Thursday, May 17, 2012

Colossal Supremacy

Now, I've been anticipating Koloss like the fucken second coming of Christ. Never have I been so pumped about an album as with this one. Were my hopes too high? Hell no, they weren't even close . Fuck me sideways, upside down, backwards, pretty much any fucken way you want. God help us all. This is what will make the world end in 2012.

The band themselves said that this album would be a bit more "straight forward" than, say, ObZen. A bit more back to their roots, if you will. Something I'm sure is welcomed by many a fans. Because this is what Meshuggah are the undisputed kings of. Yes, they sure as hell know how to absolutely fuck things up beyond mere human comprehension, but I don't think that's what they are truly about and most certainly not what they do best.

I'm gonna sidetrack a little here, but hear me the fuck out, will you? No? Well, fuck you.

obZen felt to me like an experiment from the band. And people who got into the band through that album might have got the wrong impression of what they truly are about. (I'm mainly looking at you, "djent"-people). Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love obZen as I love every other album they've done. But it's not about how fast or technical you can go with Meshuggah, it's how heavy, or with this album, colossal you can get. They are, in the end, about creating mindbending sonic experiences. Cosmic greatness. And since obZen, unfortunately, spawned this absolute fucken pile of manure people call "djent", I couldn't be more happy with their direction on Koloss. Thank you, Meshuggah. You have just absolutely ass-raped the "djent"-scene silly. I love you even more than I did before.

I just felt like I had to clarify that. Hatemails from djentsters are expected and by all means more than welcome. I could use some free entertainment. Ha! You've got nothing on me.
Now let's get back to Koloss, shall we? Right.

With their two released tracks, "Do Not Look Down" and "Break Those Long Song Titles", I had mixed feelings about what to expect. "Break....." is one hell of a monster track, alright. Relentless, goddamn straight to the point bulldozer heaviness, right there. Not much to discuss, really. "Do Not Look Down" is, on the other hand, ridiculously groovy and it pretty much makes me want to dance the fuck out to it. Well, not really dance, that would just look plain retarded. You wouldn't want to see me dance, trust me. There are enough awful things in this world as it is. I don't even know where I'm going with this myself.

Anyhoo, I was not really sure what to expect, but I thought it'd be wise to wait until I've heard the entire album before my verdict, naturally. Well, duh.

Well, those tracks definitely shows two sides of the coin, alright. but they certainly do not show what the entire album actually has to offer. This is like all of their previous albums had sex with each other, and Koloss is the sick, demented and dark offspring that came out.
This is heavy as fuck, it's groovy and it's fucken evil. In other words, they focus on all the things that they can execute like no other band out there. It's safe to say that they are back, and they're fucken pissed off. This blows obZen right the fuck out of the water.

What I like the most is the production. It all sounds like actual instruments again. Everyone shines through so well on this album. Rather than having a compressed-to-clusterfuckness sound like on obZen they went for a more organic and alive sound. Best point of reference would be the Nothing album, but warmer. You can actually hear how an amazing drummer Tomas really is again. Also, Fredrik and Mårten has to be two of the tightest goddamn rhythm guitarists out there.

The bass is there sometimes, sometimes it just blends in completely with the guitars, but this is because when they play the low 8-string stuff, Dick plays in the same octave as the guitars, thus giving them that characteristic guitar sound. As far as I'm concerned, he is a damn fine and way too underrated bassist. He even gets some spotlight in "Break..." with a kind of a drum and bass interlude, something you haven't really heard since DEI, more or less.

But what probably struck me the most is Jens. His vocals sound so much more inspired and pissed off than on obZen. Something or someone must have pissed him off before entering the studio. He is definitely back in the shape he should be. Which is something you can't say that often about vocalists, so this is a huge plus. Few people can compete with his badassness and he definitely puts the icing on the cake, the cum on the face, and the grädde on the mos on this album. His live facial expressions alone should be enough to have people fucken throw all kinds of awards at them.

The musicianship is just out of this world. But this needs no further ellaboration, I'm pretty sure most people are familiar with their skills at this point. Just listen to the damn albums if you don't know what I'm fucken talking about.

Another point worth mentioning is the lyrics. Tomas writes pretty much all of them, and he is a natural talent at it, too. They make you think, they are interesting, and they all have meaning to them. They give the songs further dimensions and fits them like a glove while at it. Do yourself a favor and put on some good headphones and listen to this while reading along in the booklet. Fantastic.

At first I decided that to write about each track was a good idea, but it just proved to be pointless and it turned out a little too long to keep the read interesting. I'm pretty sure that you don't have the same feelings about the tracks as I do, anyway... So fuck that shit.

Koloss is heavy, it's atmospheric, it's groovy, it's evil, it's apocalyptic, and it's pretty much everything that I absolutely have come to love about this band over the years. It is a mix of what they've done in the past and it is a perfect representation of what they are. It's the soundtrack to the entire galaxy being crushed into a black hole. And the final track of the album, an instrumental clean guitar interlude (which is also something they are fucken excellent at, Catch 33 would be a perfect example of this), is the emptiness and dead silence of space that is all that remains afterwards. This, folks, this is what Meshuggah are all about and are the unmatched masters of doing.

Considering all of this and the overall good flow that this album has, I cannot give this anything less than a full score. Call me a fucken fanboy if you want to. I totally am, so I'm all fine with it. Like, I don't even care. Koloss certainly lives up to its name.



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