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Meshuggah: Catch Thirty-Three

Old 09-14-05, 09:00 AM
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Meshuggah: Catch Thirty-Three

For some reason, I only seem to talk about metal here...oh well.

Has anyone else heard this album? It came out earlier this year and I only just got it. I'm a fan of this band but they are very, very different than anything else in the metal scene. They're from Sweden, but they have essentially nothing in common with their countrymen like Opeth. In fact, if you're a traditional metal fan, you probably won't like this release at all (stick to their earlier stuff like the insane "Chaosphere" which is one of the heaviest albums I've heard).

"Catch Thirty-Three" is the culmination of the band's foray into experimental metal. They use detuned, custom-made eight string guitars (with two additional bass strings) to create a unique, droning bass sound. The music is mostly mid-tempo with twisting, convoluted time-signature changes, unbelievable technical proficiency and an almost complete lack of melody. The entire album is structured as one continuous 47 minute song. It's a based on one punishing, ever-mutating metal groove that is constantly turning back on itself and evolving. Because the structure of the riffs is so complex, the band uses sampled drums to keep up, even though their drummer (Tomas Haake) is clearly one of the best in the world. The band also uses top quality production, the editing of the album is extremely tight and compressed. It sounds great in headphones.

The overall effect is hypnotic and unique. It's like an esoteric abstraction of metal. It's more in the vein of industrial metal like Godflesh (this album reminds me of the incredible "Pure" more than any other album) than current melodic Euro-death metal. Its one of my favorite releases this year, it's one of those albums that works its way into your subconcious. This apparently is the end of the experimental phase according to the band, the next release should be more traditional. Catch them now.

Last edited by Hiro11; 09-14-05 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 09-14-05, 05:20 PM
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Sounds awesome. I can't believe I missed this either. I've listened to them for years now and loved the 'I' album as well. This sounds really interesting.
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Old 09-15-05, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Ergyu
Sounds awesome. I can't believe I missed this either. I've listened to them for years now and loved the 'I' album as well. This sounds really interesting.
If you're a fan of "I" (which I absolutely loved) and "Nothing", then you'll like this release. If you prefer "Destroy, Erase, Improve" and "Chaosphere", it will be a harder sell. As I said, this is probably not an album for fans of traditional metal. Like Opeth's "Damnation", it's definitely polarized Meshuggah's fan base.

Personally, I "get" Meshuggah's latest direction and consider it a very interesting progression from their more approachable (but certainly not weaker) earlier stuff. This release seems to be an expansion of "I" and a final statement on this particular direction for the band. I don't think their music can possibly get any more detached and clinical. Progression further along this direction is going to be difficult, if not impossible, so I understand why they're saying this is the last album of this type.

"Catch Thirty-Three" has become one of those albums that I play daily all the way through. It's fascinating.
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Old 09-15-05, 04:15 PM
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I listened to it last night and think it's fantastic. I enjoy both eras of Meshuggah, so if they wen't either way I would have been happy.
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Old 09-15-05, 06:39 PM
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I think they have developed some interesting themes and tone with "I" and "Catch Thirty-Three" so their next studio album should be very interesting. I am sure they are up to the creative challenge even though they set the bar higher each time.

Hypnotic is correct, I usually have the segue from "Mind's Mirror" to "In Death - Is Life" usually stuck in my head.
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Old 09-15-05, 06:51 PM
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My drum teacher has it and recommended it to me the other day. I am looking forward to it. I've been really into the new Opeth album that came out recently. Thomas Haake is a drumming god, so I can't wait to hear what he does on this album.
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Old 09-18-05, 08:13 AM
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The only thing I know about Meshuggah is they opened for Tool. At that point, I was not in the mood for something of their style, and it turned me off of them.

I will see them later this year when The Haunted open for them. I'll probably pick up an album by then.

Which should I get?
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Old 09-19-05, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mndtrp
The only thing I know about Meshuggah is they opened for Tool. At that point, I was not in the mood for something of their style, and it turned me off of them.

I will see them later this year when The Haunted open for them. I'll probably pick up an album by then.

Which should I get?
Personally, I'd start with "I" to get a taste of what the band is about. Then, I'd get "Destroy, Erase, Improve" to get a completely different side of them. Jumping right into "Chaosphere" or "Catch Thirty-Three" might be a little disorienting without context.
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