Bonkers. Absolutely bonkers, these boys be. How do these guys sleep at night with all these odd metered riffs running through their heads? Anyway, continuing the theme of "Nothing", "I" pushes sonic boundaries and soundscapes to the maximum, whilst keeping some of that 'wall-of-sound thang' synonymous with "Nothing"'s predecessor, "Chaosphere". Never have guitars sounded so frightening. A very well produced and engineered record sees Meshuggah frantically wrestle (and win over) jarring rhythms at both break-neck- and grinding- speeds. Fredrik Thordendal continues to prove he has something really unique to offer the metal and guitar scene in general, but the true star of this album though is the drummer, Tomas Haake; quite how he plays so hard but with such pizzazz is anybody's guess. My main gripe with this EP resides in Meshuggah's riffs. Although they still get your head in a spin, they're not so memorable, mainly because they focus on single note super-complex rhythms. Despite that, I'd recommend this to any metal fan. I'd definitely NOT recommend it to "anyone and everyone" as one reviewer stated -- I've plenty on friends who'd never look me in the eye again after a rendition of ANY Meshuggah. Definitely an acquired taste, but once sucked in there's no getting out!
The concept behind this latest Meshuggah mini-album is that it consists of one epic song, the 21 minute long 'I'. The track starts off in typical Meshuggah style, with dizzyingly complex rhythmic one-note thrashing, but any fears that this would become boring over 20-odd minutes is allayed by the variety of parts that the song contains. It's pretty much all typically intense Meshuggah material, with only a brief mid-song interlude breaking up the aggression, possibly the real standouts this time round are the jagged hyper-fast discordant solos and some immense string-bending bass guitar work. For anyone interested in the more challenging end of death metal this is essential. Great stuff!
Just a short review: I listen to a lot of prog and other musical genres which regularly extend track lengths beyond the 20 minute mark. Meshuggah are a band who I assumed could never pull off such a thing, because their usual songs are about 6 minutes or so, and tend to be quite intense. Listening to their album 'Nothing'(which I truly love) on a high volume level does sometimes begin to bore due to the lack of variation between soft and heavy parts. 'Chaosphere' avoided that problem by being much more consise, and very much more chaotic (hence the title perhaps). So, I wondered how in the hell could they pull off a 20 minute number? The answer is fairly simple, in that the track is essentially an assortment of the many facets of Meshuggah's recent work. It blends the structured rhythms of Nothing with the faster intensity of 'Chaosphere', and a few nods back in the direction of 'Destroy Erase Improve'. They even include a few quieter moments to stop your ears hurting. The typcial Meshuggah lyrics about self-torture and such are adapted to what appears to be a personified black-hole. Solos are all excelent as usual, and in places utterly terrifying; one in particular stands out early on. The various parts of the track are straightforward enough Meshuggah moments, but taken together as this twisted beast of a song, we have a very interesting mix. OK, so this review is longer than it was intended to be. In summary: This EP is an experiment by Meshuggah in fusing all the things they do, into one structured entity. Does it work? Yes it does. Their next release 'Catch 33' promises to be another one-track experiment (33 minutes perhaps?), and judging by 'I', they certainly could pull it off.
Meshuggah's latest is a fantastic piece of music, every second of the 20 odd minutes it spans being an entertaining listen; you'll find no boring repetition here. "I" is what you'd get if their previous "Chaosphere" and "Nothing" efforts were molded into one. It seamlessly blends the chaotic riffing of the former with the slower, more measured approach found on the latter, while retaining the bands trademark highly technical solos and sinister melodies. Some of the riffs that emerge in this song are breathtakingly heavy and powerful, particularly the one that starts roughly half-way through the track-an instant, head-banging classic. I highly recommend this EP not only to any fan of extreme or heavy music, but also to anyone who wants hear a very unique piece of music created by one the few truly original bands out there.
I really LOVE this EP. It encompasses the best parts of Nothing and Chaosphere into one 20 min plus track that has so many different mood swings. Just when you begin to get the hang of a groove the track then belts off in another direction. I would recommend to new listeners to get this before Catch 33 as it's somewhat easier to digest. Awesome.
An acquired taste this one. It is undeniably heavy and very technical with some extremely intense moments - notably the fast staccato 2 note erratic part with the piercing tremolo guitar noise over the top.
This song is near impossible to follow in its entirety in that it is just so insanely complex, I can fully understand why a drum machine was used for this. There are seemingly incompatible parts between guitar and drums which will loop around on themselves and all come together in some impossible fashion.
It is mostly heavy stuff but with some moments of eerie clean guitar, a few 'whispery' sections. It is mostly super fast and super complex with the usual wretching vocals over the top and discordant solos.
I would certainly recommend this to meshuggah fans and fans of extreme metal or metal fans with an appreciation for musical maths! As an introduction, I would be tempted to refer new listeners to the more accessible Destroy, Erase, Improve or Nothing albums.
I rate this product 4 rather than 5 because it takes a few listens to really get into it, and I think you need to have some appreciation for exactly how technical this is to really enjoy the music.
If you were disappointed with Nothing, and preferred the old sound from D.E.I and Chaosphere, then "I" is a worthwhile purchase. First up, it is one song that is 23mins long, and not an album. Second up, there is a mixture of both the 8 string guitars from Nothing, and the normal 7 that they use, and it is to good effect. The solos over the top of the power chords are still present, which adds to the sound well. Overall, a very good EP and am looking forward to the new LP!
When I bought this CD years ago I didn't know what I was letting myself in for. The last meshuggah album I had bought was Nothing, and to be honest I had found it quite hard going. I was hoping for something in the region of Destroy Erase Improve or Chaosphere. On the first listen I was fairly baffled at what I had heard over the previous 21 minutes. On the second listen I began to think it was something good. By the third listen I was addicted. This really is a mind-bending musical trip. Meshuggah take you on a violent, uncomfortable, yet exhilarating journey that twists and turns through the dark corners of your mind. At times you feel like you are falling over in a dream or like you're being shoved over a precipice. I have taken to listening to this album in the dark to give it the full attention it deserves, and I would recommend you do the same. They really created something special with I, and until you've heard it it's hard to describe, but you definitely feel changed after listening to it! If you are a fan of music that pushes boundaries (not just Metal), or want to get off your tits without taking drugs, get this! Seriously, don't even think about it - buy it.
This EP is nothing short from awesome...no pun intended. From start to finish all 22 minutes of this album are really awesome. I can't wait for their full-length album to come out next year under Nuclear Blast. The album islike death metal with 8-strings, polyrhythms, and complex and odd timings thrown in the mix. IMO, this is the best death metal album I've ever heard in my entire life. It's like a good mixture between their albums Chaosphere and Nothing. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.