Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason (Review)

MeshuggahMeshuggah are a legendary Swedish progressive/extreme metal band and this is their eighth album.

The fathers of djent return, with 59 minutes of progressive metal that definitely blows the proverbial cobwebs away.

This is very heavy indeed. If you know Meshuggah at all then you know they create atypical progressive metal that’s complex and harsh. Although not completely without melody, atmosphere or beauty, the latter aspects of their sound only exist to be mangled by the band’s vindictive sense of rhythm and crushing grooves.

The technicality of an album like this is always going to be insane, but mere complexity is not enough. Meshuggah have the talent to shape this into enjoyable songs that challenge and flatten the listener in equal amounts. For such a long-running and popular band, it’s sometimes hard to understand how they are so long-running and popular when you consider that the music they play is far from easy listening.

To the music fan with refined tastes though, they offer all kinds of musical delights that many try to ape, but none really come close to imitating that well. Meshuggah are one of those vanishingly few bands that only sound like themselves, and The Violent Sleep of Reason is the latest step in their ongoing development and quest for excellence.

This is a ridiculously strong album. It’s Meshuggah as you know and love them, but somehow better. The songs are just as complex and crushing as ever, but the grooves flow easier and the music fits together into a holistic whole that allows everything to sound just wonderfully complete. The band sound as if they have a new-found sense of freedom amidst the maelstrom of controlled chaos that they create.

The singer is as good as ever too. His distinctive roars infect the music with punctuated bursts of intensity. His performance is faultless, just like the music itself.

It’s Meshuggah. It’s essential. Get this.

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