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MP3 Music, June 25, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Two minutes. Cymbals crash on every quarter-note, the snare cracks on every eighth-note. Below this anchor for the 16-note cycle, double-bass pedals and brutal 8-string guitars pound out terrorizing riffs, harshly underscoring certain measures at off-beat intervals. Jens Kidman's brutal vocals proclaim: "I - This fractal illusion burning away all structure towards the obscene."
Three minutes. Kidman's bloodthirsty declaration of "I drug these minds into ruin and contempt - the acid smoke of burning souls," brings back the opening motif for just a split second. The song breaks into an aggressively syncopated, twisty 4/4 riff with eerie, wailing guitar lines strung across. The rhythm becomes further and further bent until being wrenched into a nasty breakdown.
Five minutes. Meshuggah slows down the pace with a gargantuan, chugging riff. Your bones quake; your inner organs are forcefully rearranged. Kidman savagely growls, "The cogs turn, grinding away at ceaselessness -- willing it to dust," a point decisively punctuated when Thordendal unleashes a guitar solo that sounds like Alan Holdsworth with his brain attached to the SkyNet supercomputer. The flurry of notes is almost a tangible force, almost leaving one feeling cold, invasive pinpricks. Long strands of sadistically thick, speed-picked riffs sound like a massive artillery bombardment and the battering of drums like huge mechanical hummingbird wings beating at the air.
Near the eight minute point, everything drops out.Read more ›
Meshuggah is a progressive metal band in both the literal and the obscure definition. Long songs and abnormal song structures (the antithesis of verse-chorus-verse, etc.) are only the surface features; what makes Meshuggah so progressive is what the structure of the actual musical delivery. I'm very uneducated in the world of musical structure and timing, but even I know there is something strange and wonderful about how Meshuggah writes their music. The drumming is never following the same timing as the guitars; the bass seems to fly off on its own. The vocals are on their own schedule. It seems like a mess...but it could not be more precise and perfectly executed. The more you understand about music and song structure, the more fun and wild Meshuggah becomes. These guys are far more than just loud and heavy.
Speaking of heavy, Frederick Thordendal and Marten Hagström are, without a doubt, the heaviest guitar duo of all time. They play not six, not seven, but 8 strings, yes, count them, EIGHT, string guitars, achieving a heaviness unknown to mankind. Frederick Thordendal also plays all the leads, which are just unearthly. I mean, these are not normal guitar solos here. These are...I don't know how to describe them. Just listen! And Tomas Haake is a crazy drummer. Calling him "versatile" or "complex" is an insult to his insane way of playing. Again, no words can describe how insanely, um...well, INSANE his drumming is.Read more ›
On the other hand, if you do, especially post DEI Meshuggah, then you will like this. It is just awesome. That is not to say it isn't flawed, it is. It can get repetitive, but you can tell they are really trying to do something new. It is like someone took Echoes by Pink Floyd, but retracked it in hell with a bunch of dump trucks playing the instruments (If this sounds like it would be awful, see the caveat at the beginning.) It is thick, and hard to wrap your head around as a concept. That is not to say it is pretentiously complicated or dense; it is just long, dischoradant, and difficult to take in as one piece. This is precisely what makes it Meshuggah. Thick as a heat wave in a Louisiana Bayou, but absolutely all over the place. I enjoyed it quite a bit and thought it was much better than Nothing.
My only response to some of the one star reviews is for people to be leary of reviewers who seem to only enjoy telling you what they hate. I've noticed some of the one stars here only rate things they give one star for 95% of there reviews. I tend to think this means they are just joy kills.
If you enjoy lurking the very murky backwaters of Meshuggah's more recent albums, but miss some of the thrash influence they had, check this out. Give it a couple of tries so you will get to know it, and I am pretty sure you will find it a fun peice of music to pop in and drift off too.
To describe the sound of I, you would have to take the sounds of the three earlier albums I mentioned and combine them. It is indeed faster than Nothing, but it retains the thundering eight-strings that made that album so hard. It also takes the better elements of Chaosphere and blends in the melody of DEI. In essence, for a one-song, 21 minute EP, it is about as perfect as it can be.
There are, of course, some new parts added to the Meshuggah sound on this album. The melody parts have a new style which I cannot really describe; they bear a resemblance to DEI's style, but they have elements of their own. Also, Tomas Haake's drumkit sounds different to me on this album, like it's a machine sputtering out double bass kicks and snare hits. In all, if you are a Meshuggah fan, this CD is worth $10. Even if it contains only one song, you should listen in, because the new parts of their sound (which will probably be included on their next album, Catch 33) are contained within.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the true oddities in the Meshuggah discography, “I” was originally released as an obscure off-label one-off a couple years after the “Nothing” album and the year before... Read morePublished 16 months ago by J. Hill
If Meshuggah managed to pull this song off live, it would be the greatest live performance ever.
This song is a heavy masterpiece. Read more
I..I find it difficult to locate the proper descriptor.
Gargantuan? Ginormous? Epic? All seem inadequate, and yet all of them fit. Read more
If I were asked to describe Meshuggah, I would point them to this song. They have many more songs, some of them are better. Read morePublished on March 26, 2011 by metaloid99
This is like metal's version of a rock opera. Think. the Who's "A Quick one..." just done by Meshuggah. 20+ minutes of crushing bliss. Read morePublished on July 17, 2008 by Bidjje
God is on the side of the machines, and Satan is on the side of man. Guess who wins.
That is "I."
Quite a few bands lately have been of the mind that taking a single, meandering, horrendously long song and making an entire album out of it is a great and novel idea. Read morePublished on January 1, 2007 by Boris Kaplun
Meshuggah is world renowned for their head-splitting, gut-wrenching, Swedish Math/Death metal, and this song, yes thats right, song, proves the title of Meshuggah right. Read morePublished on September 3, 2006 by Björn Everfrost