Meshuggah What? Meshuggah Who?!

Surprise post! The new Meshuggah is actually pretty accessible. I bet it’s the album that blows their cover. Hahaha! I am so just kidding, since I read about them in a big cover-page Guitar World article way back in 1997. Meshuggah has actually been a fan-favorite of poseurs for years (not that Meshuggah are poseurs). They’re from Umea, Sweden, so I feel a big nationalistic connection with these guys now that I’ve “done my time” up north.

All the indie-rock scenester e-zines have decided they really like this one too. I guess these rags are just struggling for air since Indie Rock is dead and bloated, eh? They’re playing it all coy, like they know what’s going on, but they’re deep in an existential funk. It’s okay scenesters, I feel your pain! Actually, I don’t have any clue as to what your life is like.

My guess as to why the scenester, Indie Rock-toting mags love Meshuggah and Isis is because their music isn’t so riff-based. It’s pretty similar with the whole Brit-pop, Brit-rock angle too. And Indie Rock in general. They’re full of bands and songs that function mainly on attitude and meandering melodious sounds, not concrete and specific melodies or riffs. A lot of projects have jumped on this, and so we have lots of Post-Rock bands (Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Mogwai influenced stuff) and these drone, sludge, new metal bands (Isis, The Ocean, Meshuggah) and “stoner” metal bands and doom bands (Electric Wizard, Sunn). It’s so epic, but isn’t cheesy because it doesn’t get all concretely melodic and harmonious! Although, I do really admire the interesting implementation of synthesizers and guitar solos in Meshuggah’s compositions.

Additionally, I think one reason the metal scene has always been real friendly to Meshuggah, is ’cause the band is like, evil prog, if some such thing exists. You know how it is, you can’t count any of the time signatures they play in — it feels like you’re being drowned amidst all the progress the music keeps making. Although normal prog does this too, it doesn’t contain lyrics that allude to vague, undefinable, futuristic horror. Or it does, but in a way that’s charming or campy — family time music.

But not Meshuggah! Their prog elements and extreme metal aesthetic means its the perfect thing to use to destroy your family’s peace of mind. It kinda bugs me a little too, actually! They use such technical rhythmic elements (not to mention 8-string guitars) that it’s more than a little intimidating. I actually think the ideal Meshuggah album is I — it’s a single 21-minute track, the perfect length to listen to at once.

Meshuggah has managed to really perfect the musical manifestation of an evil, soul-crushing, world-swallowing entity. More so than most bands that try to do it. I feel like I’m riding in an extra-terrestrial, industrial, war-machine with this band. You can download the whole album online as part of a promo leak right now. I won’t post it for you, but if you’re slick you can find it. It’s worth hearing, but not worth me posting. LAWL.

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~ by chaosrexmachinae on March 21, 2008.

2 Responses to “Meshuggah What? Meshuggah Who?!”

  1. Dude, I mean, from at least the literal perspective, Isis IS indie rock. Let’s keep that in mind, no?

  2. Well, as you know me, I’m referring to “Indie Rock” as a musical genre. As in, the scene of bands who were (or claim to be) influenced by early post-punk and traditional Indie Rock bands: Husker Du, Sonic Youth, The Smiths, Pixies, Built to Spill, Dino Jr. etc. I didn’t mention this connotation since Indie Rock is now such a buzz word for that type of music, I figured we’d know what I’m saying.

    But yes, you have a valid point. And that’s possibly a reason mags like Pitchfork or god-knows-what-else pick up on Isis and the like. But then again, I still think it’s an aesthetic thing, and something that revolves around artistic presentation more than actual musical composition. I.e. some bands appear sophisticated (even though they’re heavy!) so they’re okay to cover. Or something like that.

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