Back in the heyday of Thrash Metal way back when in 1987, Meshuggah have taken all that they loved and since that fateful day 30 years ago in Sweden they are among the forebears in extreme metal, adding progressive elements to become unique. Meshuggah have carved out their path with utmost ferocity and unyielding determination and perseverance although between then and now they’ve only counted up 7 studio albums and now onto their 8th `The Violent Sleep Of Reason`.
Lyrically `The Violent Sleep Of Reason` appears to derive influence from Goya’s painting although this maybe just the album title and title track that draws that particular influence from, the album as a whole does has a very philosophical stance and to me it draws upon the works of Friedrich Nietzsche to name but one.
Hitting straight out of the gates with `Clockworks’, the trademark Meshuggah 8 string guitar thump hits in immediately, if your neighbours thought there was an earthquake then buddy they are in for a rough hour. Jens doesn’t display the most melodic aspects of his vocal talents but his voice is perfect for Meshuggah’s aggressive percussive ethos and here on `Clockworks’ his vocals are spat at you in a machine like fashion.
Call it a single but when band’s release a song it’s often a good gauge of how the album will progress and flow, certainly with `Born In Dissonance` you get the album in a nutshell. It feels punishing, frenetic and devastating to ones ear drums, the lead//solo section within the song is akin to a swarm of insects in formation, just what you want from Meshuggah really.
A fascinating segment of the album is on `Stifled` after 5 minutes of pure Meshuggah mayhem, the end portion is far more chilled albeit unnervingly so to the point it just goes from an all out assault to the electronic organ that is reminiscent of the score from `Blade Runner` composed by Vangelis, the track is giving the album a breather and it flows well into `Nostrum`.
Meshuggah have once again done it, they have created an album that will please the diehard fans, keeping to the aggressive, rhythmically pounding dissonant barrage of extreme metal extremely well. Meshuggah have a way of producing aurally sonic masochism, to the untrained ear it sounds like a whole heap of noise and overtly complicated instrumentation and yes certainly there’s a lot going on within the songs at a staggering speed yet to those of us that enjoy the pulsating rhythms and aggressive attack `The Violent Sleep Of Reason` is right on the money.
“Without Music, Life would be a mistake”- Friedrich Nietzsche
9.5/10- Pulsating heaviness Meshuggah on fine form, carry on, carry on.
Stand out tracks:
`Born In Dissonance`, `The Violent Sleep Of Reason` and `Stifled`
2. Born In Dissonance
4. By The Ton
5. Violent Sleep Of Reason
6. Ivory Tower
9. Our Rage Won’t Die
10. Into Decay
Meshuggah on the net: