MESHUGGAH albums poll

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no cutesy title. it's time we did this. the body of work is largely enough now. included EPs.

Poll Results

Destroy Erase Improve 4
I (EP) 2
Obzen 2
Nothing 2
Chaosphere 2
Catch Thirtythree 1
Other (there ain't anything other you dumb mummified fuck!) 1
Rare Trax (compilation) 0
The Violent Sleep of Reason 0
The Ophidian Trek (live) 0
Pitch Black (EP) 0
Koloss 0
Alive (live) 0
Contradictions Collapse 0
None 0
Self-Caged (EP) 0
True Human Design (EP) 0
Meshuggah (EP) 0

Neanderthal, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 21:51 (two weeks ago) link

for me it's gonna come down to eras. the old favorite of mine is Destroy. Erase. Improve., which blends the polyrhythms with extra focus on clean jazzy parts and (somewhat) traditional song structure. Chaosphere, on the other hand, is just nuts from a rhythmic/lead guitar perspective. It's almost all pattern, and it's dope.

None was a nice teaser of their new sound, but I really don't like Contradictions Collapse at all. very bland.

I got Nothing the day it came out, which was the day I got my wisdom teeth out. Taking painkillers while listening to that album for a weekend was amazing. the album is pretty good without painkillers, but nothing beat those first listens. definitely felt like this was another transition album where the transition actually seemed fully formed from the onset. less chunky power chords, a lot of weird bends, staccato polyrhythmic low notes, focus on creating intense atmospheres. I had no idea until now though that they re-recorded the guitars and drums outright in 2006. guess I'll never remember what the original sounds like! "Stengah" is a pretty incredible start.

I remember "I" being a decent tiptoe through the tulips of a slightly different sound, but Catch Thirty-Three was fairly boring, other than a few good moments. takes way too long to get going, and the "one suite" concept doesn't really work for me. also my grandma died shortly after this came out so I have negative feelings associated with it. meandering, slow developing, all over the place - sometimes works, but a lot doesn't hit.

was fairly shocked by Obzen. didn't veer too sharply from Catch Thirty-Three's formula, just did it "better". I knew "Bleed" was an instant classic on first listen, but while there's a lot of weirdness and a lot of 'slow build', they seem to have a better destination on the songs here than previous. this kinda rejuvenated me as a fan. Koloss seemed more of a pivot back to the more traditional Meshuggah style, even bringing back a few of the jazzy elements they'd pared back after DEI, and I really enjoyed but don't remember a lot about the last album, other than it's very good and sounded good live.

so I think it's between DEI, Chaosphere, Nothing, and possibly Obzen? idk.

i'm gonna do some 'listenin', folks.

Neanderthal, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 21:58 (two weeks ago) link

I've only heard their first few EPs and LPs 1&2 as part of an aborted attempt at exploring their output chronologically. I'd need to spend some quality time with their discography to allow myself to vote.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 22:02 (two weeks ago) link

I started Chaosphere -> Destroy. Erase. Improve. -> Contradictions Collapse -> everything since in chronological and usually purchased on drop date.

see if DEI gives you a warm fuzzy feelin'

Neanderthal, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 22:03 (two weeks ago) link

btw Thordendal's weird 'out' soloing sounds like praying mantises

Neanderthal, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 22:03 (two weeks ago) link

Obzen or Contradictions Collapse but I'd really need to listen to more of the recent stuff to be fair.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Thursday, 3 September 2020 20:54 (two weeks ago) link

How do people rate the live album / DVD? I passed up a cheap copy recently and it's been nagging at me ever since

Paul Ponzi, Saturday, 5 September 2020 19:19 (two weeks ago) link

Weirdly still haven't heard it! I bought it and never have had the urge


Neanderthal, Saturday, 5 September 2020 19:31 (two weeks ago) link

Rad! Please report back!

Paul Ponzi, Saturday, 5 September 2020 19:34 (two weeks ago) link

I came on board with Nothing (original, not re-recorded) so to me that's always been what Meshuggah "should" sound like. I really liked both I and Catch ThirtyThree, and saw them on that tour (which I believe was the same tour the first live album was recorded on). It was a small club show — BB King's in NYC, which held a little over 500 people — and they were a lot of "fun" for a weirdo art-metal band. At one point a sizable portion of the crowd was chanting "Me-shug-gah! Me-shug-gah!" and Jens glared at them and shouted, "Stop that nonsense!" in a very thick Swedish accent. I hated ObZen because I thought they were trying to sound like Tool, with whom they'd recently toured. Koloss and The Violent Sleep of Reason are...fine. At this point they're well into their "this is what we do, take it or leave it" years.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 5 September 2020 20:11 (two weeks ago) link

nothing is my fave as well

Bstep, Sunday, 6 September 2020 00:24 (two weeks ago) link

How do people rate the live album / DVD?

both of their live dvds are incredible and available on youtube 👍

Bstep, Sunday, 6 September 2020 05:04 (two weeks ago) link

I think it's gonna be DEI, still. kinda crazy how they managed to work those crazed polyrhythms and out solos into traditional song formats.

I love the patternesque stuff that came later but I always loved the best of both worlds they pulled off here. plus, that jazzy solo to FBM is all time. I remember the first time I heard it, live at a House of Blues, with them on the stage playing (I guess that was fairly obvious by saying "live at a House of Blues", I'll shut up now)

Neanderthal, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 23:34 (two weeks ago) link

Not sure how I'm voting just yet but I played Chaosphere today for the first time in a while and it's the frontrunner

tbh I haven't heard all of these

Paul Ponzi, Wednesday, 9 September 2020 00:05 (one week ago) link

would go with DEI, but can't

i've only heard DEI -deserves its untouchable reputation, imo. a total blast of an album. it sounded really like Chaosphere and Nothing. lost track after those. i think they're fine tho

where do all these unsold amps go? (gaudio), Wednesday, 9 September 2020 00:07 (one week ago) link

xpost Chaosphere's insanity is its selling point for me. every song is at the same tempo and there's that one part at the end where they play 4 of the 8 songs at the same time.

the soloing on that shit is nutbar. I picked up my guitar and tried to play along with it one day and couldn't. "Concatenation" one of their best openers.

the polyrhythmic patterns on it are probably the best they ever came up with. just pummeling power chords.

that one's probably in my top 3.

Neanderthal, Wednesday, 9 September 2020 00:11 (one week ago) link

I haven't heard Rare Trax, the EPs, the s/t, or Contradictions Collapse outside of the one time I bothered to listen to it.

still don't think I've heard "Aztec Two Step"

Neanderthal, Wednesday, 9 September 2020 00:11 (one week ago) link

spun Chaosphere today.

everybody talk's about Meshuggah's groove, and with good reason. last time I saw them, I was doing the goofiest dance possible to their groovy sounds, all by myself in a tucked away area behind the soundboard.

Chaosphere is less groove and more "the guitars are one gigantic battering ram", a major extension of the drums. which of course they do on their other albums as well, but not to this extent.

the first 'breakdown', on "Concatenation" still makes me lose my mind, the abrupt shift into a polyrhythmic pattern that sounds akin to a kid learning how to drive stick shift for the first time, with one of Thordendal's more insane solos, sounds almost like an alien communicating in its mother tongue.


Neanderthal, Thursday, 10 September 2020 04:42 (one week ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 00:01 (six days ago) link

Went with Obzen. Was the peak for me. Just revisited it after seeing this poll and still sounds great.

gman59, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 16:59 (six days ago) link

I had kind of reserved myself to thinking Meshuggah had passed their peak and wouldn't be releasing much that interested me anymore and just bought Obzen on drop date on a whim and by the time I got to "Bleed" i had quite the smile on my face.

lended it to a friend a week later and it's still his favorite.

Neanderthal, Wednesday, 16 September 2020 17:00 (six days ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Thursday, 17 September 2020 00:01 (five days ago) link

I was the sole vote for C33. It kind of stretched the boundaries of what metal could be for me as a teenager and the first album I felt physically drained after listening to.

ultros ultros-ghali, Thursday, 17 September 2020 00:22 (five days ago) link

Poor showing here, ILM!

Paul Ponzi, Thursday, 17 September 2020 09:21 (five days ago) link

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