The future of Metal is shaped by those whose desires are to innovate and perfect a certain sound. MESHUGGAH are one of these unique bricks that have broken barriers and set new standards for the next generations of Extreme Metallers. This reputation has been earned, not given; the band’s discography spans over fifteen years of hard work in shaping their original sound. The band has issued some amazing releases through the years; “Destroy, Erase, Improve” literally turned Thrash/Death Metal upside down and “Chaosphere” (the real issue here) reformed the rules and standards of dissonant heaviness. On “Nothing” the band shocks again with lethal 8-string (!!!) guitars, you just can’t argue about their niche in Metal music, period.
MESHUGGAH could’ve been much bigger than they are today if people opened their minds and acknowledged the devastating heaviness, at least stop describing their sound as pointless noise and handing out simple and laughable brands such as “Thrash Metal” ha ha.
The deal here is the third full-length “Chaosphere”; not a fan favourite and often seen as their “weakest” offering, I totally disagree with these accusations. The most common argument is that the album is too hysterical in delivery; I’ll admit it’s a panic-stricken rush from the very beginning up to the last fading seconds, but I think it’s better than “Nothing” even if some of the songs are indifferent and lack the necessary variations in the rhythmic playing.
MESHUGGAH is made up of three decisive factors: odd-timed rhythmics (all instruments even vocals), Fusion/Jazz rhythmics and lead guitar playing. These three factors are close to perfection on “Chaosphere”. The song structure is less important; I would describe the songs on “Chaosphere” as violent attacks loaded with free will in compositional approach, which makes them deceivingly repetitive and empty, like black holes, to the person not familiar with their style. Tracks are devastating from beginning to end, no clean guitar passages this time, no peace or anything, just eight hymns of chaos!!! All of these hymns are interesting to follow and transcribe, not for everyone of course, but for me it’s a rush to separate the whirlwind of twisted riffs from each other.
If you think you can handle their heaviness try listening to “Corridor Of Chameleons” and its opening riff; I get uncomfortable every time I hear it, sickening with no form of tonality. “New Millennium Cyanide Christ” and the chaotic “The Mouth Licking What You’ve Bled” both have good dosages of alarming melodies and show just how incredible lead guitarist Fredrik Thordendal really is when he performs those dissonant tapping “game boy” solos; it’s interesting to follow the solos and separate every note played in desperation of making some sense out of it all, it’s a bigger project than you’d imagine and by the way I demand to see Mr. Thordendal’s drug cabinet! “Neurotica” is the album’s weak track. It’s not different from the rest, I just think the riffing is really lame.
Basically every member within the band has had a mini chip planted into his brain in order to perform these freaky songs, even Jens Kidman’s intensified Hardcore screaming sounds programmed in some parts as he stops and starts again in some of his lyrical lines. This chip often suffers more than a few breakdowns, therefore everybody starts playing against each other, that’s why you have these so-called “noise” parts, the result is spastic and admirable.
I love listening to Metal music but what’s behind the music concerns me even more. I love studying songs and these songs need a proper study, I know MESHUGGAH will never be easy listening for me, this is a band I have spent much time on with dedication and will continue to do so. (Online February 23, 2004)