Meshuggah - Koloss
"djent..dun dun djent dun....DUUUUUUUN djent DJENT duuuuun DUN DUN."
What's that sound? You might have guessed; Meshuggah have returned! Yours truly celebrates this all too rare occurence like a kid on christmas, eagerly anticipating every little surprise in store. Koloss is the band's 7th album to date and, with each trek into the studio, they've proven two things; constant evolution and constant ass-kicking aggression. While detractors are quick to point out the similarities from one record to the next, it takes a dedicated ear to notice the subtle and overt changes in tone, tempo and overall direction from one project to the next. Koloss is not as immediately accessible as, say, Chaosphere or obZen, nor is it as bottomless and hard to pin down as I or Catch Thirtythree. Instead it is a streamlining of the band's fundamental soundscape, which is a mechanical monstrosity endlessly grinding forward, towards it's next ominous goal.
"I Am Colossus" wastes little time in setting an atmosphere, throwing you face-first into the fire. One thing I've come to take from Koloss as a whole, and which is evident very early, is what I perceive to be an increased focus on the groove via drummer Tomas Haake's phenomenal sense of off-beat rhythms. He is the absolute necessary foundation for the rest of the band to work off of. And, if he is the unassuming eye of the storm, then vocalist Jens Kidman is the outlying destruction. He's always had an absolutely throat-piercing vocal style, but it somehow feels much more strained and violent this time around. The entire band is at their absolute best, and the songwriting has taken a shift from overly catchy material towards more shifting, seemingly unwelcome compositions that take time to grow on you. Ultimately, as I've listened to Koloss numerous times in the past two days, no one track or combination of tracks stands out; Koloss is a sum of it's parts, an overall impact created by 10 jabs to various pressure points.
It does not, however, manage to supplant either Chaosphere or Catch Thirtythree in my ranking of Meshuggah's best. I do think it easily reaches a peak that obZen failed to, however. Beyond comparing it to it's predecessors, Koloss stands on it's own merits as one of the most brutal and unrelenting chunks of metal 2012 will offer us, and it will surely remain in my rotation for years to come, earning it's place amongst my favorite records in quick order. Whether or not it appeals to you likely will involve whether or not any of their stuff has in the past. If the answer is no, then why are you even reading this?
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.