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Showing 1-10 of 59 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 92 reviews
on September 30, 2016
Where to go after successfully synthesizing the sounds of their previous albums with obZen? Meshuggah went heavier and denser. The tempos are overall slower than on obZen, but the polyrhythms within each song are mindbending.

In addition to the deeper layering of sound, another difference with obZen is the greater use of atmospherics. The end of both "The Hurt That Finds You First" (Track 5) and "Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion" (Track 7) are slow and contemplative, as is the entirety of "The Last Vigil" (Track 10). I find this to be tremendously effective.

I just saw the band live on "The Violent Sleep of Reason" tour in Atlanta (11/11/16), and I was amazed to find that the whole crowd seemed to know the lyrics to "Demiurge" and sang along when it was played in the encore!

I love the cover art. The lyrics are included in a big fold-out poster rather than a booklet, with the graphic from the cover so you can put it on the wall if you don't want to consult the lyrics. As usual, the lyrics are mostly by drummer Tomas Haake.

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The bonus DVD includes two 25-minute films. The first shows the band working on recording the album. Not exactly exciting, it does reveal some interesting aspects of the process, including the use of state-of-the-art technology to manipulate tempos. The second shows the band on tour in India. What comes across more than anything else is the stress and tedium -- just regular guys schlepping around without enough sleep.
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on February 2, 2014
There's a reason why Meshuggah is part of the curriculum at Berklee College of Music. There's a reason why they're the topic of published articles in music theory journals. And there's a reason why their influence has permeated through hundreds of bands who continually try to emulate their style. Meshuggah aren't just a fantastic band, they're a band that has simultaneously pioneered and mastered an entirely unique approach to rhythm and heavy music. They've been releasing consistently excellent and innovative material since 1995, and Koloss is yet another superb addition to their truly impressive discography.

This is definitely a comfortable and confident release from the band. At this point, they are well aware of the impact they have made on the metal community and rather than push their sound in any new direction, they have elected to deliver an album which essentially celebrates the sound that they invented. All of the beloved qualities of the band are here in full force - the thunderous, shuddering 8-string guitar tones, the dizzyingly complex and mechanical drums, the oddly-cycling riffs that seem to lack beginnings or ends, and of course the supremely nuanced and unbelievably groovy rhythms. Koloss is definitely an ode to the trademark Meshuggah groove and is yet another convincing argument for their rhythmic prowess and virtuosity. But what's always been most impressive to me about the band isn't their virtuosity. Their music definitely does succeed on an intellectual level with the all of the polyrhythms and odd, off-time riff cycling. The true success of the band though is their ability to turn all of that complexity into something visceral that can be enjoyed regardless of your understanding of what's going on under the hood.

And on no album is that more true than Koloss. Rather than trying to top their last release and greatest technical achievement, ObZen, the band has dialed things back and focused on making an album that is just as fun to listen to as it is to think about. The increased immediacy of this record relative to their past material is mainly a consequence of two things: track diversity and sequencing. Unlike previous releases which have typically found Meshuggah exploring a singular iteration of their sound in long-form detail, Koloss draws from many of the different iterations of the band over the years: the frenetic, thrashy sounds ofChaosphere ("The Hurt That Finds You First"), the gigantic, lumbering grooves of Nothing("Do Not Look Down", "Break Those Bones..."), the speedy triplets and double bass of ObZen and "Bleed" ("The Demon's Name..."), as well as relatively unique explorations of the band's sound ("Swarm", "Behind the Sun"). Moreover, the improved track variety is further enhanced by excellent sequencing which creates an album with an arc and flow that Meshuggah have never quite been able accomplish with past albums.

This is the true success of Koloss. It manages to strike a balance between complexity and listenability that has previously eluded the band. They definitely haven't sacrificed who they are musically - all of the nuance and intricacy of their music is just as present here as it ever was. But it's executed with an increased focus on immediacy and album structure that has ultimately delivered the most approachable and accessible release in their catalogue. And for music as intricate as this, approachability is a feat greater than technicality.

4.5/5
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on March 27, 2015
One of the heaviest and technical albums I have ever heard. I was immediately hooked on track nine, Demiurge, and that's why I bought this album. The rest of the songs were less understood for me, at first. However, after listening to it a few more times I finally understood this album and this band. Remember, don't look at it like a heavy thrashing metal band, but more like Tool on steroids. After I noticed the similarities between the two bands it was like listening to a completely different CD, and Koloss is not in my top ten favorite metal albums. But I didn't stop with this CD of course. After understanding and enjoying the pure genius of this record, I then sought out what else Meshuggah had to offer, and I was not disappointed what so ever. Now they're also in my top ten band list as well. So forreal, if you enjoy some heavy music with rough vocals and unbelievable technicality, or already a Meshuggah fan, don't hesitate, get this CD. Get it for your friend, your grandma, your dog. Maybe even you friend's grandma's dog. Or your dog's grandma's friend. All I'm saying is, git, et.
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on May 7, 2012
This is a great album from these guys.

My humble opinion is that it's more listenable than Obzen, meaning it seems less technically insane. That may be unfair, but there have been moments when listening to this incredibly progressive band that my head feels like it's about to implode. This album runs straight through, for me, without that crushing feeling. And, surprisingly, I really really enjoy that.

It's still brutal and more fluent than some other albums. The DVD extra (on the spec edition) was terrific as well. Great insight into the band recording and writing.

Standout tracks for me are "The Demon's Name is Surveillance" (brutal drumming and right hand work) and "Break Those Bones..." (incredible groove!) I also love the last mellow track.

If you like Meshuggah, you probably already have this. If you don't, this is a brilliant way in to the band (I'd recommend going backwards from here, to Obzen next).

It's always too long between their albums. Glad the wait is over.
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on December 5, 2012
One doesn't listen to Meshuggah for subtlety. Meshuggah's sound is as uniquely punishing as any in metal. An absolutely inorganic wall of sound, a clinical exercise in symphonic destruction. Whether you're seeing them live or listening in headphones alone, you're likely to feel like at any moment the next riff might physically crush you against the nearest wall. If you were to describe their sound to me - cold, robotic, stark and angry - I doubt I'd be interested. But I became, and remained, a fan - for over a decade now - because they do what they do so, so well. And their imitators simply cannot compare. Meshuggah invented this polyrhythmic insanity and they're going to beat it to death for their entire career. Fine with me.

When I first got into Meshuggah, I was obsessed with the album Chaosphere. The intricate brutality of it took me to a new place - I wasn't even aware something like that could exist, much less that there was a band that had made numerous records honing this totally alien brand of heavy metal. Now, as a seasoned Meshuggah fan, my tastes have changed a little bit. I'm now interested in spicing up the headbanging precision with more splashes of groove. Enter Koloss, with its handful of Pantera-esque mechanical swing factories like standout track "Do Not Look Down." I'm not sure if it's their best record, but it sure is their catchiest and grooviest. And many of the riffs do not sound like just another awesome Meshuggah exercise in weird timing of repetitive notes. The riffs on this record snake in and out, bob and weave, and double back again on themselves to create some of the coolest passages in Meshuggah history. It is exactly the Meshuggah record I wanted - it's something new, but hey, it's still the off-tempo, mad as hell rage of Meshuggah. And that something new is a further injection of groove into the proceedings. Thomas Haake pushes the needle farther in than ever before with his drumming on this album, making this the easiest Meshuggah record with which to headbang. It's less experimental than Catch Thirty-Three and Obzen, but more fun overall (also, while groovy, it is not slow and syrupy like many of the tracks on Nothing). None of this is meant to imply that Koloss is anything but a mad asylum of disturbing riffage - 90% of people would probably consider it completely unmusical. It's still crazy, thrashing, outrageous and threatening - still Meshuggah.

Jens Kidman remains the same voice of utter insanity in the front. I have no idea what's he's howling but I'm sure it has to do with computers, robots, nihilism, strobe lights and death. The production on this record is its only drawback - the compression and loudness sort of ruined the possibility of rich dynamism, but, oh well, Meshuggah isn't really known for dynamics as much as they are known for hammering your face repeatedly with titanic riffage at maximum volume. I got the CD version - the perfect format in which to listen to cyborg extraterrestrial metal. Vinyl, the most human, organic, rich format - seems wrong. The cold calculations of Meshuggah are best enjoyed on a shiny disc.
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on May 2, 2012
This is a great piece of work. I don't think it matters what kind of metal you like this is a must have.In a time where so many arstist sound so much alike this album is a breathe of fresh air.In one word I would describe this as different. It is dark ,heavy and fast.Sludge Metal,djent,death metal,math metal,proggressive metal and jazz metal can all be used to paint a picture of this albums landscape.From one of the most influential metal bands of this era come another hard hitting and definitive piece of music that will not disappoint.If you have never heard Meshuggah the songs throught their new cd are quite varied enough I can call this a great place to start,and for old fans a great place to finish.
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on August 22, 2012
"I'm the great Leviathan, insatiable colossus. Titanic engulfer of lives, I reward you, absorb you..." And so begins Meshuggah's latest sonic assault. And assault it is - don't try getting your paperwork done with this one coming through the speakers; bench pressing a small car maybe, as this offering is 55 minutes of pure, precise, thunder. I've been a Meshuggah fan for many years and I found this to be the most accessible album they've ever released. Don't get me wrong, the mind-blowing musical precision and timing are still there, but the lyrical content (a healthy dose of rage at many of the manifestations of those in "power" )and...dare I say, groove, make KOLOSS a near perfect study in power.
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on March 24, 2017
Meshuggah at its mathematically brutal finest.
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on March 29, 2012
Without speaking in the typical metal hyperbole that saturates many reviews all I can say is that Meshuggah bridged that gap for me that laid between Chaosphere and the NOTHING albums. The band combines all the things they do well from previous recordings and produced an album that is awesome from beginning to end. The speed and polyrythms that have become their trademark are melded so well with the churning and bobbing chug that they pummled listeners with on Nothing. Meshuggah is still better than all the rest, they have no peers in my opinion. Fantastic album.
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on May 10, 2013
I've always listened to Meshuggah, picking and choosing my favorite songs, but I've never really liked any whole album. I've listened to Chaosphere more than anything, but then Koloss comes along. This album as a whole is the most mature album from Meshuggah yet. From start to finish, the whole album is an exciting listen. Demiurge has been stuck in my head, and crawling under my skin, and I can't stop listening. Obzen was a stepping stone to this one, and if Meshuggah keeps this quality up, they can only get better.
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