Meshuggah: 'Koloss' roundtable review

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'Koloss' is indeed a colossus in every sense of the word. With it comes the incalculable wave of expectation, discussion and hype. With nearly all eyes in the djent community on this leviathan of an album, the got-djent.com team got together to try and make some sense of it.

The participants:

Daniel O' Connor - Klonere
Miles Minvielle - Meowzer
Alex Khomenko - Clarity
Marinos Tountas - Marinos_Revenant


Introductions

Klonere: I discovered Meshuggah in 2007. Being a huge Dream Theater fan I started looking to expand my taste in metal beyond the obvious proggy stuff. I kept hearing and seeing the name 'Meshuggah'. So I got 'Chaosphere' first, then 'I', and was completely blown away by the sheer heaviness and uniqueness of their sound. It really opened up a whole new avenue in music for me. My favourite album is 'Catch 33', which really lead me away from the proggy side of music and would be in my top 5 albums of all time.

Meowzer: I discovered Meshuggah at the same time I discovered the whole "djent" scene, which was not that long ago at all. I think 'Catch 33' and 'Nothing' are about the same ranking on my favourite albums list. I know a lot of my more traditional metal friends really hated 'Catch 33' for whatever reason. I guess that goes to show I am more of a tech junkie than them. I can't say that I am a huge Meshuggah fan, but the last few albums they have put are definitely heading in the right direction for my personal taste.

Clarity: I don't have a solid background in Meshuggah because I never was a fan of theirs. I knew the name before I heard about the whole "djent" scene and when I gave their stuff a couple of spins I didn't like it much. I've heard a couple of albums: 'I', 'Catch 33', and 'obZen', before I listened to 'Koloss'.

Marinos_Revenant: I found out about Meshuggah in 2006. A friend of mine was reading Metal Hammer and he told me about a band that released a CD that was just one song and that they were so experimental. Around that time they re-released 'Nothing', so I heard it at the same time with 'Catch 33'. At first I didn’t like it much, but I continued to listen to it over and over, until one day 'Catch 33' became one of my favourite albums ever. For me 'Catch 33', 'Nothing' and 'Obzen' are very solid works and I love them. I am not too much into their older stuff, like 'Contradictions Collapse' or maybe some of 'Destroy Erase Improve'.


'Koloss' album artwork.



Expectations from the album

Meowzer: After listening to 'Obzen', I never really gave it a legitimate chance. I have to say that, lyrically, considering their earlier works it sounded even less like they went through a thesaurus to try and find the most disgusting synonyms, like 'Cadaverous Mastication'. Anyway, my expectations were what came out of it. Definitely more style, more finesse, than trying to be super experimental. It sounds like they have really found their sound and are now working on being awesome.

Clarity: I personally didn't expect much. However, following the whole hype, I was hoping they would live up to their name.

Klonere: I was very interested to see where they were going to go. On 'Obzen' they took their whole sound, like the thrashy stuff on 'Combustion', the slower 'Nothing' and their 'Catch 33' stuff, and put it all on one disc. I was thinking, what can they do now; they can't really do 'Obzen' again and combine their whole sound. They had to do something new and interesting.

Marinos_Revenant: I didn't have too many expectations. I loved what they have done so far, what they have accomplished, and thought they couldn't go any further. I wanted them to do something similar to what they were doing but to go in a slightly different direction.

First impressions

Klonere: I'm not gonna lie, the first time I listened, I said to myself "This is the new Meshuggah and I am not excited for it at all, is there something wrong with me?". The first song 'I Am Colossus' completely turned me off the album, it was kinda like 'Stengah' from 'Nothing', except worse in every way, it came off as really boring until the very end. The main problem I had with the album when I first listened to it, all the good bits of the songs were towards the ends of them. The songs start to progress but then they just abruptly end. There are few of them that bring in a new idea at the last possible moment or miss out on opportunities to expand the song. In general, my first impressions were not good, but I think that’s just the nature of this album.

Meowzer: I totally agree with the first track being one of the most boring things I have ever heard come out of Meshuggah. I think it was a terrible way to open the album. After about 10 minutes of listening to the band, I get a splitting headache, because it’s just so heavy. But I appreciate them for their technicality and talent, that's why I still listen! There are certain tracks that are intermittently placed throughout the album that I thought were typical Meshuggah, and there were some gems where most of their parts really stood out.

Marinos_Revenant: I, on the other hand, was blown away when I first heard the album. It started very aggressively, and when the lyrics came in: "I am the great leviathan, the insatiable colossus", I thought that was very cool. I agree that many songs have some riffs that get a little boring, like 'Behind the Sun' or 'The Hurt that Finds You First'. I loved 'Demiurge' even though I thought it was kind of simple for a Meshuggah song.

Clarity: When I first heard this album I thought, "Damn this is really boring". I wasn't impressed at all, to say the least, and could hardly bring myself to get back to it again. But then I started to listen to it as background music and it grew on me, but only just a bit. I still couldn't distinguish between most of the songs, I only remembered the last one because it was very much different from the whole album, being melodic and everything.

Music video for 'Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion'.



The last song ‘The Last Vigil’ is similar to the outro of ‘Catch 33’ but somewhat less unnerving, what do you think about it?

Clarity: My impression is that the band got bored of writing their music and decided "let’s put in some ambient stuff at the end" just to create some diversity. What I would have liked is for them to take this song and disperse it throughout the whole album to create some overall ambience instead of all at once. The album lacks melodic elements; I know it’s Meshuggah, but still I wouldn’t mind hearing some melodic riffs.

Marinos_Revenant: I was hoping that this song would be somewhere in the middle of the album; it would have been much better. When I got to 'The Last Vigil' I waited for some cool heavy riff to come in and blow me away, but it didn’t happen.

Meowzer: As far as I can tell, there is no underlying concept across this album. That being the case, this is another collection of really heavy music. The only purpose I see of that track being at the end is just Meshuggah’s way of saying "This is the end, this is where we stop being heavy."

Klonere: I think Marinos said it best. If it was in the middle of the album, it would have been great. The entire album is very heavy and repetitive, so in the middle of the album it would have made a great break and time to take a rest. The only other reason why it would be there is just because of the name, 'The Last Vigil'.

How did your opinion of the album change after a few listens?

Klonere: After my bad first impressions, I thought "Oh God, I'm going to have to give this a bad review, I'm not looking forward to this". Then I listened to it a few more times, and it inevitably grew on me. I've started enjoying it more and more, and got more subtleties to the riffs that I first thought were really repetitive. I've started to appreciate a new direction of the production where everything is a lot richer. I really liked 'Swarm', 'Demiurge' and 'The Demon's Name Is Surveillance' despite its really ham-fisted lyrics. I think I've heard the album around ten and a bit times, and I still can tell that I'll probably be listening to it more and enjoy it more, so at the moment there's still a room for it to grow for me. In my opinion it's a solid album, and definitely not as bad as I firstly thought it was.

Meowzer: When I first listened to this album I thought "Oh, cool, this doesn't sound like an old Meshuggah, it sounds like a new Meshuggah, and this is what I want to listen to", so this is pretty good compared to the rest of the band's material. I'm not their biggest fan, so there’s a really low ceiling of enjoyment I get out of it. There are a couple of songs that sound like old Meshuggah: they are really slow, and it kind of bores me a little bit. However, some of the tracks have grown on me, for example 'Swarm', which I didn't dig at first, and 'Demiurge', because it starts out with that really alien feel. It's really hard for me to think back on each of these songs and recognize something different about them, except for the fact that "oh, that’s that song that dies at the very end when you’re expecting more".

Clarity: After a few more listens the album did not seem so boring as it did at first. Sometimes you don’t like an album from the first time, but after a few more spins it becomes one of the best things you’ve ever heard; although that was not the case with 'Koloss'. For me, not being a big fan of the band, the album in general was mediocre. If it wasn’t for this review I’m not sure I’d get back to it after my first listen.

Marinos_Revenant: What I liked about Meshuggah's old albums is the crazy progressive stuff that you couldn’t get into instantly, so I was listening to it again and again to the point where I started to understand what’s going on. I liked how it grew on me, but it took lots of time to do that. 'Koloss', when I first heard it, seemed more straightforward and simpler. Some songs that I found to be interesting in the beginning started to feel boring with time, and I began to like the more progressive ones. I knew from the outset that I wouldn't be impressed as much as I was when I first started to listen to the band, but I loved this album anyway. The only bad thing for me was that I started to get bored faster than with their previous records.

Meowzer: So, in general the summary seems to be that you really have to listen to this album a lot for your opinion of it to change.


Album artwork for 'ObZen', Meshuggah's previous full-length album.


Thoughts about the vocals

Klonere: Personally, I can say that Jens hasn’t lost anything; on every Meshuggah album so far, there are a couple of bits where I’m like, "yeah, Jens really killed it there". He was either sounding even more angry than usual, or he played off the rhythm very well, or had his own vocal line that was really cool. Here, I find that his vocals add nothing to the music. Maybe it’s just me getting tired of Jens, because he has this style which fits with the band and is completely integral to their sound, but it’s just so monotonous that it’s getting on my nerves.

Meowzer: Well, I suppose I consider myself a vocalist - it’s what I aspire to do - and I hear a lot of people say that vocalists in metal in general don’t add an awful lot to the music, except for maybe a selected few. Jens yells pretty much the same on everything, there’s no emotion; it sounds like it is there just to fit in, because this is metal and being angry in metal is the thing to do. I can’t say it’s bad, I think he yells quite well; it’s not like he has problems doing it. His screams become cleaner with every new album, but I’m not super impressed by it.

Clarity: I think Jens' vocals are one of the things that make Meshuggah the band we all know: they form an important part of the band's music and I find them fitting to their overall sound; they meld quite nicely with the music. That’s why I can’t say they add nothing. In my opinion they add lots of aggressiveness and emotions.

Marinos_Revenant: To be honest I’m not into vocals so much as I am into the instrumental aspects of the music, although this does not mean that if a song has crappy vocals I will still listen to it. I just don’t pay much attention to the vocals. I like Jens' tone and the fact that he’s so steady. For some people it’s disturbing that he doesn’t do much with his voice, but I have associated it with Meshuggah's music. I haven’t read the lyrics for this album, so I’m not sure in which direction they go. In general, I feel that his singing became a little better.

Klonere: Yeah, they don't sound as robotic as they did before.

Production

Klonere: The production is really good and is a very refreshing change. The drums immediately hit you because they sound real, like you can feel Haake is sitting down there, playing the kit. The guitars are the same djenty ones that we have all come to know from Meshuggah - super low, crunchy and all around heavy. But there is more of a warmth to them, which is strange because many bands are using digital sound techniques to get that heavy sound. Meshuggah have got that really warm, yet really heavy guitar sound, and I find it really impressive. The vocals are a lot more raw as well, you can definitely hear that there is a lot more wetness to Jens’s voice.

Meowzer: For the production quality in general you hit great points with that. It sounds a lot warmer, the vocals sound more human certainly and the drums, I don’t pay a lot of attention to them, but I did notice they stand out more. It doesn’t sound so heavily produced and terribly djenty and digital.

Clarity: I personally don’t pay attention to the production. If I do, that means that it is very crappy, which you don't expect from a band like Meshuggah.

Marinos_Revenant: I agree with you about the production, for me it was great and I liked it, although it was nothing special, because nowadays you can get great results and very good sounding albums from good studios. I liked that they didn’t go with the same djenty sound that they pioneered and everyone is now trying to copy. The guitars sound like they are coming out of real amplifiers and you can hear the attack of picks scraping on the strings.


Meshuggah: Dick Lövrgen, Mårten Hagström, Tomas Haake, Fredrik Thordendal and Jens Kidman.


Highlight songs and overall marks

Klonere: My favourite song on the entire album is probably 'Demiurge' because of its atmosphere. Unlike a lot of the songs on the album, the riff that they established in this one is reasonably repetitive, but they do a lot with it as the song progresses, and there is also the whole atmosphere of this track. It is a really solid piece of music that actually progresses, unlike a lot of the other songs. Another song that I liked is 'The Demon's Name Is Surveillance' because it’s like: "hey, we’re gonna make a thrash song" and that’s exactly what they did, and it’s awesome. There are no other real stand-out songs for me, everything is really solid, everything is really well produced, the album isn’t too long, but kind of like with Veil Of Maya's album 'Eclipse', there is nothing amazing about it. There is no flow to it either, the songs do not lead into each other at all, there is no real pacing and 'The Last Vigil' being the last song is a really strange decision.

Overall mark: 7/10

Meowzer: 'Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave Them Motion' is one of my favourites because of its groove and syncopation. I have a lot of fun listening to it, and I don’t do it for the darkness or emotion, because I can’t really find any. It is Meshuggah, it’s all just alien and evil. I also liked 'Marrow' and 'Demiurge', because of their foreign feel, and especially in 'Marrow' there is that great bass sound, that resonates and feels good. I can’t do anything but compare Meshuggah to the rest of Meshuggah.

Overall mark: 9/10

Clarity: For me there are two highlight songs. 'Demiurge', because of that riff, and 'Do Not Look Down', because somehow I feel like dancing every time I listen to it; it has this cool rhythm. Generally the album has some good moments here and there, but not any awesome moments. However, I didn’t expect much from this album, so it has almost lived up to my expectations.

Overall mark: 6/10

Marinos_Revenant: There are three highlight songs for me. 'The Demon's Name Is Surveillance', because it is very thrashy and straightforward. I liked it from the very beginning and I still enjoy it every time. 'Do Not Look Down' has this great riff that keeps going on and evolves throughout the song and is so groovy and heavy. Finally 'Demiurge' is also one of my favourite tracks; the riffs around the middle blew my mind when I first heard it. In general I loved the album, the only thing I did not like much is that some of the songs aren’t so solid and have some mediocre parts in them, which wasn't the case on previous releases.

Overall mark: 9/10



Check out last month's roundtable review of Veil of Maya's 'Eclipse'.

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Comments

Hardly, my friend. Me & a few others, find Behind The Sun, the best song on the release.

I'm stunned. Nobody likes 'Behind the Sun'?? This is by far the best song on the album IMO.

xasafx wrote:

Submitted by xasafx on Tue, 03/04/2012 - 20:48.
so none of the dudes that write on this site were into this band when nothing came out? that seriously undermines the legitimacy of this criticism in my opinion. I find it surprising that nobody here was into this ten years ago. i'm turning 26 this year and was fortunate enough to catch meshuggah on the second stage of ozzfest 2002. I'm curious to know what you guys were into then.

Ive been listening to them since o5 ithink... .maybe longer. i was around the meshuggah forum before this "djent" stuff ever existed. it was just a page in the threads of tandjent.com/meshforum .

i'll do it!! UGGAH RULEZ !!

Marrow.

They have not topped Soul Burn yet.

Man. Some people I swear...(facepalm). No one is expecting EVERYONE to like the album. I just don't understand why some leave no constructive criticism but instead leave remarks that serve no pupose other than being negative or irrelevant. When did the album art become a factor to argue over the album's music anyway?

Fair enough, but is there a reason you're suddenly spewing negativity everywhere you can? Having a bad day? Tongue Your comment would be much more valuable if you clarified why you don't like it.

Good album

You signed up just to post that. Joke's on you buddy Smile

Never thought I will see someone on a site called "something-something djent" dislike meshuggah album.
You guys are clueless.
This whole review and site are hilarious Laughing out loud

Carnage you should get that tattooed on your forehead.

MUSIC, FUCK!!!

FUCK!!! this album is the real definitive musuc!!!

truthlies wrote:

Koloss is easily the most listenable record they have ever brought out.

i very well am aware this might be your perception/opinion, but i can't help feeling you are disregarding Destroy Erase Improve, Chaosphere, and None. i might be totally wrong of course Smile

also, i have noticed a tendency in some people to give waaay too much attention to everything from Nothing onward, it is of course natural since these are the works that most pertain to djent, and this is got-djent after all, but i think (not in the case of the reviewers btw) some people expect, crave, even, their djenty side, and ignore and/or disdain somewhat their thrashier stuff, or anything that isn't "djenty", this is fine of course, in the end no one can say "this is bad" or "this is good" without being partly wrong, the only statements that have complete validity imo are "i like it" or "i don't".

I guess what i'm trying to say is maybe we're expecting djent too much...

siddha wrote:

I've never really understood the folks who listen to Meshuggah in order to pick apart their uber-technicality, because as I see it there really isn't any and never was.

along the vein of what i wrote earlier, from Nothing onwards there never was much technicality, except for bleed and the demon's name is surveillance, but most of their material before Nothing was pretty technical, well, in terms of endurance and speed of course...

siddha wrote:

Most of their music only has three parts going on at any one time: vocals, drums, and then both guitars + bass playing the same part in unison / octaves.

yeah, but i think this is more about the instrumentation than about the technicality, i mean, if it were all at 1200 bpm (lol), it would not not be technical just because there are only 3 parts at any one time right?

xasafx wrote:

that seriously undermines the legitimacy of this criticism in my opinion.

Say what? On your average review site / blog, most reviews are written by people who have never heard the band in question before. Maybe you would have found the review more interesting if it involved one or more long-time fans, but to say that this makes it less legitimate is absurd. Meshuggah deserve the same treatment as any other band and the criticism they receive isn't any less legitimate for it.

I'd actually like to read a review for this album by someone who has never heard anything else by Meshuggah, it would probably be all the more interesting to read.

All of the sudden everyone's a long-time Meshuggah fan....

because these dudes got into this band in 06 between the releases of I and obzen.

so none of the dudes that write on this site were into this band when nothing came out? that seriously undermines the legitimacy of this criticism in my opinion. I find it surprising that nobody here was into this ten years ago. i'm turning 26 this year and was fortunate enough to catch meshuggah on the second stage of ozzfest 2002. I'm curious to know what you guys were into then.

ELECTRIC-RED wrote:

Meshuggah is a band that you as a listener have to understand. You have to understand artistically and melodically what they were going for on each album. I don't think that any one of the people that did these reviews truly understands this band and what they are about. Just strip away all the expectations, labels, and hype and just listen to the rhythm, melody, and vibe that they create.

I have to say that I quite agree with this, although your phrasing makes you sound like a bit of a hipster. Tongue

I've never really understood the folks who listen to Meshuggah in order to pick apart their uber-technicality, because as I see it there really isn't any and never was. Most of their music only has three parts going on at any one time: vocals, drums, and then both guitars + bass playing the same part in unison / octaves. It's not so much the technicality that makes them unique or interesting but rather the novelty of it all, throwing all standard rules to the dogs and trying to take a new approach.

Basically I'm saying that I think anyone complaining about this album being too "simple" is missing the point. Stop thinking about what polymeter they're superimposing over 4/4 and just put on your headphones, relax, and let it wash over you maaaaaaaaaaaan.

This is always what I've loved about Meshuggah -- the idea that unique, thought-provoking music can arise without all the neckbeard-stroking that typically comes with prog metal. Just my opinion though, and I'm sure anyone who has read anything I've posted on this site knows all about my opinion on this matter. (hehehehe... Evil)

I first got into Meshuggah just after Nothing was released. TBH it took some getting used to. I loved it but in small doses - sometimes I just couldnt stand it it hurt my ears. Meshuggah ave gotten better and better in my opinion. Koloss is easily the most listenable record they have ever brought out. Ive probably listened to it about 8 times now and my favorite track is still Break Those Bones... The Bass sounds like a sonic blast from hell. Despite what others may think, the record works as a complete package, and I can also listen to each individual song aswell. I just hope I get sick of it soon as the neighbors may start to complain.

I dont get all the technical jargon to well when it comes to Meshuggah I just like what my ears do, and this sound, Koloss, is amazing.

Reading when the various reviewers first got into Meshuggah makes me feel old.

I've been a fan for Meshuggah for almost 10 years and I can quite frankly say there is no "experienced" Meshuggah fan. I discover new things about them often, sometimes from people who've just discovered them. This review is solely some one elses opinion. The people who did the review are not voicing your opinion. I could relate many things that I felt the same about the album as well. These people, are quote "trying to make sense of it" for no-one knows what it really is about. Meshuggah themselves said that it's open to interpretation. An interpretation of an album doesn't come on a gold plate, it's narrarated by word of mouth...

Djiant wrote:

Why did they get inexperienced Shug fans to review the album?
It doesnt make any sense.

How long exactly do you have to listen to Meshuggah to be considered 'experienced' in your eyes? 6 years is probably longer than many of our readers have been into metal.
Also, we didn't 'get' anyone to review the album. They wanted to review the album, so they did.

I'm a relatively new Meshuggah fan but I must say this album is probably one of my favorites, I'd rank it in my top three with Destroy Erase Improve and Obzen. I was surprised to read about the general lack of enjoyment in regards to this album but hey, opinions are opinions. I like these roundtable reviews though, even if my opinions differ. They're well organized and I certainly prefer these to solo-reviews. Keep it up fellas

Well, me being an older member of this site & an older Meshuggah fan, I do not disagree with the over-all assessment of this album, Koloss. This release was not intended to be as dynamic or as experimental, as previous releases.

Refer to the dvd of the deluxe package of this release. In this dvd Hagstrom & Thorendal, both talk about how, Meshuggah went into a new direction putting this record together from the beginning. Though, it eventually went back to a more Meshuggah type of creating process, per Hagstrom & Thorendal, this album's creative process was different.

More organic, more terrestrial. This record saw Meshuggah creating an album through more of a ground-eye level in this world of metal, then they ever had before.

To love Meshuggah is to love this album. I did think it was a little too soon to release a new record. 4 years, especially the Djent explosion since Obzen, was not a long enough time to build that massive hunger of proof, that most bands need to reveal the world, they are relevant again. I felt it may have been the reason this record is under received.

It's not as visceral, nor as sporadic. No risk, nor chance. A bland vanilla of perhaps b-sides. Nonetheless, it's a solid release. A tough release. No frills, no sensitivities. The most solid pieces of each artist in the band. This.

I'll more than take it!

Koloss Evil

Why did they get inexperienced Shug fans to review the album?
It doesnt make any sense.

It's times like these where this site hurts my brain. -.- all over the place.

Yeah maybe people who have known Meshuggah for longer are rare, perhaps it would be simpler to look for people who started listening to the earlier stuff but not necessarily people who listened to said stuff when it came out Smile

I was about 8 or 9 when a cousin showed New Millenium Cyanide Christ to me, so I guess i'm a bit of both things Tongue

Haha damnit I'm getting old... Laughing out loud

In 1998 I was 7 so I don't think there was much scope for me to find out about Meshuggah Tongue

2006 is six years ago already... given the demographic composition of this scene, I think the number of people that were acquainted with Meshuggah's music before that time is rather limited. I agree that it would be interesting to learn what a the fans from the early days think about it, but as it seems we don't have any of those on our staff Tongue

That said, if any of them are reading this: our review section is open to all registered users, have at it Smile

Pretty shocked to hear that you guys started hearing about Meshuggah around 2006 at the earliest (not trying to sound like a douche bag musical-elitist, just honestly surprised, without any prejudice at all). I started liking Meshuggah a couple months before Chaosphere came out after buying DEI because of a "You might also like..." internet recommendation from listening to samples of Deftones' album Around The Fur (yeah not exactly similar styles... haha). So maybe its just my constant growing love for Meshuggah from back then, but I think Koloss is absolutely awesome and I give those dudes so much credit for still going strong and not making a bad album, or deciding to go mainstream to make a better buck. While Koloss is less technical than their previous albums, it still delivers a brutal punch with the trademark Meshuggah style. Still on the fence about whether I enjoy Koloss more than Obzen, but if I HAD to choose right now I'd probably have to go with Obzen... though I can honestly say I'm still really pleased with Koloss. I'm happy to see that you guys gave it a good honest review, its really disappointing to read/listen to reviews from people who don't give something a real chance before trashing it. About "The Last Vigil", for anyone who didn't purchase the Deluxe Edition with the DVD of Kreating Koloss, they actually show a scene of the band going back and forth about what to do with the track which I think is funny, since the 4 of you practically gave the same arguments as the band did haha.

In the end it's their opinions, I agreed with some points, disagreed with others, what I would like to point out, the reviewers are somewhat (at least it seems to me) new to Mysugar, I think another roundtable review should be done, not to debunk or discredit this one, but rather as a companion of sorts, a review made by people who have known about the band for a longer time, people who started with None or DEI, I think it would be interesting. I perceive that in this review the guys were more inclined to their slower, groovier material such as Catch 33 or Nothing, so people who started out with the more thrashy stuff might have differing views... Just a thought and a suggestion Smile

Thanks for that.

Not enough attention was paid to Marrow in this roundtable.

I enjoyed the album a lot, but there is just something missing that makes it miraculous. Although, I have to say, "Swarms" is like, the grroviest track on the album to me and i'm kind of baffled as to why the reviewers didn't think otherwise. Needless to say, It's Meshuggah, so I'll at least listen to it a couple more times Smile

No, I think I understood correctly, I wasn't reversing the causal relation between the two. My point was about you saying they don't understand it, not about them not understanding it. Okay, this is getting complicated, never mind Laughing out loud

And just to clarify, I didn't intend to accuse you of being a fanatic either, that part of my comment was not in response to yours Smile

@benanne-I think you misunderstood what I said. They don't like it BECAUSE they don't understand it, not the other way around. I'm not trying to insult anybody it was just an observation based on the reviews that they wrote. Also I am not some ignorant Meshuggah fanatic who will defend them to the end, Koloss isn't my favorite Meshuggah album either but I appreciate the artistic statement that they made with it so I can't say that I don't like it. If they released an album that was terrible, I'd be the first person to say I didn't like it.

I think mine definitely would. The reason is simple: if this wasn't Meshuggah, I would have stopped listening to it by now. But I keep giving it some listening time, because, well, it's Meshuggah after all Smile so I reckon I will end up enjoying it anyway.

I mean the album itself is pretty slow-paced so to say that you do not like one song from it because it is slow-paced is a bit biased. I wonder if people's opinions would change if a different artist put this album out...

Tandjent forums=Sectarian religion, nuff said.

I think it's a bit short-sighted to say that someone "doesn't understand" because they don't like it. If "understanding artistically and melodically what Meshuggah were going for on this album" will help to enjoy it, it'd be great if you could explain Tongue but that's probably impossible, because this notion is just as vague and subjective as the things that make us enjoy some types music and dislike others. For the record, I'm not all too thrilled by this album either, I found it rather unmemorable.

Sometimes I think Meshuggah have become 'too big to fail': some people will praise virtually anything a band puts out because it's become impossible (through peer pressure or whatever) not to 'like' it. I'm quite happy to see that this isn't happening here (because for whatever reason our community tends to be quite critical, as a rule), but in some other circles I've seen people praise this album as the second coming, riling eachother up and cracking down on everyone who says otherwise. Almost like a sectarian religion Tongue

Meshuggah is a band that you as a listener have to understand. You have to understand artistically and melodically what they were going for on each album. I don't think that any one of the people that did these reviews truly understands this band and what they are about. Just strip away all the expectations, labels, and hype and just listen to the rhythm, melody, and vibe that they create.

Another awesome roundtable, gentlemen! Whether you agree with the roundtable reviewers or they disagree with the album, this is a refreshing take on an important album. No one is going to say this was a sellout album or a LULU moment. This album is what all Meshuggah albums have been, are and will be...beyond the scope of normal metal-heads. And that's sayin' somethin'!

How I love watching people express their opinions Tongue I'll check the review out. I just wrote a long ass post only to be erased without warning : / Once I get my pc I'm gonna get rid of this itouch. It's the most unreliable piece of hardware ever...

Meshuggah are always compositionally talented; it's just harder for tech metal fans in general to get into them on a sub-analytical scale when trying to "chill and listen" is similar to getting a large stone slammed into your skull over and over. Slow and brutal and wishing they'd just get it over with. Fast-paced syncopation is much harder to hear and analyze and makes for smooth ambiance. Just in my experience; I can never relax and listen to Shuggah.

Here's a link to scio's take on this album: http://got-djent.com/review/meshuggah-still-refuses-be-subdued

I actually like these roundtable reviews, because it gives a lot of different opinions on the music, and it's important that a review has a few different viewpoints. Essentially this review tells me something that I already knew: Mesuggah fans hate new stuff at first, then love it after they listen to it a lot. People who aren't Meshuggah fans have a hard time getting themselves into the music, which isn't a diss towards them or necessarily a bad thing. Meshuggah is definitely an acquired taste, and you have to choke it down for a while before you start loving it. If you want yet another opinion, and aren't afraid of me shamelessly self-promoting, check out the review on this site for Koloss.

Quote:

Saying that a song is slow does not give a justifiable reason to not like it.

I disagree. You can't tell people they 'must' like something just because in your eyes they cannot adequately justify their dislike to you Tongue

Just speaking hypothetically here: personally I get ticked off when people say stuff like "this song sucks" - as I already mentioned earlier in a different context, criticism is only useful when it's constructive. But if someone says "this song sucks because it is slow", they're giving a motivation for their opinion (ignoring for a moment the fact that they could have expressed it in a more diplomatic manner, for this particular example). I don't see the problem with someone not liking slow songs. Let's take this to an extreme: not everybody enjoys funeral doom metal, and while I'm sure there are other reasons for not enjoying this type of music, surely the slow pace of the music could be one of them.

I agree with you that some 'justification' of opinions is a necessity in album reviews, but only up to a point. It may be impossible to put into words why you prefer faster-paced songs, just like you might prefer wearing a blue shirt instead of a black one, for example. My point is, preference is not something that can be fully objectively justified.

That said, if any of the reviewers wish to clarify why they prefer their Meshuggah to be faster-paced, they are welcome to do so in the comments Smile

Feel free to write your own review/interpretation of the album if you want to differ from this one. Not quite sure what you want them to make out of the album.