Meshuggah – Koloss
Every few years evolution in metal leaps forward, surpassing conventions, some remaining true to their roots while some others drifting off into uncharted territory. Amidst this, some bands maintain their supremacy and produce album after ass-kicking album to establish their dominance and strengthen their foothold on their status. Meshuggah are one such band who do the latter, fueled by originality and innovation, they uphold their brand of metal like no one else, continually scaling new altitudes.
Koloss is their sequel to their 2008 venture obZen, an album that is as captivating as it is mesmerizing. Truly at the forefront of innovation, though some seasoned Meshuggah fans claim it takes a while to assimilate, I maintain it struck with it’s first blow and did what Meshuggah do best – obliterate. The absolutely heavy 8 string notes resonate with pulsating arrhythmia. The album, which focuses more on being heavy rather than fast and aggressive does nothing short of giving the listener the feeling that a thousand tonnes of bricks is being lowered upon his skull. A vicious journey from I am Colossus to The Last Vigil, demented and groove laden. Majestic in every breath, accentuated by Jens Kidman’s ferocious and authoritative growls. The best parts of the album being the slower tracks, the faster ones seem lost in profundity as one can see on The Demon’s Name is Surveillance. Despite a few glitches Meshuggah maintain their lyrical prowess (the one thing that got me into them a good four years ago). The Hurt That Finds You First is a fine portrait of their linguistic supremacy. Thordendal’s trademark guitar-only parts impart more life and purpose to this work of art. Marrow is clearly the predatorial song on the album, unforeseen in its eccentricity. This coupled with the next track Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion just about sums their signatorial metric insanity. The song gives out glimpses of their sound from the Nothing days. While Demiurge is in possession of a different sound all by itself, perceptible in a completely different way, what one journalist described aptly as ‘auditory physics’. The Last Vigil is an acoustic meltdown, bringing the album to a shuddering stop.
Meshuggah aren’t a band that have instant appeal, they maintain their affinity towards off times and poly rhythms. They shake the foundations of convention with unmatched intelligence and they do so as if it comes naturally to them. Breaking free from norms and delivering masterpieces one after another, they take metal to heights it has never scaled before. A band that cannot be perceived unidimensionally. Koloss is an album that does every bit of justice to the adjectives used to describe it, a different flavor of lethality for the ones who like it, a savagery unparalleled, an insanity that’s truly Alive.