Meshuggah - HMV Forum, London
The Forum is mercifully busy for openers We Are Knuckle Dragger, meaning that their steady grooves aren't immediately lost to the dome overhead. And steady is about the right word for these guys, their little bursts of half-speed punk plods along amiably enough, but is instantly forgettable the moment they walk off.
With duelling eight string guitars being their only selling point, Animals As Leaders' instrumental prog metal is as self-indulgent as it is heavy. There is no denying the astounding ability both guitarists have, but it is excruciatingly dull as they purely show off for the best part of three quarters of an hour, sending me off into some sort of comatose state.
There is no denying that Meshuggah are one of the heaviest bands to ever set foot on a stage. The sound is perfect as they launch into 'Obsidian' and 'Demiurge', the crushing guitars having little respect for the two and half thousand bowels as their bass-driven rumble set the very ground shaking.
A large portion of the set is still drawn from the obZen album, and the quality of the likes of 'Pravus' and 'Bleed' shines through. The middle third of the Catch Thirtythree album is greeted with equal gusto, but nothing is seemingly more welcome than the classic 'Future Breed Machine' that heralds the encore.
A final dose of 'Dancers To A Discordant System' brings this brutal yet euphoric gathering to a glorious close, and the Meshuggah juggernaut rolls on, leaving more battered and bruised bodies in its wake.