Meshuggah

Monolith – No Saints No Solace Review

Monolith – No Saints No Solace Review

“My tolerance for the often maligned deathcore subgenre received a boost of newfound optimism on the back of stellar 2019 releases from scene heavyweights, Shadow of Intent and Fit for an Autopsy. Both bands demonstrated the sick grooves and punishing, over-the-top brutality and technical chops, reminding me of a time long ago where bands like All Shall Perish and early Despised Icon tore me a new one. Yet, more often than not the style falls flat to my jaded ears. Perhaps an unsigned UK deathcore outfit may not be the best choice to pull myself out of a writing rut, but I’ll be damned if I’m not ready to take the plunge and hope for minor miracles.” Deathcore blues.

Krysthla – Worldwide Negative Review

Krysthla – Worldwide Negative Review

“In this decade, death metal doubled down on its inaccessibility and became all the better for it. Whether that inaccessibility finds expression through old school pummeling or the more abstract sounds of the genre’s new torch-bearers, it’s hard to see the scene as unhealthy or in any way tamed. It wasn’t always like this, though. The 2000s were not so kind to death metal and at the tail end of that decade a scramble to reinvigorate the genre produced acres of lackluster material that was largely defined by its relationship to Meshuggah.” Negative, Ghostrider.

Humanity’s Last Breath – Abyssal Review

Humanity’s Last Breath – Abyssal Review

“What is the heaviest album of all time? While you’re running off to the comments to tell me, I’m going to stay here and admit that I have no clue. I don’t even know what the heaviest album ever would sound like. It could be blazingly fast or crushingly slow, or some combination of the two. Or it could simply carry an intense emotional weight from its subject matter, but the point is, heaviness is a hard concept to define when it comes to music.” Heavy as a two-ton thing.

Carnifex – World War X Review

Carnifex – World War X Review

Carnifex released their best record to date in 2016’s Slow Death. What happened? Mick Kenney of Anaal Nathrakh was credited with production, programming, and writing. This was an interesting development: deathcore had been creeping into Anaal Nathrakh’s sound over the years, and now Kenney was directly influencing the genre which influenced his main project. Kenney is credited for vocal recording on World War X but is not credited as a writer. Nonetheless, Carnifex continues wisely down the path of deathcore influenced by the Anaal Nathrakh material influenced by deathcore.” Positive influences.

Dead Frog – Burning Bridges Review

Dead Frog – Burning Bridges Review

With its (albeit impressive) focus on sprawling song structures and meandering songwriting, progressive metal just never tickled me pink in a way that’s really stuck. Serbian five-piece Dead Frog, who I can only assume repeatedly lost at Frogger, offers their own contribution, channeling in equal measure the progressive metal giants, the alternative rock of Linkin Park, the classic heavy metal feel of Iron Maiden.” Splat.

The Odious – Vesica Piscis Review

The Odious – Vesica Piscis Review

“I didn’t know this album was coming. I thought The Odious had faded out of existence long ago, trapped behind an ever-thickening glass of ‘what-if’s’ that both magnifies and distorts the legacy of bands that disappear just as they reach their creative zenith. You’ve heard swansongs before, but never from as fluffy and yolk-drenched a cygnet as The Odious were, releasing a career’s worth of great ideas over the course of two years and two releases – 2012’s Joint Ventures LP preceded by the That Night a Forest Grew EP in 2011. Now reaching for an altogether opposite avian metaphor, the band have reformed.” From swansong to phoenix.

Destrage – The Chosen One Review

Destrage – The Chosen One Review

“A man walks into a bar after a long day at work. A mushroom sits beside him, a real fun guy. The man orders a Stella Artois from the bartender and asks for it in a two-ounce glass. Perplexed, the bartender knocks eighty percent off the price and does what he is asked. “Bottoms up” says the man to the mushroom, who toasts to feces and personal growth in return. The man sets down the empty glass roughly, which gets the bartender’s attention. “That,” the man says to the bartender, “was some terrible whiskey.” This is how most metalcore reviews read by writers who never could stand the genre to begin with. They want it to be something it’s not, and when it inevitably fails, it faces the wrath of the mighty pen.” Pull up a toadstool.

Altarage – The Approaching Roar Review

Altarage – The Approaching Roar Review

“In their first two albums, Altarage began a career—and a successful one at that—by walking just a few steps behind Portal. Sure, Portal’s most avant-garde ideas never made it into Nihl or Endinghent, but the Australians’ influence on Altarage has always been as clear as either band’s music was murky.” Now THIS is Portal racing!

Noise Trail Immersion – Symbology of Shelter Review

Noise Trail Immersion – Symbology of Shelter Review

“In the past couple of decades, metal has generated extremity along both rhythmic and harmonic paths, but the two have been largely insulated from another. Meshuggah and The Dillinger Escape Plan meticulously machined immensely complex rhythms, while Deathspell Omega and Ulcerate twisted strings to wring out sickening chords and chilling melodies. And while accusing Meshuggah or Dillinger of harmonic simplicity would be as absurd as dismissing Ulcerate or Deathspell‘s considerable rhythmic weight, the approaches of the two schools are rarely invoked at once. That’s where Noise Trail Immersion come in.” New maths.

Yer Metal is Olde: Meshuggah – Chaosphere

Yer Metal is Olde: Meshuggah – Chaosphere

“A calamitous ray of hope against the JNCO, Meshuggah‘s Chaosphere seized metal’s conventions by the throat, flayed them alive and curb-stomped the body. Atonal chords, time signature seizures, and insane, prosaic insight screamed with voice of Hell itself and more were wrought unto those caught within the ‘sphere, and this piece is dedicated to the memories of life and heaviness as we knew them before Chaosphere ripped those scandalous bitches in two.” Birth of an abomination.