Meshuggah – ‘Immutable’

By Katie Conway-Flood

Six years out of a game they have been playing for over three decades, Swedish legends Meshuggah are back with their brand new ninth studio album, ‘Immutable’, and after nine albums, this band’s innovative creativity in metal music and consistency to smash through their own expectations is still ever-present. Across a mammoth thirteen tracks, Meshuggah prove they are still on top of their tech a-game, sonically shifting their sound forwards to new levels of inventiveness, all while maintaining the same levels of complexity, fearlessness and awesomeness this band have been hailed for since 1987.  

On opener ‘Broken Cog’, Meshuggah are doing things a little different. Commencing the track with breathy cleans on the sinister nature, ‘Broken Cog’ then rolls into a slow moving chug – perhaps not the direct attack many would have been expecting from such an unflinching band. Nevertheless, despite some toned down aggression, ‘Broken Cog’ remains unnerving and unsettling to say the least. 

Singles ‘The Abysmal Eye’, ‘Light The Shortening Fuse’ and ‘I Am That Thirst’ follow, all tracks causing destruction in their wake. ‘The Abysmal Eye’ contains one mighty and monstrous riff, whereas the epic ‘Light The Shortening Fuse’ finds Meshuggah storming headfirst into a carnage causing drum and guitar combo, which get even stormier as the song progresses. ‘I Am That Thirst’ has some serious chunky riffs and the vocals rougher than sandpaper in the best possible way. Utterly brutal. 

Elsewhere, ‘Ligature Marks’ is a slow chugging sinister song with minimalistic vocals scattered throughout the track that gradually build up to climax in dramatic fashion. You would expect nothing less from Meshuggah at this point, experimentation with this one is evident and refreshing to see a band diverge from time to time. 

A near ten-minute epic comes in the form of the instrumental ‘They Move Below’, after that comes ‘Kaleidoscope’, a groove laden metal tune, one that has an infectious bobbing factory throughout and highly technical guitars mid way through the song.    

The penultimate ‘Black Cathedral’ and closer ‘Past Tense’ let the instrumentals do all the talking once more. On the shortest song on the record, ‘Black Cathedral’ clocks in at a mere two minuets long, packed purely of guitars. Likewise, the subdued album closer ‘Past Tense’ ends proceedings on a muted and mellow number. 

As far as ninth albums go and a bands first in six years, its clear to hear Meshuggah haven’t lost their touch of what makes them one of the best talents the metal scene has to offer on ‘Immutable’. Captivating and colossal, Meshuggah are back and better than ever. 

KATIE CONWAY-FLOOD

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