✦✦✧✧ I’m sure my Meshuggah fanboyism is well established by now. Imagine then the pain I feel in having to give this album the lowest rating I’ve ever given the band.

The problem really comes down to the first three or four tracks, which establish a feeling for the album as a collection of B-sides, outtakes, and demos of guitar tone.


MeshuggahThe Violent Sleep Of Reason

✦✦✦✦ This is the culmination and perfection of Meshuggah’s explorations from their previous albums “Koloss,” “Obzen,” and “Catch Thirty-Three.” But more than ever in the band’s career, this material feels designed from the ground up to live for performance in front of a crowd, not Meshuggah’s prior standard of careful curation in the confines of a studio.


Sweet, sweet metal

Now here’s a labor of love that I can get behind: London-based musician Pete Cottrell has recorded a cover of Meshuggah’s “Straws Pulled At Random,” in which he’s replaced all the percussion with samples of British sweets.


Sport the war

A lot of hay has been made this week about the 10-year-old guitarist shredding some Slayer. And while I don’t think Kerry King should give up his search for a new co-guitarist, Audrey’s skills are pretty formidable.

But that’s just burying the lede. Pay attention to her 6-year-old sister Kate, doing a Shatneresque interpretive screamfest all the while.


Happy anniversary, Meshuggah!

Last night, I went to see Meshuggah live, on their minitour celebrating 25 years of music (with Between The Buried And Me as support). The bands were both in fine form, but it was an odd night, insofar as the band’s conceit of playing a set of material largely in chronological order led to pacing issues.