Meshuggah – Immutable (Review)

Meshuggah - ImmutableMeshuggah are a legendary Swedish progressive/extreme metal band and this is their ninth album.

I really enjoyed Meshuggah’s last record, (2016’s The Violent Sleep of Reason), and it grew on me more and more over time. six years later the band have returned with a colossal 69-minute slab of their inimitable, (yet frequently badly imitated), djent-based progressive metal.

With a handful of exceptions, I’m not really a fan of djent-style bands that much, but I am a fan of Meshuggah. As originators of a style that most other bands only do poorly, Meshuggah are untouchable in their chosen field of operation.

The longest Meshuggah album is a perilous journey that charts the band’s ambitious sound in 2022. Meshuggah’s lurching atypical rhythms and crunchy twisted heaviness are intact and well, but Immutable also offers listeners a somewhat broader, more diverse experience than their last release.

A greater sense of melody is apparent on Immutable, although the band’s brutal inhuman riffs still dominate. Some softer, reflective sections tie the heavier moments together though, and the album flows with a will of its own across the thirteen mostly immersive tracks. Essentially this is Meshuggah as we know them, only with a greater emphasis on their atmospheric aspect, a more dynamic approach to their material, and more room to breathe.

Immutable is creative and inventive with the band’s style. It’s instantly recognisable as distinctly Meshuggah, yet it also brings a few other elements to the table too. This is done without diluting the band’s core contorting sound, yet feels fresh and vibrant – and warmer than usual – at the same time.

Immutable is essentially the Meshuggah that so many know and love delivering the goods once more, only with a few small stylistic tweaks that add up over time to good effect. The end result is an album that feels even more agreeable than normal, despite its imposing length and dark aggressive character. The return of Meshuggah is a very welcome one.

Essential listening.

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