Sol Niger Within, Version 3.33 review by Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects

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  • Released: Feb 23, 1999
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (12 votes)
Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects: Sol Niger Within, Version 3.33

Sound — 10
Well here it is, the review for the legendary album "Sol Niger Within" by Meshuggah guitarist Fredrik Thordendal. The album is one song broken up into 29 track equally about 52 minutes. All guitar work on the album is handled by the mastermind himself, the drums handled by the versatile and extremely impressive Morgan Agren, and then Mats Uberg on keyboards/synth. Knowing that the latter two having played with Frank Zappa, and Fredrik, the lead guitarist for one of the most creative and adventurous metal groups to ever exist, you can tell this is going to be an interesting 50 minutes. The album starts off with a very odd-timed riff that sounds like Fredrik's style, but you can tell this is no Meshuggah album. It immediately goes into the next dimension, where guitars sound like saxophones and drums sound as if they're being played by someone with 2 brains. The album creates a soundscape that is entirely unique and original, and downright frightening at times. I cannot stress enough how impressive and dynamic guitar and drum work is, even if you don't necessarily like how it sounds, it will blow your mind at the things they pull off in this album. Again I'll say, this album sounds like it came from another dimension. I will give the sound a 10, because you rarely come across an album this impressive, both technically and creatively.

Lyrics — 9
The lyrics fit the music perfectly, sounding as if they came right out of another dimension. The lyrics are delivered in 2 ways on this album, by spoken word (Tomas Haake, of Meshuggah fame), and in the most bizarre and alien-like rasping growl handled by Fredrik. I once heard someone say in another review that Meshuggah's lyrics are very hard to decipher, but they're presented in such a way that they speak to you without you even knowing exactly what they're about, this album is no different. Overall the vocals and lyrics are atmospheric, and mind bending.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this is a very out-there and technical album, not for everyone. But for those of us who are tuned in to Fredrik's brain wave, it is an almost life changing experience. An album like this only comes around once a lifetime, truly unique in a way few artists can match up to. If you're a fan of fusion jazz or metal, you'll be extremely impressed with this album.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Nice review But just one thing: the keyboardist's name is Mats berg, not Uberg. but that's just a bagatelle
    Oh that's a typo, you can't edit anything once the review is submitted unfortunately.
    This album is like a cosmic 'Catch 33', though less mechanical sounding and stunningly, mind-bendingly, 'holy-shit-he's-got-twenty-fingers' technical. LISTEN TO IT NOW. I'm imploding into MySelf. MyGod. oh. god. i'm home...