092: MESHUGGAH

Whether you want to acknowledge djent as a subgenre/style/movement/whatever, or simply choose to turn your nose up at it, the reality is this – Meshuggah did it first.

Meshuggah have pioneered a sort of uber-complex, incredibly technical take on something that sits halfway between groove and death metal.

The guitars are so low and sinister sounding they could be readily mistaken for a fucking chainsaw, and the drums not many people are in indecipherable puzzle box. Jens Kidmanโ€™s vocals are an immediately recognisable staccato shout, pulsing as a small part of the leviathan polyrhythms and other madness at play. You listen to Meshuggah and you know it works. It all fits. But you donโ€™t know how.

Meshuggahโ€™s sound is so hypnotic and entrancing that itโ€™s no surprise they have sent seismic waves through the heavy metal universe solely by existing.

Meshuggah represent a paradigm shift in extreme metal. They have been immeasurably influential on countless bands who came up in their shadow, leading to the birth of the term djent.

While countless bands have tried to emulate their monstrously complex, chainsaw-heavy groove, there will only ever be one Meshuggah. Nobody else will ever come close.

While we all have lots of bands who influence still… we all rip off Meshuggah!

Devin Townsend, โ€˜Planet of the Apesโ€™