Newest Review: ... vocals. Tomas Haake, the drummer, is worth a special mention. He manages to keep the constant quarter note pulse on the cymbals through... more
The chaotic origin of djent
Chaosphere - Meshuggah
Member Name: DjentDjent
Chaosphere - Meshuggah
Advantages: Extremely groovy
Disadvantages: Little variation throughout album, not much melody
Lately there's been a huge increase in popularity of 'djent' bands such as Periphery. This is where it all started: this album is practically a blueprint for many modern djent grooves. In usual Meshuggah style, this is a slight change from the previous album, Destroy Erase Improve. This time round, there's a lot more start-stop riffs and quick syncopated polymetric guitar lines, while Jens Kidman delivers precise, robotic vocals. Tomas Haake, the drummer, is worth a special mention. He manages to keep the constant quarter note pulse on the cymbals throughout most of the album, while his feet pound furiously at the kick drum in a variety of different time signatures. Fredrik Thordendal's solo work is as interesting to listen to as ever. While he avoids using his unique breath controller, he keeps his signature improvised solo style, showing influence from jazz guitarist Allan Holdsworth, and at times seeming like a random sequence of notes. My personal favourite songs on the album are the groove-laden Corridor Of Chameleons, and New Millenium Cyanide Christ (which has a brilliant video containing the band playing air guitar and Jens screaming into a ballpoint pen). The most accessible track is Sane, which is much less rhythmically complicated than most of their songs. This was the first song I properly enjoyed by Meshuggah, and in the middle, there is a very memorable section where the rhythm alternates between guitars on either side of the stereo field. At the end of Elastic, every song on the album is played simultaneously, which is a nice idea, and it can be entertaining for a minute to try to hear bits from each song. Unfortunately, as expected, it sounds like a mess, and it's difficult to enjoy all the way through. The album's bass tone is a bit growly for my tastes, and a lot of the songs sound very similar, but it's still a solid album. Whether you want an intelligent listen or a quick headbang, Chaosphere will satisfy most looking for some extreme progressive metal.
Summary: For those interested in unusual rhythms and experimental progressive metal.