Meshuggah’s latest offers complex, rhythmic twists

Haunting screams from a pit of darkness and the unknown. Drums sound like machine guns firing during a war of unimaginable horrors with guitars playing patterns of pure aggression that hypnotize the ear drums of the listener.

This is Meshuggah. This is the eighth full length album from the underground heavy metal giants, and “The Violent Sleep of Reason” is an album that offers what people love about Meshuggah while still adding something new.

The first thing I noticed was that I could easily hear bass. As a bassist myself, this is something that love to hear in metal, mainly because most of the time the bass is lost in the mix to the huge sound of the guitars and drum. I have trained to pick up on hearing the bass lines after a few listens of the song, but to clearly hear the bass the first time listening is something very impressive.

The polyrhythmic patterns that they play are almost hypnotic and pull you into a trance. With this liberal use of polyrhythm, this album can offer something enjoyable to fans of progressive and classical music with its complexity.

This album, however, is not a walk in the park to listen to. It is an extremely heavy album with the guitars tuned to the same octave as a bass guitar. They are extremely chunky and thick.

The drumming is also incredible in this album — or any Meshuggah album for that matter. The amount of stamina and sense of rhythm the drummer Tomas Haake has is almost inhuman. This is even more impressive when you find out that most of their music is written in 4/4, and to add on to that, he also does backup vocals … while playing the drums.

Everything in this album is very rhythmic. Even the vocals from Jens Kidman have a very rhythmic feel. The leads from the guitars are very alien and more atmospheric than anything else. This album, like most extreme or experimental metal albums, is not for everyone. The people who will enjoy this album the most are people who appreciate the technical skill and theory of music. If you listen to music to sing along or dance to, this is not the album for you.

I give this album a 10 out of 10 because of the technical skill, audible bass and pure heaviness. If you are a fan of heavy metal, you will love this.

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