Ad 1 – Jackson

100% HEAVY / 100% Free / 0% Spam

HEAVY Magazine Logo Black
Ad 2 – Bad Wolves
Ad 3 – Wicked Smile

[ALBUM REVIEW] MESHUGGAH: The Violent Sleep Of Reason

Share This:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Meshuggah - The Violent Sleep Of Reason

Band: Meshuggah
Album Title: The Violent Sleep of Reason
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 7 October 2016
Review by Joshua Bulleid

“…it scarcely deviates from the pace and intensity set during these abrasive, initial moments.”

Of all of Meshuggah‘s albums, ‘The Violent Sleep of Reason’ is the one that sounds the most like the one before it. Whereas each of the Swedish five piece’s previous outings has all been characterised by their distinct sound and innovations, the band’s eighth full-length release is basically ‘Koloss’ part two. Along with its near-identical cover art, ‘The Violent Sleep of Reason’ is primarily characterised by the same pounding, malevolent groove as their previous release, to the point where the record comes off sounding, to some extent, like ‘business as usual’ – by Meshuggah standards. However, this is not to say that the record is anything short of outstanding.

Having said that, ‘The Violent Sleep of Reason’ is not without its own, individual flourishes. For the first time in their career, Meshuggah has recorded entirely from live takes, giving the album a more organic feel, compared with the distinctly mechanical and precision-based approach of their last few releases. This naturalistic effect is further compounded by a return to using real amp heads – as opposed to the exclusively digitised tonalities that have become a cornerstone of the band’s sound.

Meshuggah are a tight enough band that the distinction is only scarce. Yet, this stripped-down approach does allow for a somewhat looser and more free-flowing experience, which is especially apparent in Fredrik Thordendal‘s insane solos and leads. The bass also plays a more present and prominent role within the record’s sound than it has on any of Meshuggah’s previous releases, which likely has a lot to do with, longtime bassist, Dick Lövgren contributing to the songwriting process for the first time as well.

Also, whereas ‘Koloss’ affected its malevolent tone to a large extent by way of ominous, brooding implication – through the suggestive violence of an unopposable threat, rather than by way of any direct offensive – ‘The Violent Sleep of Reason’ is a far more direct and openly aggressive experience. The opening moments of ‘Colockworks’ hark back to the frenetic days of ‘Chaosphere’ and ‘Destroy Erase Improve’, and – though the record quickly, settles into its familiar, modern groove – it scarcely deviates from the pace and intensity set during these abrasive, initial moments.

The one exception to this rule comes at the conclusion of ‘Stifled’, which unexpectedly lapses into a wave of, undeniably serene, electronic atmospherics. Meshuggah being Meshuggah, the affectation is executed with nothing short of perfection – allowing for a brief moment of respite, before ‘Nostrum’ kicks in – dropping the listener straight back into the brutal, unrelenting assault. The suggestively titled ‘MonstroCity’ also sees the band trying their hand at an almost Nu metal like bounce, which they manage to render equal parts otherworldly and entirely their own, to the point where it becomes, undeniably, on of the records most distinct and memorable compositions.

Meshuggah are one of those bands who can apparently do no wrong. ‘The Violent Sleep of Reason’ might justly be criticised as ‘more of the same’. However, given that ‘Koloss’ was an absolute masterpiece, a second helping hardly sounds like the most undesirable outcome. It might also be argued that – after nearly three decades of wild experimentation – Meshuggah haven’t so much become complacent with their sound as they’ve perfected it.

GET YOUR COPY OF MESHUGGAH’S NEW ALBUM
THE VIOLENT SLEEP OF REASON” HERE:

www.nervegas.com.au/meshuggah

 

MESHUGGAH ARE TOURING AUSTRALIA & NZ

THURSDAY 9TH MARCH – POWERSTATION, AUCKLAND NZ (18+)

SATURDAY 11TH MARCH – TIVOLI, BRISBANE QLD (18+)

SUNDAY 12TH MARCH – ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY NSW (Lic AA)

WEDNESDAY 15TH MARCH – 170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE VIC (18+)

FRIDAY 17TH MARCH – METROPOLIS FREMANTLE WA (18+)

GET YOUR MESHUGGA TICKETS AT

MJRPRESENTS.COM

Meshuggah Australian Tour
Meshuggah Australian Tour

Discover more like this on HEAVY:

Ad 1 – Jackson
AD 5 – Grog Lords Blackened

Our Picks.

AD 6 – Grog Lords

Get the HEAVY
Digi-Mags!

AD 7 – MonsterFest

Get the HEAVY Digi-Mag in-boxed weekly. 100% HEAVY / 0%SPAM.