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Meshuggah - Chaosphere

1998 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-07

Man, I was so excited to get this album. My brother (the suave dude that he is) managed to get someone to sell him a copy of this pre-release so I could get it for my birthday. Having heard virtually nothing from Meshuggah since DEI (you should know my feeling on inter-release E.P.s by now) I don't know what I was expecting, but it sure as hell wasn't was spewed from my walkman in the Philadelphia International Airport. It's unfair I know, but I feel a certain degree of disappointment when I think about this album. All the pieces are here, the insane drumming, the 3/2 percussive lyrics, the killer leads, I just don't know what my problem is. As with many of other favorite bands (In Flames, Entombed, Atheist), I expect so much from them that when they only deliver 100%, I feel let down. Anyway, to be rational, this is about as close to perfect an album as you can get, if this is your particular cup of poison. A couple people have asked me to recommend bands which sound like Meshuggah, and honestly, I was stumped. Lyrically, a concept album which describes an individual who proceeds to swap his human parts for machinery, the music alone could have described this scenario. Cold, precise, yet always threatening to break free of binds which hold this beast together. Interstingly, I guess what is new doesn't appear to be since I have heard the Special Defects, some of which carries over onto Chaosphere. Check out the lead work on Corridor of Chameleons or the vocals on The Exquisite... and you'll see what I mean. If you've heard Destroy Erase Improve, then you probably have this, and if you haven't, well... Imagine a world where a jazz fusion guitarist employs a drummer who has mastered 4-way independence linked with a vocal pugilist who mix it up with precision staccato riffage and you still can't come anywhere near this. Excellent production (again) highlights 5 extremely talented musicians who, while not creating anything new by their standards, have perhaps perfected what will become the "Meshuggah" sound. So, I need to just get over it and listen to the album for what it really is, a sound continuation of a brilliant idea.