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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 17 April 2014
electronics combined with Death M? what the f****? I'd rather listen to NIN than this rubbish, waste of time, momeny and energy. Don't buy this garbage....
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on 4 September 2005
Meshuggah are such a clever band that you often hear fans saying they liked their previous album (whatever it happens to be at the time) better than the new one -- they invariably do something new and challenging that takes a while to get your head around. So at the moment, I still think 'Nothing' is their best album, but I'm prepared to be proved wrong once 'Catch 33' is more firmly embedded in my skull.
Listening to this band is a fantastic journey, and I'd advise new listeners to start with 'Destroy Erase Improve' (their first 'mature' album) and work their way forwards. That way you can hear how the sound has evolved, keeping everything that was essential -- unorthodox time signatures, deep grunting cyclic riffs, jazz inflected lead playing, wrong-footing polyrhythmic drumming -- and ditching EVERYTHING that wasn't (gratuitous solos and blastbeats, for example). The spaces that gaped open on 'Nothing' are wider than ever here, and every riff and break has been pared down to its absolute minimum. It's like watching Mondrian progress from his early pastelly daubs to the ruthless geometric abstraction of his mature painting.
Most importantly, 'Catch 33' is more minimal but no less complex than what went before. If this is the game Meshuggah are playing, you do wonder how far they can take it. But it's always worth sticking around: so far they've surprised and delighted with every release. When there's so much formulaic metal around -- even in the supposedly underground scene -- it does you good to hear a group of real musicians pushing both their own ability and the boundaries of their art.
Oh, and they kick ass too.
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on 22 January 2007
I really can't stop litening to this album right now. This is not like anything I've heard before. It seems to be a bit of a concept album.

The first six tracks really comprise two songs, developing cyclical, hypnotic riffs, which never slow down for a second. It's brutal and relentless, and I think quite genius.

I don't understand what Mind's Mirrors is all about. It completely destroys the pace established until then. It picks up again at In Death - Is Life though, one of the best tracks. The rest of the album chugs along, with a few more quiet sections, until the awesomeness of the main riff of Sum, which I just can't get out of my head, but that tails off into a long passage of noodling, which I guess is supposed to sooth your mind after the skull-(.....) it has just endured.

This album is mainly about developing themes. Break beats drive the music along and the hypnotic riffs grab you and won't let go. There isn't a lot of mid-range guitar noise here, mostly bass and treble. Time signatures are all over the place and very freestyle and inventive, but strangely funky. The vocals are pretty ethereal and distorted, sometimes sounding a little industrial.

Meshuggah, "crazy" in Yiddish, really live upto their name here.
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on 2 June 2005
From the very start of its creation 'catch 33' was labelled a complete experiment by the band, a one piece epic which had been on their agenda for a while but due to its ever changing nature had been put on the back burner. Even before people had sampled its content the news that the drums were programmed left fans disgruntled as tomas hakke is widely revered as the most original drummer on the planet. Rest assured though the drums sound as organic as a studio performance and although tomas could easily have performed the album, up until the very end they were still changing its composition therefore it would have taken months just to lay down the drums. For meshuggah it is all about the music not about egos, tomas has nothing to prove and its good to try out new things.
The first thing that struck me after a few listens all the way through is just how much meshuggah have mastered the art of composition. Not one note or passage of music is wasted and all adds up to create an album so tense that you literally have no idea of what is coming next, anything appears possible. 'Catch 33' was designed to be listened to as one piece of music where each track compliments another and flows effortlessly. The album starts off with a huge circular groove which grabs you straight away before jen's distinctive powerful voice adds a menacing and unsettling atmosphere. Throughout this piece meshuggah use repetition in order to create an almost hypnotic quality to it where minutes pass by without notice then suddenly a huge lurching riff will be implanted in the listener's head. Just as you think you have the pace and nature of 'catch 33' figured out 'In death is life' kicks in sounding like the riff from 'rational gaze' on steroids. The pace suddenly changes from tracks 8 through to 13 and showcases some of meshuggah's best riffs to date, i defy anyone not be blown away by the riff at 2:09 in 'dehumanization' which is the sound to a nuclear explosion.
Like with every meshuggah release 'catch 33' isnt afraid to take risks with even a vocoded section in the track 'minds mirrors' bringing yet another suprise. I couldnt review this album without also pointing out how intelligent and thought provoking the lyrics are dealing with the paradoxes of life and death. It adds another dimension to meshuggah's already god like power. They prove yet again that a band can be hyper intelligent aswell as ultra heavy. I've had this album for two weeks and i'm almost addicted to how good it is, it doesnt sound like anything out there and totally original. Therefore i'd recommend this album to anyone who wants to hear something totally compelling and hypnotic in its composition
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on 26 October 2006
absolute tripe - how this cd has had rave reviews i will never know. their previous effort - 'I' - was excellent as was destroy erase but this is mind numbing - same riff after riff that goes nowhere. AVOID!!!!! the only reason i gave it one star is cause it wont let me give it nothing!!!
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on 3 November 2005
this cd is fantastic. simply put, its the most original & thought provoking metal album in years. meshuggah really do have something no other band have, you either love them or hate them. ive played this CD to people who are into their metal and theyve hated it, ive played it to people who arent into metal and theyve loved it.
the cost of this album is irelevant, it is a masterpiece of composition and execution, and will blow you away. listen to the riff on track 8 and if you can honestly say meshuggah suck after that, you dont deserve the gift of hearing
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on 22 September 2015
I came across this album in a music shop for £3 and decided to check it out. I'd heard a lot about Meshuggah and what people were calling their "math metal" (which I suppose has today been replaced with the term 'djent'), and was intrigued. However, to be honest this is probably one of the worst albums I own.

Being a thrash metal fan during my teenage years, I thought I'd be able to tolerate the shouting vocals, which was originally my biggest concern, though it really doesn't matter. The album as a whole just doesn't work for me. The music all seems dull and boring, incredibly repetitive, and the constant guitar riffs playing over drums in different time signatures (I believe this is known as a 'polyrhythm'), may seem impressive musical capability, but ultimately lacks any actual musicality, providing nothing more than material for music theory enthusiasts to analyze.

Obviously there is a market for this kind of music, because Meshuggah seem to have garnered a pretty big, incredibly passionate fanbase. And whilst I'd normally be open to giving certain bands multiple chances, Meshuggah is a band I certainly won't be trying out again.
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on 19 June 2005
I understand death metal on a intuitive rather than logical basis, so this is as basic as it gets...
As usual these geniuses/madmen have created an album that defies adequate description. Suffice to say no-one sounds remotely like Meshuggah, something unusual in the death metal world. The album sounds to me as if it is evolving & becoming more complex as it progresses. If you are a fan of technical death then these guys are your ticket!
There is just so much going on (tempo/timing shifts) & as usual these nutcases are striving to take your sanity, warp and shatter it!
If you already like Meshuggah you most likely will love this, if you're new I'd suggest you listen to samples first & see what you're getting yourself into. Meshuggah are highly original, super technical, aggressive but very, very different from 'normal' death metal. They are a total anomaly, albeit in a very positive sense.
If this album does appeal check out Chaosphere.
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on 26 May 2005
Meshuggah don't disappoint. This album plays from start to finish as if it's one mighty orchestral work that ranges from off-time-stomp-groove through dark-robot-jazz-from-the-future to introspective-contemplating-infinity-noodlings. Meshuggah are a challenging and creative force that any fan of heavy music worth their salt needs to check out. This is going to burn a demon-sized hole in my car stereo from now on!
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on 12 May 2006
Simple materials, sonic extremes, perfectly rendered, surpassingly brilliant.

The purity + focus + humility of these guys is truly impressive. I listen to this album sometimes more than once a day. There is nothing else like it - not even by them. There are other brilliant sounds out there but this band is always at the top of my list.

This music demands your close attention. Once you have really "learned" it, it begins to reward many repeat listens. Hundreds of listens later, it still yields fresh stuff to my ears. Fascinating and ingenious. It ought to be a bridge to practioners of all kinds of serious music.
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