Sound — 9
Catch Thirty-Three showcases Meshuggah at their finest, with all instruments acting as one brutal machine. In the metal realm, Meshuggah have been gaining a huge popularity for their polyrhythmic song feel and innovative riff structures. In addition, their extensive usage of seven and more recently eight string guitars has drawn much attention for guitarists and popularized the instruments. This album, designed as one extensive piece broken down into multiple segements, is all about bringing in the heavy metal through these melodic grooves and interesting rhythms. Catch Thrity-Three is not a new Meshuggah, rather a refined and revitalized one. Songs like "The Paradoxical Spiral" demonstrate perfect harmony between all of the band's members, with both guitars complimenting each each other and drums maintaining an almost impossible beat. "In Death - Is Death" acts as a dark ambient interude to the heavy pummeling that the band has laid down in the previous songs. "Sum" finishes the piece up with another blow of awe-inspiring riffing which ends in a section of erie arpeggios. What is so unique is how the riffs segue perfectly into one another and the band can transition their sound so smoothly. Overall, Meshuggah sounds as fresh as ever, and their quirky time signatures and key changes are reminiscent of jazz fusion legends such as the Mahavishnu Orchestra or the Pat Metheny Group.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics and singing suit the music really well. Jens Kidman is no ordinary frontman - like Between the Buried & Me's Tommy Rogers, he's developed a unique scream that really cannot be compared to anyone else. On "Mind's Mirros" his voice is quite mysterious and shrouded in a vocoder which floats over a crushingly low bass tone. However, his scream which opens up "Shed" is unparalleled by any other metal screamer, easily besting Slipknot's Corey Taylor or even Children of Bodom's Alexi Laiho. Meshuggah's lyrics are indeed very metaphorical and so difficult to decipher that the true meaning to the words may go unknown by listeners. However, lines like "Grinding, churning - the sweetest ever noises / Decode me into their non-communication" exemplify the raw pain that can only be expressed through such brutal music.
Overall Impression — 9
The band can write with the complexity and hooks of Opeth yet maintain all the thick heaviness of Mastodon. All of the instruments line up to act as one jamming unit, which deal out grooves that are dense and thick, but at the same time are highly melodic. Catch Thirty-Three is even a landmark album for Meshuggah because the instrumentation is so tight but at the same time the music flows effectively through the ears of the listener. These muscians all share a great level of accomplishment on all their respective instruments and clearly know what they are doing. "Destroy Erase Improve" may have been the album that put Meshuggah on the map, just starting to create songs so difficult that no ordinary musician could ever dream of recreating. Their previous EP entitled "I" showed just what the band was capable of with its ferocious drumming and virtuosic guitar work, but Catch Thirty-Three hits home. In conclusion, Meshuggah is one of the most important bands in modern metal, and this album testifies to that big statement.