Sound — 9
As you can see from my user name, Meshuggah are one of my favourite bands, but I'm not going to over-glorify their work, as much as I love it. In terms of the actual sound of the instruments, the sound of this album is as with most Meshuggah records, what I like to think of a well tailored. It is punishing yet precise distortion, it manages to sound very aggressive but doesn't hamper the technicality of the music. The tracks are relatively fast paced, not as much tempo variation and time signature experimentation on this album, the fierceness of the songs are put ahead more, there are also less sections of Thordendal's jazz-fusion solos. However, this does not mean that the music is by any means not Meshuggah standard, in particular, one of the now fan favourites "New Millennium Cyanide Christ" is a spectacular track. The tempo is unusual (23/16 guitar over 4/4 drums), if not quite as crazy as some of the stuff we have seen Meshuggah do before. It is truely addictive none the less. Some of the slightly slower paced tracks, "Neurotica" for example, have a really good groove, you can really sense the origins of Djent here. Plenty of other great songs on there, "The Mouth Licking What You've Bled" will certainly have you waiting a few seconds to figure out how to head bang to it. Overall, a very consistent, technical and heavy as hell sound.
Lyrics — 9
Lyrics as always from Meshuggah, twisted but deep and in some cases verging on hints of philosophical. For example, "New Millennium Cyanide Christ" is about a man who seeks to move closer to God by physically removing senses and bodily functions which he views to inhibit his goal. The twisted nature is gone by no means, "Ceramic blades implanted past my ribs to save me from the dues of inhalation" and "Baptised in vitriolic acid, a final touch a smoothing of features." Jens Kidman maintains his brutal hardcore bark and screams, his complex vocal timings adding to the technicality of the instruments.
Overall Impression — 9
Personally I found this album addictive, will it doesn't display the pinnacle of progressive style in the sense of its experimentation, the solid sound, structure and texture make this an amazing record. This is a much rawer sound, it sounds angry, fast and almost more refined, as there aren't as many fancy experimental sections, its like it gets to the point much fast. All I would have asked for would have been a bit more lead and complex melody passages, though I can understand Meshugggah wanting the riffs to speak for themselves and they certainly do. Amazing album, near faultless to me.