MESHUGGAH's new video ‘I Am Colossus’, first shown here at Metal Hammer's, was directed and animated by Magnus Jonsson. The tune comes off the Swedish experimental metal powerhouse's latest LP, ‘Koloss’, issued in 2012 on Nuclear Blast Records. Described as “accessible and addictive” album by metal press, download yourselves its opening track, ‘I Am Colossus’, for free here at Scion AV, and visit Nuclear Blast for additional free track, ‘Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion’, here. The album's artwork (called “Gateman”) was created by Russian artist Luminokaya who had reportedly spent nine months developing the piece: “The artwork,” stated MESHUGGAH drummer Tomas Haake, “speaks for itself.” And indeed it does. The group has also released two additional videos in promotion of the album, ‘Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion’ directed by Owe Lingvall of Village Road Film and Anthony Dubois-directed video ‘Demiurge’, both available for your viewing pleasure below. ‘Koloss’ has debuted at number 17 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 chart, with first week sales of over 18,000 copies, proving to be MESHUGGAH's highest charting album to date. Buy ‘Koloss’ (and your next favourite T-shirt) here (Nuclear Blast Europe), here (Nuclear Blast US) or through MESHUGGAH Facebook here:
“While restraint isn’t necessarily a word one would seem likely to use while describing a band as extreme as MESHUGGAH, it’s exactly that quality that makes ‘Koloss’ such a solid, even airtight, album. With so many years of experience as innovators under their belts, they have the kind of restraint and patience required to not overplay songs like the album-opening ‘I Am Colossus’ and the later track ‘Swarm’. Rather than feel the constant need to dazzle the listener with guitar heroics, MESHUGGAH let everything just unfold in the most brutally heavy and effective way possible,” [wrote Gregory Heaney, AllMusic – more here]
In related news, MESHUGGAH have recently partnered with Scion AV to offer ‘Pitch Black’, two exclusive, unreleased tracks available as a digital download. ‘Pitch Black’ is made up of the track ‘Pitch Black’, recorded in 2003 by Fredrik Thordendal at Fear and Loathing studio in Stockholm, Sweden and ‘Dancers To A Discordant System’, recorded live at Distortion Fest, Eindhoven, Netherlands in 2012. So, head over here (Scion AV) and treat yourselves to some free MESHUGGAH.
MESHUGGAH was formed in 1987 in Umeå, Sweden by guitarist Fredrik Thordendal, bassist Peter Nordin and vocalist Jens Kidman. In 1989, they released a debut self-titled EP, and in 1990 they added drummer Tomas Haake to the lineup and secured a contract with Nuclear Blast Records through which they issued their first studio album, 1991's ‘Contradictions Collapse’. “Offering a complex form of metal that combined the sweeping adventurism of math rock, the oddball tempos of experimental jazz, and the stunning brutality of thrash metal, MESHUGGAH raised the bar for metal bands everywhere upon their debut,” was AllMusic's Jason Ankeny opinion of it. With Kidman relinquishing his guitar to Mårten Hagström in favour of singing, two EPs preceded their next longplayer, 1995's ‘Destroy Erase Improve’:
“With ‘Destroy Erase Improve’, MESHUGGAH shattered any preconceived notions about what death, thrash, and prog metal could be with one astoundingly accurate, calculated blow. The Swedish outfit managed to surpass their startlingly original, if relatively immature, debut ‘Contradictions Collapse’, with a record so pure in concept and execution, it borders on genius. Lyrical themes visualize the integration of machines with organisms as humanity's next logical evolutionary step, while the music backing it up is mind-bogglingly technical, polyrhythmic math metal - the work of highly skilled men with powerful instruments,” [deemed the album nearly perfect John Serba, AllMusic – more here]
In 1998, bassist Gustaf Hielm officially joined the band after more than two years of servicing as a session member. MESHUGGAH's third album, ‘Chaosphere’, was issued that same year, and a compilation of their rare tracks, called ‘Rare Trax’, filled the gap in 2001, before the release of the group's fourth album, ‘Nothing’, in 2002. ‘Nothing’ broke onto American charts, entering Billboard 200 at number 165. (“Their fourth full-length slab, only further cements their place as masterminds of cosmic calculus metal - call it Einstein metal if you want - and, to their credit, they’re really the only ones to fall into said sub-subgenre,” daringly wrote John Serba, AllMusic – more here). In 2004, Dick Lövgren joined MESHUGGAH as their new bassist and in 2005 ‘Catch Thirtythree’ was issued. In the U.S. the album charted slightly worse than its predecessor, entering Billboard 200 at number 170. The band had spent nearly a year recording their next offering, 2008's ‘Obzen’. The album debuted at number 59 on the Billboard Top 200, with first week sales reaching well over 11,000 copies. ‘Obzen’ entered the official album chart in Sweden at number 16 and had earned MESHUGGAH their second nomination for Swedish Grammy:
“Power, compositional ethics, and musical acumen are all tied to one thing, building a foundation that just gets wider, deeper, and more intense as the album wears on. Check the frenetic slash and burn ethos in ‘Pineal Gland Optics’, where both guitars stagger their rhythmic attack keeping vocalist Jens Kidman on the money the whole time. It gives way to the unwound pummeling drum and guitar solo riff that introduces ‘Pravus’, with its sense of taut dynamics, hair-trigger tensions, and an explosiveness that is literally unequaled. This is sheer attack metal, played by a band that has run from simplicity to excess and incorporated them both into a record that is on a level with anything else they’ve done, even if not all the elements marry perfectly yet,” [wrote Thom Jurek, AllMusic – more here]
MESHUGGAH features: Jens Kidman – vocals, Marten Hagström – guitar, Fredrik Thordenthal – guitar, Dick Lövgren – bass and Tomas Haake – drums & vocals