Meshuggah sets the heavy music world on fire again with Immutable.
Meshuggah came together in Sweden in the late 1980s. Flashing talent and affection for technical metal with an unmistakable groove, the band took a prominent place instantly in the heavy music scene. Their full-length albums now number nine, and there has been a large helping of splits and EPs produced along the way as well. It is incredible how each album presents music that is very new and also undeniably Meshuggah – nothing ever feels worn or re-hashed, and that goes doubly for Immutable. The band is Jens Kidman (vocals), Mårten Hagström (guitars), Dick Lövgren (bass), Fredrik Thordendal (guitars), and Tomas Haake (drums).
The first three tracks set you up for the long haul. “Broken Cog” is filled with whispering creepiness and urgent pushes. “The Abysmal Eye” chokes off dissent with its heightening technicality and its consistent employment of mysteriousness. “Light The Shortening Fuse” drops in with a savage chop that separates the gristle from the bone. There is a middle breather but that gives you just enough stamina to press on to the end.
If somehow you have never heard Meshuggah before, this is a good album to step in on because it shows you so many sides to the band’s music. It is creative, robust, and variegated. Songs like “Ligature Marks” juxtapose a savage narrative theme with a compelling and emotional exit after a four minute battering. The very next track, “God He Sees In Mirrors,” is positively relentless, offering no respite. And then, exactly in the middle of the album, is “They Mover Below,” a nine-and-a-half-minute instrumental odyssey that is absolutely breathtaking.
Other stand-out tracks for me are “Black Cathedral” and “The Faultless” – and I could say the same about “I Am That Thirst” and “Armies Of The Preposterous.” There is not a single weak moment in the entire set. It is too early in the year to declare a top ten list, but I have no doubt that this album is going to be on a lot of them at the end of 2022. Highly recommended.
The irrepressible Immutable is out through Atomic Fire Records now on CD, vinyl (with variants), cassette, and, of course, digital.
Band photo by Edvard Hansson and Brendan Baldwin.
Meshuggah website, https://www.meshuggah.net/home
Atomic Fire Records, https://visionmerch.com/atomicfire/meshuggah/
© Wayne Edwards.