Album: Meshuggah – Catch Thirtythree

Let me tell you what I don’t like about this album first, because it’s not a lot: they’ve resorted to 1337 5p34k1 in their album title, which I refuse to repeat except for demonstration purposes – technically, the album is called “Catch Thirtythr33″. I suppose noobs think that’s cool.

Meshuggah - Catch Thirtythree

Other than that, it’s very hard to come up with anything to say about this CD except that it’s what you’d expect from Meshuggah: unrelentingly brutal and and often byzantine rythmic tracks overlaid with someone shouting at the top of their lungs.

I know I’m not being fair – I’m a huge fan of Meshuggah, but the problem with them is that they’re not really making it easy for people to listen to their music. I usually need to listen to one of their albums several times before I can make out the structure of their songs, because the sound texture of their songs somehow manages to stop my brain just short of understanding what I’m listening to – and that’s the great fascination and joy that they provide for me.

I’ve got their latest full album, “Nothing“, on my iPod, so I can at least make some observations comparing the two. It’s my impression that over time, their music has evolved a bit from very technical thrash metal to something more closely resembling, but not quite touching on industrial. The speed and rhythm of the songs has become slower and more pounding. In that, and in their use of unsuspected quieter parts, “Catch Thirtythree” seems to be a logical progression from “Nothing” and the albums before.

And now there’s a vocoder sing-song part reminiscent of Hawkwind. And an instrumental part. And some parts reminding one more of Neurosis than of anything else – if you think about it, the two bands really produce fairly similar music, in terms of how they work with dissonance and the unexpected. I know that doesn’t help much – what I’m trying to say that the album is overall more varied than what you’ve come to expect from Meshuggah.

Yup. And that’s about all I can say for now2.

  1. If you can’t read this, you’re not 1337 []
  2. Except that I broke my threat/promise of linking to band information on musica, which just goes to show how trustworthy I am []