Meshuggah’s “Immutable” Album Review by: Mayaz Dimashki
As someone who is a fan of djent, I never really got into Meshuggah, and when I decided to listen to this album I was expecting the famous 0-0-0-0 guitar chugs, and I was not surprised when this is what I got. Starting from the first riff in the first song “Broken Cog”, I realized that this album will not be surprising me with any genre defying music.
While this album did not change the usual tone of Meshuggah as a band when it comes to their playstyle, it was also not even remotely bad, even for a person like me who is not that into the band. I actually enjoyed it! The technicality of their riffs, the blast beats by the beast Tomas Haake and Jens’s vocals are top notch. I usually judge an album by how many of its riffs get stuck in my head after I’m done with it and at least 5 riffs and sections have stuck with me here, which is more than some of my favorite bands’ new albums (looking at you Dream Theater.)
We start off with Broken Cog that sets the tone for the whole album, while not as complex and fast as the other songs, it still fits perfectly as a first track that eases the listener and grabs their hand leading them to the pits of hell that is the next track. The Abysmal Eye comes next starting with an immediate blast beat after the whispering outro of the previous track. I immediately fell in love with the guitar solo here, it made me feel entranced with how it fits wonderfully with the ominous vibe the whole song gives off. The same could be said about the next song on the list, Light The Shortening Fuse, which slows down a bit in the middle adding a tone of melancholy before Jens growls his way out of that vibe back to the general ominous tone the album has built up until now.
While the songs so far have been a bit on the extreme/djent side, the next song Phantoms adds some groovy riffs to the mix while maintaining the feeling of extremity and power. Going to a complete halt half way through with a nasty breakdown (I can already feel myself getting injured in the mosh pit at this exact moment.) Ligature Marks returns to the djenty vibes but adds some lead riffs that add a terrifying mood to the song before the vocals assert the fear. The next track, God He Sees In Mirrors, sounded the most Meshuggah to me, with a super complex solo line, deadly blast beats and overall harsh vocals.
Almost halfway through the album, we are welcomed with a calming clean guitar intro in the longest song on the album, They Move Below. This is in my opinion the crown jewel of the whole album, although it’s an instrumental. A lot of feelings get invoked throughout the song and the genius arrangement just gets better every minute as it gets heavier and heavier and more technical. Following that amazing trip, we are grabbed by the throat and pulled back down to the heavy riffs and vocals of Kaleidoscope, the highlight of this song is the technical solo around halfway through. Black Cathedral is 2 minutes of scary guitar riffs. I can imagine a 15th century church burning in the background, which culminates into the next track.
Unfortunately, this is where the album starts feeling repetitive and boring, the songs quickly become very familiar and very predictive. While generally not a bad thing because they maintain the same theme throughout the album, it still feels like the album ended and is repeating the previous songs again. Up until the last track Past Tense which begins with a clean riff that takes you out of the repetitiveness and into a confusing and ominous feel for about 3 minutes then back to the “how long is left in this song still?” feeling.
Overall, I’d say the album is not a masterpiece, but it is also not bad. It is worth a listen if you’re not a fan, but you’ll love it if you are. The mixing and mastering is of high quality and the band is excellent in their instruments. I would give this album a 7 out of 10.
Album Art Cover and Track-listing:
|1.||“Broken Cog”||Mårten Hagström||Hagström||5:35|
|2.||“The Abysmal Eye”||Tomas Haake||Dick Lövgren||4:55|
|3.||“Light the Shortening Fuse”||Hagström||Hagström||4:28|
Haake – Lövgren
|6.||“God He Sees in Mirrors”||Haake||Lövgren||5:28|
|7.||“They Move Below”||(instrumental)||Hagström||9:35|
Haake – Lövgren
|10.||“I Am That Thirst”||Haake||Hagström||4:40|
|12.||“Armies of the Preposterous”||Haake||
Haake – Lövgren