Destroy Erase Improve



by chimp_spanner USER (2 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 36 replies

Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

No doubt many of you have heard of Swedish Industrial/Thrash metal outfit, Meshuggah. How many of you have actually heard them is another matter! There seems to be alot of mysticism and hype surrounding them, and what they actually sound like. Well, I got curious and decided to purchase what is widely considered to be their best album - Destroy Erase Improve! So here it is, a track by track breakdown for all those curious about getting into Meshuggah!

Track 1: Future Breed Machine
Let me say...when the album came in the mail and I put this song on, I wondered if I'd made a mistake. It has a fantastic opening with a pounding offbeat guitar riff backed up by machine like drumming (complete with double bass action) but then quickly degenerates into noise. Sure Meshuggah are known for odd time signiatures, but this to me was taking it too far. It has moments of clarity where you can really lock into the groove, and even a chilled out bridge, so it's not a total mess.

Track 2: Beneath
After the frenzied assault of Future Breed Machine, the dreamy clean guitar at the start of Beneath comes as a welcome surprise. But don't be fooled! The track wastes no time in kicking off. A nice mid-tempo number, this is probably one of my favourite tracks off the album. The verse riff is suitably menacing, complimented perfectly by the growling vocals. The chorus is perhaps a little weak, so it gets...

Track 3: Soul Burn
Definitely one of the best tracks on the album. This has it all: a good steady groove to start with, some grass-roots metal influences, and an awesome jazz/fusion guitar solo to spice things up.

Track 4: Transfixion
Don't turn your stereo up when this one comes on! I did that and it gave me a heart attack ;) Not one of the best tracks by far. But mercifully short at 3 minutes-odd. The solo is sufficiently random and impressive to save it from a 0 or a 1!

Track 5: Vanished
Awesome - this one chugs along nicely with plenty of offbeat stop/start riffing and perfectly synchopated vocals. They somehow manage to slip a mellow bridge section in there as well, and it really works. Again, this track sports a jazzy solo layered atop a headbanging groove. The track does lose a bit of steam towards the end however.

Track 6: Acrid Placidity
An instrumental song, this really embodies the message of the album. The merging of the living and the mechanized. The beautiful swirling clean guitars are eventually consumed and engulfed by menacing dissonance, which to me signified human spirit submitting and losing the fight against inevitable change. Well that's how I interpreted it. So yeah, a concept track, and a welcome respite from the sheer brutality of the rest of the album.

Track 7: Inside What's Within Behind
Another good solid track. I'm not entirely sure what the words layered beneath the main vocals are saying, but they appear to come from behind you...very unsettling! The solo isn't too hot on this one - a bit sloppy. The ending is proper "doom" though :) The drums gradually break down and lose coherance and again, lean heavily towards a "jazz" vibe.

Track 8: Terminal Illusions
Starts off well, but not really a standout track. Has more of a heads-down thrashy feel to it. So yeah, more of the same really!

Track 9: Suffer In Truth
Didn't really like this one. Much slower paced than the rest of the album and with overly simplistic riffs, this track doesn't score too high!

Track 10: Sublevels
Very cool! Once again a nice jazz/funk feel near the start with various augmented and dimished chords sitting just behind the main riff, complimented by spoken word. The chorus is good headbanging material, and the song has a fantastically dark and brooding ending. A great way to finish off the album.

So, I've finally heard Meshuggah! And what do I think"

Pretty good! Perhaps not quite worthy of the "genius" status bestowed on them by many a reviewer, but then again, I'd dare any guitarist to play in 27/11 (or what the hell ever :p ) and not get their fingers in a tangle. I'm very interested to hear Chaosphere after hearing this album. Perhaps not so keen to hear Nothing, as from what I've heard it seems to be a step backwards, but we shall see when I buy it!

Overall, it's a very tiring listen. It's not very easy to sit through from start to finish. It has some amazing tracks, it also has some pretty bad ones. If you loved Fear Factory and other bands in the same vein, then you'll love Meshuggah. They manage to take a tired formula and breath new life into it with a sound all of their own.

Album rating: 4/5 - Enough good tracks to offset the bad ones, and undeniably a talented band!

I might also reccomend you listen to Mnemic, and Darkane, who I understand are label buddies with Meshuggah. Very similar bands, but a little easier to get into (specifically Mnemic).

user ratings (1513)
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    Darkvoid67 (4.5)
    Perhaps Meshuggah should have destroyed, erased and improved the opposition. Only then wou...

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    The most easily enjoyable Meshuggah album. However, the key to its accessibility lies in i...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
December 27th 2003


Cool....Did you do this review in response to my request?

December 27th 2003


I got this for X-Mas and this review makes me want to listen to it again. I only listened to a few minutes of each song and I'd have to say that they put the "heavy" in metal. (goes and gets CD)

December 27th 2003


I can not believe you put down the mighty Future Breed Machine.

December 27th 2003


^ Agreed, FBM is good. Good review though. :thumb:

December 27th 2003


I also am shocked by putting down FBM. Good review though, this album is only second to Chaosphere in my opinion.

December 28th 2003


[QUOTE=Kaden]Cool....Did you do this review in response to my request?[/QUOTE]

I seem to remember seeing someone ask for a review of this album, it was probably you So yeah!

With regards to FBM, I love the start, I think the chorus rocks, the bridge is wicked but there's one riff in there that just literally makes no me anyway. I will admit though that the more I listen to it, the more natural it sounds, but I still haven't "locked in" to whatever time signiature they were using there...maybe it'll just come with time.

Thanks for reading y'all

lethal dose
January 26th 2004


this is an awesome cd........meshuggah are very creative. they have an awesome energy when they play live.

January 27th 2004


Chaosphere is #1 imo...first metal album I ever bought!

July 1st 2004


this is one awesome album, i think fbm is alot better than a 2, but thats my opinion. decent review. if you liked this album check out the ep before this one called ( none ). really good ep

July 2nd 2004


Good review, give some of the later releases a chance to, they are very progressive!

Dancin' Man
November 13th 2004


Soul Burn is an amazing song. It's got the cool solo in there. The drummer really shines in this song. The singer is decent but not the highpoint of the band.

November 13th 2004


The singer isn't meant to be the highlight, it's all about the rhythms

5/5, Meshuggah's best effort, an excellent CD

November 13th 2004


[QUOTE=chimp_spanner] I'd dare any guitarist to play in 27/11 (or what the hell ever :p ) and not get their fingers in a tangle. [/QUOTE]

Dillinger :smash:

Good review and great CD :thumb:

November 13th 2004


Good review. I actually think this band is starting to grow on me.

November 14th 2004


Wow!.. Thanks alot for doing this review!.. I bought the cd, and heard the first track, and was very put off by it, because of the same reasons you disliked it.. So I tossed it over in my "cd's that I should listen to later" pile... And it's been there ever since.. But I might actually go listen to it now because of your review.

November 14th 2004


Again!.. Thanks. I just heard track 2 and 3, and they rocked my bollocks!

November 14th 2004


I have played Thomas Haake's kit that he recorded this album with. :cool:

Dancin' Man
November 14th 2004


How did that happen?

December 25th 2004


[QUOTE=IvortheEngineDriver]Chaosphere is #1 imo...first metal album I ever bought! [/QUOTE]

I wish I got a Meshuggah album instead of MOP. Anyways, this album is amazing in every way. I've noticed that all of my favourite bands have sick drummers and Haake is defignitely solid. I can never imagine how the solos are even created, well alone placed within the songs. :thumb:

Very interesting music. My brother is sooo scaried of this album, and he's 5 years older than me. How odd. :D

December 25th 2004


Solid?!?!? He's like the best drummer going around, ever

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