Meshuggah - Koloss
The last few years has seen a slew of Meshuggah copycats emerge, trying to emulate the Swedes' masterful use of ridiculously fast, syncopated rhythms and outlandish technical prowess to create some of the heaviest music possibly. So it is about time they came back and showed these young upstarts exactly how it is done, and Koloss rarely disappoints on any front, and is one that juggles the need to be an evolution from obZen, yet also amongst all these pretenders still unequivocally Meshuggah.
Large chunks of Koloss are slower, more doom-laden affairs, achieving monumental aural weight with a suffocating crush rather than the furious bludgeoning of yore. Not quite reaching the pace of true doom, the likes of opener 'I Am Colossus' and 'Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion' give a variation to the Meshuggah sound, which whilst hardly lacking in the past, is a welcome addition. Of course, the blistering pace at which the band are known for playing at is not forsaken, with 'The Hurt That Finds You First' and 'Swarm' in particular proving they can be as fast as they choose. Koloss ends with the ethereal 'The Last Vigil', a surprisingly mellow drift the calmer but no less dark waters that gently brings the listener down from the buzz of the preceding fifty minutes in a hypnotic daze.
To say this is "just another Meshuggah album" might seem a touch derogatory, but Koloss is lacking that extra magic sparkle that the band's best work has, whether it be the catchiness of obZen or the complete mindfuck that is Destroy Erase Improve. Nevertheless, Meshuggah have rather brilliantly restated their claims for being one of the most punishing bands around, and reminded everyone it is possible to play at extreme speeds without showing off and still be able to pen a good tune at the same time. A healthy ability to constantly evolve, not change, their sound will only cement their place in the pantheon of extreme metal gods.