Welcome to the LOUDEST DOT COM ON THE PLANET!
KNAC.COM
LISTEN NOW!WATCH NOW! LOGIN
KNAC Magazine KNAC KNAC Downloads KNAC Contests KNAC Store
Reviews

MESHUGGAH I Reissue

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Sunday, October 5, 2014 @ 6:48 AM


- advertisement -

- advertisement -
MESHUGGAH
I
Reissue
Nuclear Blast Records





Sweden’s MESHUGGAH seems like it is getting ready to settle down for a long winter’s nap. In addition to recently releasing the live DVD/CD combo pack The Ophidian Trek, the band has re-issued the 2004 EP I as a remastered and expanded edition, both within a matter of weeks, to apparently tide fans over until it emerges from hibernation in 2015, 2016 or whenever.

It’s not like MESHUGGAH doesn’t deserve a break. The band has been touring constantly since its last album Koloss was issued in 2012, culminating in a 25th anniversary tour last summer that celebrated its entire ground-breaking history.

The original I EP was a notable exclusion from the anniversary tour set, probably for the simple fact that it was a single, 21-minute-long obscurity – not to mention that it was recorded as a one-off for a friend’s new label - that would have eaten up a considerable amount of stage time better suited for more established fare. So the band has dusted it off here, cleaned it up a little bit and re-released it for the curious via Nuclear Blast with the addition of two live tracks – both of which appear on the DVD/CD – and another rarity, “Pitch Black”, that was issued as a free download in 2013 on the Scion AV site.

According to drummer Tomas Haake, I isn’t so much a “song” as a collection of individual parts the band recorded as it went along and fused together. The music is not quite improvised, as the band worked from the loosest of scripts, but it has that same sort of unstructured, free-form feel. It's serpentine and random, changing direction on a whim.

Roughly the first third of I is some of the most frantic, calamitous music MESHUGGAH's done. Before it stops abruptly at about the eight-minute, it's just about full-on death metal, grinding away at a near blast-beat speed, and is quite a contrast to the band’s typical lock-step rigidity. The midsection is swaggering grooves set to a martial pace. Ethereal, KING CRIMSON-esque prog passages and Spartan interludes weave their way into the mix to break up some of the bombast, and the song concludes with the band’s more familiar quirky djent histrionics and its staggered time signatures and heaving guitar/bass pummel. It's a wild, but compelling ride.

The comparatively tidy “Pitch Black” is also one of MESHUGGAH's heaviest songs – which is really saying something. The dense, pile-driving eight-string riffs of guitarists Fredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hågström are tuned extra low so as to approach the mythic “brown sound” as they shudder atop Haake's pneumatic drumming. He also provides the grumbled vocals in the background with a cadence that approaches rap – or schizoid babbling. Though tempered by a bit of jazzy guitar noodling midway through and a freaked out solo that recalls the sax wail of SHINING's Jørgen Munkeby, it comes back even harder and heavier on the backside before mercifully fading out.

The live tracks, “Bleed” and “Dancers To A Discordant System”, both of which appear on The Ophidian Trek - thought not these versions - don't boast quite the novelty of “I” or “Pitch Black” but do present the songs in a rawer, less pristine form than the meticulously produced studio versions. The performances, as always, are spot on, but the sound is more naturally rough, especially frontman Jens Kidman’s shouting, though no less formidable or thunderous.

Though it comprises just four songs, I delivers a hefty 44-some minutes of music. And while “Bleed” and “Dancers” will ring familiar to the growing army of fans that have gotten into MESHUGGAH in the decade since the original EP was issued, “I” and “Pitch Black” offer different perspectives of the band – one at its most experimental, the other at its most brutal - that make the re-release much more than just a throwaway or a gap-filler. Regardless of how long that gap may end up being.

3.5 Out Of 5.0

Grab a copy of I in the KNAC.COM More Store right HERE


Please log in to view RANTS

If you don't have a username, click here to create an account!

Username: 
Password: 

Message: 
 
 

 





 Recent Reviews
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, PRONG And OBITUARY In Portland, OR With Photos!
GEMINI SYNDROME 3rd Degree - The Raising
DORO/WARLOCK Triumph And Agony Live
BETWEEN WORLDS Between Worlds
ALCATRAZZ V
BEHEMOTH Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic) Reissue
ALICE COOPER, ACE FREHLEY In Nashville, TN With Photos!
CARNIFEX Graveside Confessions
BLOOD RED THRONE Imperial Congregation
GUS G. Quantum Leap
BILLY IDOL The Roadside EP
AVATAR, MAGIC SWORD In Houston, TX With Photos!
APRIL WINE, MONKEYJUNK At The Ottawa Bluesfest
MINISTRY Moral Hygiene
CRYPTA Echoes Of The Soul
SKILLET In Houston, TX With Photos!
Immortal Axes: Guitars That Rock Book
IRON MAIDEN Senjutsu
GRINDER BLUES El Dos
GEORGE LYNCH Seamless Review #2
IN THIS MOMENT, BLACK VEIL BRIDES In Houston, TX With Photos!
WARLANDO Festival 2021 Photo Gallery
KISS In Ridgefield, WA With Photos!
LAURENNE/LOUHIMO The Reckoning
TREMONTI Marching In Time
ROCKLAHOMA 2021 Day 3 Photo Gallery
ROCKLAHOMA 2021 Day 2 Photo Gallery
ROCKLAHOMA 2021 Day 1 Photo Gallery
CARCASS Torn Arteries
SETH La Morsure de Christ
GEORGE LYNCH Seamless





HOME | MAGAZINE | ON-AIR | DOWNLOADS | CONTESTS | STORE | HELP

©2021 KNAC.COM. All Rights Reserved.    Link to us    Advertise with us    Privacy policy
 Latest News