Album Review: Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason

Meshuggah - The Violent Sleep of Reason

Music has it’s own life in our society; artists themselves are the mutation of our culture and evolution is a string of revolutions. Meshuggah have changed the way we look at metal music and that is the fact. I must admit that the Swedish colossus is one of the hardest bands to assimilate with, and The Violent Sleep Of Reason, the band’s brand new release, that hasn’t changed. With their latest album they have managed to go back a bit to the Chaosphere era, but giving it a new vibration — there are grooves, intense atmosphere and avant-garde polyrhythmic chromatic solos.

Bringing the prototype of djent to the world, Meshuggah keep exceeding everything that has come out since that musical concept was conceived. The genius of Fredrik Thordendal has produced riffs that have one purpose — confuse your ability to listen and in the same time amaze you. And regarding the rhythm, producing such aggression is purely Meshuggah‘s trademark. To this day it is very hard to give the band some appurtenance to a style; their experimental songwriting has more jazz than metal in its core, and you get to that point if you listen to the uneven tempos and displaced Tomas Haake’s solo drum accentuations.

Speaking of metal, those chugs around and in the breakdowns are a headbanger’s dream. The Violent Sleep Of Reason is full of unspeakably groovy riffs and the flow is consistent, the tension is well kept from the beginning to the end. My personal opinion is that the ambient layers are the most important glue in their music. I have always been in awe of their attention to the backing tracks (especially the minor 2nds). It is the reason for the relentless flowing intense atmosphere throughout their albums.

Meshuggah 2016

Meshuggah’s musical vision to create order out-of-chaos has that charisma that sucks you in, creating a notion of anger, giving you a sense of insanity, and that comes from the instrumentation itself. Not mentioning that you have Jens Kidman’s as usual brutal vocal lines. Meshuggah is an accomplished musical project that don’t tend to waste a single second in their records for concepts and riffs that are forced or out of space. everything is on its place, well thought and organic. The approach to the recording process triggered a few discussions on the Internet; they decided to record it live and have achieved an extremely raw, but good-sounding album. The production is very honest in nature, but time will tell if it will appeal to the masses.

Overall, The Violent Sleep Of Reason is possibly the band’s most complete musical record to date, and a continuation of their established musical trademark, bringing their best from the early and latest albums. They continue their tradition of producing “punch-you-in-the-face” aggressive music that is hard to follow, but The Violent Sleep Of Reason will completely satisfy the fans of the band and surely attract more metalheads to fall in love with the phenomenal art they create.

The Violent Sleep of Reason is out now via Nuclear Blast. Order it here.

Tracklist:

01. Clockworks
02. Born In Dissonance
03. MonstroCity
04. By The Ton
05. Violent Sleep Of Reason
06. Ivory Tower
07. Stifled
08. Nostrum
09. Our Rage Won’t Die
10. Into Decay

Line-up:

* Jens Kidman – lead vocals
* Fredrik Thordendal – lead guitar
* Mårten Hagström – rhythm guitar
* Dick Lövgren – bass
* Tomas Haake – drums

Stefan Andonov is a guest contributor on Prog Sphere and is also a founder of the DjentMag website.

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