Meshuggah
Koloss


4.5
superb

Review

by Kubrick USER (3 Reviews)
February 2nd, 2014 | 54 replies | 1,183 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The sweet spot between intricacy and accessibilty.

18 of 18 thought this review was well written

There’s a reason why Meshuggah is part of the curriculum at Berklee College of Music. There’s a reason why they’re the topic of published articles in music theory journals. And there’s a reason why their influence has permeated through hundreds of bands who continually try to emulate their style. Meshuggah aren’t just a fantastic band, they’re a band that has simultaneously pioneered and mastered an entirely unique approach to rhythm and heavy music. They’ve been releasing consistently excellent and innovative material since 1995, and Koloss is yet another superb addition to their truly impressive discography.

This is definitely a comfortable and confident release from the band. At this point, they are well aware of the impact they have made on the metal community and rather than push their sound in any new direction, they have elected to deliver an album which essentially celebrates the sound that they invented. All of the beloved qualities of the band are here in full force – the thunderous, shuddering 8-string guitar tones, the dizzyingly complex and mechanical drums, the oddly-cycling riffs that seem to lack beginnings or ends, and of course the supremely nuanced and unbelievably groovy rhythms. Koloss is definitely an ode to the trademark Meshuggah groove and is yet another convincing argument for their rhythmic prowess and virtuosity. But what’s always been most impressive to me about the band isn’t their virtuosity. Their music definitely does succeed on an intellectual level with the all of the polyrhythms and odd, off-time riff cycling. The true success of the band though is their ability to turn all of that complexity into something visceral that can be enjoyed regardless of your understanding of what’s going on under the hood.

And on no album is that more true than Koloss. Rather than trying to top their last release and greatest technical achievement, ObZen, the band has dialed things back and focused on making an album that is just as fun to listen to as it is to think about. The increased immediacy of this record relative to their past material is mainly a consequence of two things: track diversity and sequencing. Unlike previous releases which have typically found Meshuggah exploring a single facet of their sound in long-form detail, Koloss draws from many of the different iterations of the band over the years: the frenetic, thrashy sounds of Chaosphere ("The Hurt That Finds You First"), the gigantic, lumbering grooves of Nothing ("Do Not Look Down", "Break Those Bones..."), the speedy triplets and double bass of ObZen and "Bleed" ("The Demon's Name..."), as well as relatively unique explorations of the band's sound ("Swarm", "Behind the Sun"). Moreover, the improved track variety is further enhanced by excellent sequencing which creates an album with an arc and flow that Meshuggah have never quite been able accomplish with past albums.

This is the true success of Koloss. It manages to strike a balance between complexity and listenability that has previously eluded the band. They definitely haven't sacrificed who they are musically - all of the nuance and intricacy of their music is just as present here as it ever was. But it's executed with an increased focus on immediacy and album structure that has ultimately delivered the most approachable and accessible release in their catalogue. And for music as intricate as this, approachability is a feat greater than technicality.


user ratings (1117)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • 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...

    kwitel (3)
    Left wanting more......

    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 (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 
Kubrick
February 2nd 2014



738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this was originally intended to be more of a sound-off, but it was long enough that i just decided to flesh it out into a full review.

fantastic album - my personal fav of 2012

tempest--
February 2nd 2014



10781 Comments


Demiurge is my fav off this, an absolutely massive song

MO
February 2nd 2014



17352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fuck yea very nice. the first sentence is awesome didn't know it

Digging: Soundtrack - Turok 2: Seeds of Evil OST

Kubrick
February 2nd 2014



738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah demiurge is awesome. love the straight-forwardness of that song relative to their typical sound.

MO
February 2nd 2014



17352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fix

"material is a mainly a"

Kubrick
February 2nd 2014



738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fuck yea very nice. the first sentence is awesome didn't know it


thanks! and yeah pretty awesome. for anyone who's curious about the article i'm referring to as well
in the beginning, enjoy!

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6375990/Recasting-Metal-Rhythm-and-Meter-in-the-Music-of-Meshuggah

(and fixed, thank you ^_^)

Relinquished
February 2nd 2014



22332 Comments


great review I approve

TheMoreira
February 2nd 2014



5694 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Best Meshuggah review i've ever read, positively. Great job describing the album and how it stands
amidst the band's discog. Well done m/

Digging: The Chariot - Long Live

Malenchanted
February 2nd 2014



2203 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sick review, sick album

Kubrick
February 2nd 2014



738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks guys, really appreciate the kind words

mindleviticus
February 2nd 2014



7937 Comments


great review g. album is hev-E

Thibs
February 2nd 2014



519 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album. Solid review

Digging: Fates Warning - Darkness in a Different Light

Calc
February 2nd 2014



10832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn that guy fucked up this page hardcore, and weird cuz I was just relistening to this, and it's better than I remember so a bump is in order.

TheMoreira
February 2nd 2014



5694 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Most accomplishing Meshuggah release yet. Pretty much like, their most dynamic release.

Kubrick
February 2nd 2014



738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha i know.. hopefully a mod will see it and fix the page

CalculatingInfinity
February 2nd 2014



1108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Brilliant review, great album.

mindleviticus
February 2nd 2014



7937 Comments


what an asshole

SAPoodle
February 3rd 2014



396 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yay, you took my advice! Great review mate

Digging: Swans - To Be Kind

Kubrick
February 3rd 2014



738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yep! i tried to post it as a sound-off and it was too long haha.. so I figured I might as well take your advice and just make a full review out of it :D

beefshoes
February 3rd 2014



2109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This has grown on me quite a bit since its release. I love the production.



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