Review MESHUGGAH ‘Immutable’

Umeå-based metal architects Meshuggah never make it easy for listener to dive into their music and records. Heavy, filigree, fragile and brutal, that is what characterized the sound of the Swedish metal veterans and their newest effort ‘Immutable’ doesn’t change this basic direction.

Meshuggah are trailblazers when it comes to complex extreme metal and the new record shows again, why the Swedes belong to the top of this genre. ‘Immutable’ is a gritty longplayer and spreads a vibe that feels like a constantly present and immutable inner voice that challenges mind and soul.

It all starts with ‘Broken Cog’, a song with a dystopian expression. It is the starting point of an 66 minute journey through the world of darkness and musical weightiness.  A halting beat drives this song, a tune that slowly crawls into your mind and clarifies right away what one can expect from the rest of the album.

‘Immutable’ isn’t about the ease of life and a sing-along approach. It’s more about the gloaming of human soul that echoes in each of the songs on the album. Meshuggah are also masters of their craft when it is about an alternating usage of calm and loud, fragile, and bold. Although the songs, with their technical focus, speak to your mind, it is the created atmosphere that touches listeners heart too. The bloodcurdling vocals by Jens Kidman play an important role in this aspect. It’s not just that he screams and growls. Kidman also has the ability to transport emotions that are wider than roaring vocals only. His way of singing, together with a sinister and strong beat is what creates a comfortable feeling of discomfort.

The five Swedes are hammering through a thirteen songs tracklist that includes smashing masterpiece such as ‘Phantoms’ as well as the epic ‘They Move Below’. The beginning of the latter is a strong contrast to most of what listeners got offered prior to the first tones of this song. ‘The Move Below’ starts calm and with an ease. There is though a feeling that something evil is waiting around the corner, the invisible that creates the uncomfortable feeling. The riff, that kicks in after 2.5 minutes unmasks the underlaying malice. Although being an instrumental, the song has a convincing strength.

‘Immutable’ is a monumental milestone, penned by a band that rose many moons ago to take an unconventional direction with their music. Each of the albums is a real curveball and the newest delivery has an even stronger spin. Umeå’s riff surgeons are back and deliver with ‘Immutable’ an album that certainly has the wow-effect. Jaw-dropping.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Broken Cog
  2. The Abysmal Eye
  3. Light The Shortening Fuse
  4. Phantoms
  5. Ligature Marks
  6. God He Sees In Mirrors
  7. They Move Below
  8. Kaleidoscope
  9. Black Cathedral
  10. I Am That Thirst
  11. The Faultless
  12. Armies Of The Preposterous
  13. Past Tense

Label: Atomic Fire Records

Genre: Extreme Metal

Release Date EU: April 1st, 2022

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