The sound of the Swedish icons hasn’t changed much over the last albums. It seems that they have found a formula that works for them. Of course the songs they create are different yet unrecognizable a breed of the Swedish mastership. On Immutable they just continue with this sound although the album sounds more groovy than ever. It opens with ‘Broken Cog’, a more spheric rhythmic doom-like song with some spoken words from Jens . A nice fact is that song was originally written in 2010 and should have been on ‘Koloss’ , but was postponed to appear on ‘The Violent Sleep Of Reason’ but didn’t make it either, apparently Thomas Haake had trouble with getting the drums right. As you see even those non-human sounding musicians are just human.
‘The Abysmal Eye’ was the first single released from this album. It’s a typical Meshuggah song with complex guitar riffs and the so typical cymbals that I myself call, “The Meshuggah Crash” . ‘Light The Shortening Fuse’ starts with one of the most brutal groovy riffs ever heard. This riff and the underlying rhythm section takes your booty to a groovy state you couldn’t have imagined. No you can’t stand still on this one. ‘Phantoms’ is one of the less surprising songs, not that is bad, just haven’t we heard this all before comes in my head with this tune.
‘Ligature Marks’ is a mid-paced, heavy as hell groovy piece. Some very nice underlying guitar leads on this one, very nice composition. ‘They Move Below’ is another one worth to mention. Opens up very calmly and smoothly to then transition to the typical Meshuggah riffs and leads. This song is almost ten minutes long. ten minutes of purely long groovy tranc-inducing music. You read it right, it’s an instrumental one. Although there doesn’t seem to happen a lot of virtuoso in it like most instrumental ones, this song just has this vibe , the ten minutes are passing by like it lasts only a minute. ‘Kaleidoscope’ is another very groovy one, did I mention that there are a lot of groovy songs on ‘Immutable’? This one is one of the best songs ever written by Meshuggah in my honest opinion. ‘I Am That Thirst’ has some nice choppy riffing, while ‘Armies of the Preposterous’ is a more uptempo one. Next to the normal songs there are some spheric shorter songs or call it fillers, like you wish. ‘Past Tense’, ‘Black Cathedral’ for example. These songs shows us that the Swedish masters aren’t only capable of writing complex rhythmic songs but also have a ‘soft’ side.
As a side-note about songwriting, Thomas Haake states that he writes the drums first in Cubase and then the guitars come in to get out some riffs. They do it this way since the very beginning. Quite impressive that they work this way since long time. He adds that Meshuggah wouldn’t be Meshuggah if it wouldn’t be done this way. Of course there will be people who will complain that is not done “the way it should be”. But hey, the technology exists, so use it for your creativity, why not.
‘Immutable’ is another album that easily finds it place in the catalogue of Meshuggah. Some killer songs, some more already heard songs and a bit of spheric stuff. Not an album everyone will listen to a lot in repeat, but still highly enjoyable as the album is more groovy and approachable to get the rhythmic patterns than on some of their previous efforts. They once again prove why they are still deemed the masters of the math/djenty/groove sound.
- Music / Songwriting 8/10
- Vocals / Lyrics 8/10
- Mix / Production 9/10
- Artwork & Packaging 7/10
- Originality 8/10
The extreme tech-metal from the Swedish masters of Meshuggah is more groovy than ever. Although very recognizable they still deliver a very listenable and enjoyable album that will scratch your head from time to time while your booty is shaking as hell.