Meshuggah – I EP (2014) & Ophidian Trek – Nuclear Blast – Release 26 – 09 – 2014

Meshuggah – I EP (2014) & Ophidian Trek – Nuclear Blast – Release 26 – 09 – 2014

Meshuggah has pretty much been the definition of musical genius for many years now. Their high level of technical skill combined with often insane musical writing has put them on an untouchable peak. The band is able to pretty much perfectly replicate these feats during their intense live shows. Back in 2010 they already released “Alive” so what does this new release add? A nearly completely different set list for the fans to enjoy. As an extra promotion Nuclear Blast is re-releasing the 2004 EP “I” with some added tracks.

Meshuggah is:

Jens Kidman – Lead Vocals
Fredrik Thordendal – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Tomas Haake – Drums
Mårten Hagström – Rhythm guitar
Dick Lövgren – Bass

I EP (2014)
download (2)“I” Is pretty much one monstrous jam session that went out of control and got recorded anyway, because that’s how Meshuggah roll. I would say that some parts, namely the intro, are too long, but if you’re in a Meshuggah state of mind you’ll do fine. This song hasn’t been re-recorded, just re-mastered so the difference might not be huge for the fans who quite likely already have the original.

To give some more validity to the reissue, two songs from the live-album have been added: “Bleed” and “Dancers to a Discordant System”, which should get you fired up for the live album. If only it was released some time before the live album instead of the same day.
As a fourth song “Pitch Black” from the 2003 eponymous EP, albeit through Scion AV instead of through Nuclear Blast. According to Wikipedia it used to be available on the Scion AV, but that is no longer the case, which makes this a nice addition.

Conclusion:
This really is ‘just’ a piece of promotional material. Most fans will already have the original “I” EP and the live tracks are also featured on the live-album, which only leaves “Pitch Black” as a maybe for fans who haven’t obtained it yet. Other than that it is actually a nice item for newcomers to the band to have, giving them a good taste of what Meshuggah is.

Track list:

  1. I
  2. Bleed (Live)
  3. Dancers to a Discordant System (Live)
  4. Pitch Black

Score: 3.5 out of 5

 

The Ophidian Trek
10583852_10152617403831170_3001946182856932214_nThis definitely is the more interesting of the two releases. With a big focus on the last two albums “obZen” and “Koloss” you get to hear the band at their current level. The small handful of older songs easily slip in amongst the fifteen song tracklist. You hear pretty much perfect renditions of all the songs and the sound really is top notch. All of the instruments as well as the vocals are perfectly mixed, which is also a small annoyance to me.

It sounds too perfect and polished. Adding into that is that the album could’ve done with a bit more focus on the audience. Sure, it’s all about the music. But if you listen to a live album you want to feel the live experience, right?
Anyway, that’s just a small note because the songs are finger licking good! It’s still amazing to hear a band be able to recreate these songs and their insane structures live.
And massive props to the band for ending the list with two massive songs “Dancers to a Discordant System and a sort-of medley of “Mind’s Mirros”, “In Death  – Is Life” and “In Death – Is Death” from the “Catch Thirtythree” album.

Conclusion:
Meshuggah have put out a superb product with this live-album. While it mostly focuses on the new stuff, the band does dive into a little bit of its history. After a while you get used to hardly hearing the audience and you are left with a superb ‘best-off’ from the band’s later materials and a smattering of old stuff. Recommended for fans, old and new

Track list:

  1. Swarmer
  2. Swarm
  3. Combustion
  4. Rational Gaze
  5. obZen
  6. Lethargica
  7. Do Not Look Down
  8. The Hurt
  9. I am Colossus
  10. Bleed
  11. Demiurge
  12. New Millennium Cyanide Christ
  13. Dancers to a Discordant System
  14. Mind’s Mirrors / In Death – Is life / In Death – Is Death
  15. The Last Vigil

Score: 4.3 out of 5

www.facebook.com/meshuggah/

www.meshuggah.net/

Text by: Robert Popovic

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