels like more of a follow-up to Chaosphere and prelude to Nothing as opposed to a step-forward from Obzen.

In sum...a very good metal album, but just a good Meshuggah release. In a perfect world, they would take this album back into the studio and develop it into the beast that it could/should be.


user ratings (1212)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Kubrick (4.5)
    The sweet spot between intricacy and accessibilty....

    Attis (2)
    fuck the polys...

    Idioteque (4.5)
    Stampede of the elfgiant...

    GeorgeWheeler (4)
    Meshuggah have taken a different approach with Koloss. For better or worse is subjective, ...

  • CharlyDeranged (2.5)
    Not great, not bad either. Did these Swedish folks feel it was perhaps time for an unwante...

    Alex Beebe (3.5)
    A return with nothing ground-breaking for their sound, but a return that reminds you of wh...

    froghawk (3.5)
    A lack of new ideas make this album feel like another step sideways, but a more concise an...

    Jake C. Taylor (4)
    Heavier than the Colosseum itself....

  • Dil Samara (4)
    Head-/earphone users, rejoice!...

    Philalethes (4.5)
    Hey Djent kids, listen up. Your metal teachers Meshuggah are back, and class is in sessio...

    KJ Swantko (4)
    Meshuggah say adios to the trendy djent posers and leave them in the dust....

    Adam Thomas STAFF (4)
    The gears keep turning in a well oiled machine....


Comments:Add a Comment 
JAXETA
March 31st 2012


787 Comments


its kind of a boring obzen

Ignimbrite
March 31st 2012


5464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

review is a bit more personal and informal than it should be, but it's good for a first

Digging: Downfall of Gaia - Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay

MO
March 31st 2012


18999 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"I find "Koloss" to be a lateral move at best, as opposed to one of progression."

well they really weren't going for anything groundbreaking, just a nice punch in face which they do quite well

MO
March 31st 2012


18999 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Yes, some might (and already have) said that they are going for a more "organic" sound."

uh an "organic" production has nothing to do with song structure and evolution HOLY SHIT THESE GUYS SHOULD JUST REINVENT THE FUCKING WHEEL!!!

i think you're asking just a bit too much out of this band

KjSwantko
April 1st 2012


9446 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, that makes your review inherently irrelevant because you're admittedly biased. Try at least coming off as neutral next time. Welcome to sputnik though, bro!

Tyrael
April 1st 2012


20946 Comments


except for death yea I agree

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

SpiritCrusher2
April 1st 2012


3249 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yep, Death, Opeth and Meshuggah

Maniac!
April 1st 2012


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

what the fuck?


nobody says neurosis?

Tyrael
April 1st 2012


20946 Comments


and cuntverge

Maniac!
April 1st 2012


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lol @ tool being metal


that was a funny joke there, riff. I giggled a little bit inside.

Maniac!
April 1st 2012


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

OH SHIT


WIKIPEDIA IS INFALLIBLE

Wizard
April 1st 2012


19616 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Let me preface this review by saying, I am a die-hard fan. Meshuggah to me are one of the most innovative and influential bands in HISTORY, and in my opinion the most important metal band of the last 20 years. As a result, with regard to a new release, the bar for me is set quite high.

This type of superfluous me, me, me needs to be left out of reviews. Takes away from credibility. The rest of your review is spot on but unfortunately I think you're writing to deaf ears around here. This is a boring album but it's still a "good" boring album.

lol @ tool being metal

Really, you don't hear metal in Tool?

Digging: Hans Zimmer - Interstellar

Maniac!
April 1st 2012


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Riff u bringin dem knowledgez. Undertow was so heavy metal, might as well have been black sabbath itself m/

Maniac!
April 1st 2012


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Really, you don't hear metal in Tool?"


Sure I hear influences of metal in Tool. That doesn't make them a metal band.

Maniac!
April 1st 2012


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

king crimson had jazz influence



obviously they were a jazz fusion band

Maniac!
April 1st 2012


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good one

froghawk
April 1st 2012


138 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tool is not extreme metal, but they are alternative metal with progressive influences. They were very much a metal band early on, and morphed into more of a hard progressive rock band.

Maniac!
April 1st 2012


26257 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

please, do tell me more

Slimjim367
April 1st 2012


512 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

agree with review, for the most part

kwitel
April 1st 2012


3 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

To all those who commented on my writing from a subjective perspective...good point and yes, I wrote it from an emotional "me, me" viewpoint. Will def keep that in mind for future reviews.



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