Published Oct 05, 2016Just shy of being 30 years into their career, Meshuggah remain at the top of the heap when it comes to their often imitated but never duplicated rhythmic metal mastery. And while many of their emulators have tried pushing the style in new directions with the help of electronics and other studio magic, The Violent Sleep of Reason finds the band abandoning reliance on Pro Tools software and separate instrument tracking sessions in favour of recording live off the floor as a group. It's the first time they have done so in decades.
Much has been made of this method to the band's eighth album of madness, and rightfully so, as its 10 tracks sound far less calculated in comparison to predecessors obZen and Koloss. No less technically challenging or pulverizing in scope, and with the emphasis firmly fixed on groove, the blasts of expertly synced kick drum and guitar of "Clockworks" and the endlessly coiling riffs of "MonstroCity" exhibit a looseness the aforementioned two records lacked.
The band's evolution on The Violent Sleep… keeps them one step ahead of all those who have been trying to catch up, making Meshuggah as powerful and proficient on the cusp of three decades of existence as they always have been. (Nuclear Blast)