Meshuggah Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC, August 7

Meshuggah Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC, August 7
Photo: Rick Clifford
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It didn't take the audience longer than a few seconds to realize that the deep, calculated groove of Meshuggah's thundering opener "Rational Gaze" was missing something after the Swedish metal titans hit the stage. Due to some less-than-ideal live mixing that was completely out of the band's control, the commanding growl of frontman Jens Kidman was reduced to little more than a dull roar, prompting crowd members to direct some choice words towards those working the board sidestage.
 
In pressing onward through the intermittent vocal level issues, the rest of the band were as sound in their playing as one would expect from the often imitated, never duplicated progressive kings. The eight-string guitar duo of Fredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hagström were near flawless in their overtly rhythmic playing style, while Tomas Haake put on a clinic in polymeter through smashing out the incredibly complicated fan favourites "Future Breed Machine" and "Bleed."
 
Spurred on by Kidman's unique stage presence and trademark performance face, the audience were delighted to have the levels balanced for an impactful encore of Catch Thirty-Three tandem "In Death - Is Life" and "In Death - Is Death."