Meshuggah. A name so revered, so forbidding, so legendary. Hailing from Sweden, and boasting a a career spanning over 35 years, Meshuggah have mastered their craft, and are more then ready to continue solidifying their name as the kings of avante-garde, groovy, or better yet just DJENT death metal, with a brand new album release this summer of 2022.
I had the honor of partaking in an online pre-listening party with drummer Tomas Haake, where I had the chance to listen to the album once in its entirety in order to gain an impression of it.
Titled “Immutable”, this upcoming release is sure to be an opus for the records. As the name suggests, Meshuggah deliver their well known, signature style of dissonant chugging, perfectly tied up drums to casually rupture your eardrums, and soaring, simply devastating vocals which kill not with their flamboyance but with their simplicity, grit, and violent demeanor.
Scheduled for release six years after their previous “The Violent Sleep of Reason”, “Immutable” never fails to keep up the consistency Meshuggah have proudly retained since humble beginnings of their career. The high octane riffs cut and lag, hopping between time signatures like they’re nothing. The drums flow effortlessly, syncing the bass drum perfectly with the strings, cymbals, snare and toms rapidly yet mathematically improvising in ways that make the most repetitive riffs sound fresh and explosive. Meshuggah is able to throw the same riff at you twenty times without you getting the slightest sensation of repetition or tiredness.
A half skeleton, half robot, undead cyborg, stands in the middle shot of the cover. engulfed in flames and volcanic smoke, he wields a knife. The look on his face is one of determination. Not a hint of concern or disarray lay on his lifeless, skeleton face, symbolizing the resilience and power that is Meshuggah, further backing their claim that they truly are immutable.
“Immutable” does not see Meshuggah testing new waters, adding a voice of activism, or glorifying horrific depictions of gore. It does not see Meshuggah doing what most metal bands would after acquiring such a status that could be considered celebrity. “Immutable” captures the essence that is Meshuggah, taking their well known signature and solidifying it in the history of the world, making sure that this band is not one to be messed with, especially in the world of djent.