Mar 282022
 

(Andy Synn goes big with the new album from the inimitable, immutable, Meshuggah, out this Friday)

As you may know, if you’ve been hanging around this site for any length of time, we don’t always bother to cover the big names and famous faces.

After all, the big dogs already tend to get more than their fair share of attention and acclaim – since  they’re usually the ones with the bigger budgets, the best PR reps, and the most backing – so any coverage we might add would just be a drop in the ocean, relatively speaking.

Plus there’s the fact that, after a certain point, these sorts of bands just become “too big to fail”. No matter what the critics say – most of whom, let’s be honest, don’t want to risk rocking the boat by saying anything negative anyway – their fans are pretty much always going to pre-order their new stuff, so we’d be much better off dedicating our efforts to where, and who, they can actually make a difference.

There are exceptions to this rule, however, and I’m making one today for the new album by Meshuggah.

Not because, as some have already written, it’s “the band’s best album yet” (it’s not) or “a major step in their evolution” (it’s really not… though there are certainly seeds of something…) but because it’s a perfect example of an album which deserves a fair and balanced appraisal but which, due to the impenetrable aura of hype which surrounds the band these days, is unlikely to get it.

Continue reading »

Feb 262022
 

 

If we let a day go by without posting something, will anyone worry that a catastrophe has befallen us? Some technological breakdown or illness or death in the ranks of those of us who toil here at NCS? Oh, probably not. Maybe just mild disappointment would befall some regular visitors, rather than severe anxiety or anguish. Maybe others would welcome a break from the daily torrent of new sounds.

But life is disconcerting enough these days without the experience of even mild additional disappointment. And so… here are a few new songs and videos, just a few.

MESHUGGAH (Sweden)

It’s hard not to mention the appearance of a new Meshuggah song and video even though everyone likely to visit our site already knows about it, especially because the video is so intriguing (and frightenig). The song’s stuttering and shivering grooves are relentless, and very catchy, and it succeeds in creating a spacey, futuristic atmosphere in keeping with Meshuggah‘s history of providing what seem line soundtracks to the rise of hideous machine intelligence. Continue reading »

Jan 292022
 

 

I spent the first part of this morning pulling together the second-to-last installment of our Most Infectious Song list, which hasn’t left a lot of time for me to make my way through the typically giant list of songs and videos which surfaced over the last week that I thought might be worth recommending. I jumped around that list like a hummingbird (if hummingbirds moved at the pace of sloths). Here’s what I came up with:

MESHUGGAH (Sweden)

Even a blind hummingbird would know to stop and taste the nectar of a new Meshuggah song, and I’m not blind. Nor are the 150,000 people who’ve listened to the song’s YouTube stream in the last two days. But what to make of “The Abysmal Eye“? Continue reading »

Jan 152022
 

 

I have a gigantic list of new songs and videos which appeared over the last week (or two) that I want to sift through. I had hoped to make selections for a round-up today, but got a very late start on the morning, and not long from now I’ve got to be at a virtual meeting for the job that pays the bills around here, which will further screw up those plans. I’m not sure if I’ll get to the round-up in time to share it today. But I wanted to do something through NCS before having to disappear, and so…

…I decided to just share some artwork for three forthcoming albums (and a little bonus at the end). As the title of the post implies, there’s no music available from for two of the albums, and although at the last minute I did discover one preview track that’s become available for the third one, I haven’t listened to it yet. Continue reading »

Mar 272021
 

 

In yesterday’s round-up I burrowed deeply into the underground and surfaced with a collection of six songs that I thought were insane and unnerving in different ways. Today I’m on a different tack, leading off with some bigger names and then tunneling into underground depths again.

In addition, all of the following tracks were recommended to me by NCS colleagues and other friends. They didn’t let me down; hopefully you won’t feel let down either. There’s so much genre-spread here that you ought to find at least something that strikes a chord.

(I should mention that my friends didn’t just send me music. They also made me aware of the news that Meshuggah is recording a new album, and that it will feature the return of Fredrik Thordendal, trading places with Per Nilsson. They also passed along an announcement, accompanied by the photo of Peter Tägtgren above, that Hypocrisy’s new album has been completed.) Continue reading »

Jan 182017
 

 

(The UK-Ireland Tour of Meshuggah and The Haunted rolled through Nottingham, England, on the night of January 14, 2017, and our man Andy Synn was there — and files this report, with video evidence.)

Why do we go see live music? That’s a question which I’ve been pondering, cogitating on, and generally wondering about for many, many years.

After all, in one sense all that’s going to happen is that we’re going to hear some songs we already know, played with (potentially) more mistakes, in a venue where the sound quality is always a question mark, whilst packed in cheek-to-jowl with a plethora of ne’er-do-wells of dubious morality and questionable personal hygiene.

But, often when we go to see a band and they play TOO perfectly… the reaction is generally just as bad as if they’d played terribly. So it’s clearly not just a case of going to see a band to watch them reproduce the music from their albums wholesale.

I don’t have an answer to that question above by the way, it’s just something that’s been on my mind for a while. If you think about it, the whole process of going to see live music is a little odd after all.

Though I suppose if you think about anything too much it starts to seem a little weird. Continue reading »

Sep 202016
 

meshuggah-the-violent-sleep-of-reason-artwork

 

(Andy Synn delivers his first impressions of Meshuggah’s new album, The Violent Sleep of Reason, with thoughts on a track-by-track basis as well as overall.)

Despite what some of their detractors might say, every Meshuggah album is different. The basic ingredients might stay the same, but each album leans in a slightly different direction… Nothing brought the groove, Catch 33 went all experimental, obZen was the overtly “technical” album, and Koloss the more song-based, riff-based number… which is why every Meshuggah album is ultimately going to be someone’s favourite Meshuggah album.

So the big question really isn’t “how good is The Violent Sleep of Reason?”… no, what we should be asking is “what sort of album is it…?”

With that in mind I decided that, this time around, it would be more fun to eschew the traditional review format and instead just note down my first impressions and overall musings about the album as I listened to it. So, just as Meshuggah went for a more raw and “organic” approach this time (doing it all live in the studio for the first time in their career), so too am I going to produce a much more raw and unedited piece of writing while I listen to it.

Of course I reserve the right to change my position in the future, but for now… let’s just see what happens! Continue reading »

Sep 152016
 

Meshuggah-The Violent Sleep of Reason

 

While scrambling to get our second of four premieres ready to post today, I received an alert from my comrade DGR that Meshuggah had revealed a new lyric video for the song “Nostrum” off their new album The Violent Sleep of Reason. And so of course I dropped everything and scurried over to YouTube to give this thing a look and a listen.

It’s a 360-degree video that allows you to admire the artwork created by Keerych Luminokaya. As for the song, holy shit is it a heavy, hammering beast, an absolute crusher, highlighted by every other good thing else we’ve come to expect from this band — jaw-dropping drumwork, brilliant rhythmic interplay, raw, hair-raising vocals, and in this case some truly scintillating and frenzied lead guitar performances, coupled with glimpses of cosmic melody. Continue reading »

Aug 252016
 

Meshuggah-The Violent Sleep of Reason

 

Earlier today I posted Part 1 of a planned two-part Seen and Heard round-up of new music, with the first Part prepared by my comrade DGR. What you’re looking at now isn’t the Part 2 that I had planned to write, because while I was toiling away on that, Meshuggah and Asphyx released songs from their new albums. Rather than tack them on to my original selection of cuts for Part 2, which is already pretty large, I decided to throw them at you now, and convert my original Part 2 into Part 3. Unless something else pops up and Part 3 becomes Part 4, because I haven’t yet figured out how to make time stand still.

MESHUGGAH

The title of Meshuggah’s eighth album is The Violent Sleep of Reason. Nuclear Blast plans to release it on October 7. That’s obviously a big deal, given how vastly influential Meshuggah has become over the years, not to mention the high quality of their music. The first single from the album, “Born In Dissonance” premiered not long ago at Rolling Stone, along with an interview of drummer Tomas Haake, who as usual wrote the lyrics for the song. Continue reading »

Jul 292016
 

Meshuggah revolver ad-2

 

I mentioned in a post earlier this week that I’ve been distracted during nights this week by a televised political convention (because I am a political junkie with low willpower), and I also had to make a quick out-of-town trip. Metal didn’t wait for me while I was diverted, and so I have an immense list of new things from the last few days that I want to recommend. I’ve cut the list down to a mere 10 items, which I’ve collected here. Seriously, I’m aware that 10 is a lot, so I’ve choked back my usual desire to spill a lot of words.

I’m starting with two news items and then following those with 8 new songs or videos, presented in alphabetical order by the name of the artist.

MESHUGGAH

I no longer subscribe to Revolver magazine. If I still had the subscription, I might have seen the full-page ad at the top of this post, which so far seems to be the only disclosure that Meshuggah’s new album The Violent Sleep of Reason will be released by Nuclear Blast on October 7. Here’s another fan pic of the ad: Continue reading »