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Meshuggah - Contradictions Collapse

1991 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-07

Meshuggah is one of those great bands that seems to re-invent itself every album. On their first full length LP, Meshuggah display technical adeptness, excellent songwriting skills, and a firm mastery of the idea behind what progressive metal should be. As far out as the songs go, this is a fairly controlled effort (in comparison with later releases) that can almost be likened to metal fusion. Jens Kidman here takes on both vocal and guitar duties, with the emphasis being on the latter, it seems. The vocals are good, but somewhat Pantera/Metallica-ish, and I've heard comparisons drawn to both. The music is definitely what sets this band apart. They are just excellent musicians who obviously spend a lot of time practicing both alone and together. Tomas Haake is one of the best drummers out there, someone who, like Sean Reinert and Peter Wildoer of Armageddon, can incorporate different styles seamlessly into their playing. His independence is excellent, which allows him to match the bass/guitar lines note for note on the kick drums (which may be in a triplet feel), while playing straight 2's & 4's on the snare. This really helps the staccato feel of the guitars. Meshuggah also have a firm handle on odd time signatures, and all of this combined pushes Contradictions Collapse into the top 25 progressive metal releases of all time. If you are into progressive, then this is the Meshuggah album to get, for their style changes greatly after this, and is a lot less accessible later.