Music News

Meshuggah

On Catch Thirty-Three, Meshuggah's latest, the music occasionally quiets or slows, but it doesn't lapse for over 45 often deafening yet frequently exhilarating minutes. In that sense, the disc mirrors the band, which shows no signs of stopping, either. The group was founded in Sweden circa the late '80s and has gone through numerous lineup tweaks, which may explain why the assorted players have issued only five full-lengths to date. Fortunately, complex, impassioned albums such as 1998's Chaosphere proved to be worth the often-extended wait between releases, and the same can be said of Catch. Vocalist Jens Kidman, guitarists Mrten Hagstrm and Fredrik Thordenthal, bassist Dick Lvgren and drummer Tomas Haake have impressive range, as is demonstrated by the contrast between "Imprint of the Un-saved," a 104-second roar from the id, and "In Death -- Is Death," an intricate prog soundscape that stretches out over thirteen minutes. These tracks and eleven others bleed together to form a single, relentless composition that will test the mettle of metal fans weaned on predictability. They'd better get used to it, though, because Meshuggah, which is touring alongside God Forbid, the Haunted and Mnemic, keeps going and going and going
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts