In 2017, Swedish progressive metal pioneers MESHUGGAH will be entering their 30th year of existence, defying expectations on record as to the limitations of metal, and then proving their virtuosic prowess by taking their cathedral-complex compositions to stages all over the world through the band’s legendary long tour cycles.
It all began with 1989’s self-titled 3 song EP, also commonly referred to as “Psykisk Testbild”, followed in 1991 by first fullength album Contradictions Collapse but the MESHUGGAH legend was established through the likes of 1993’s None, 1995’s groundbreaking Destroy Erase Improve and the band’s third fullength record, 1998’s Chaosphere. In 2002, Meshuggah issued Nothing, which sold over 110,000 copies in the US and garnered the band an arena tour slot with Tool, as well as a slot on Ozzfest that same year, with high validations from the biggest and most discerning progressive metal bands on the planet at the turn of the decade. Catch Thirtythree, obZen and 2012’s immense Koloss solidified the band’s reputation as creative mavericks raising the reputation of what metal could be, resulting in status as the creators and godfathers of an entire progressive music style known as djent—even if the band has a somewhat ambivalent relationship with that tag or tags of any sort.
The Violent Sleep of Reason, the band’s eighth full-length studio album, finds MESHUGGAH building upon their legacy for fearless metal sculpting within the context of extreme metal, but also recapturing some of the magic and excitement specifically within the aspect of performance, finding flow and groove that would be a challenge for any lesser band to locate, given such technical geometric madness at mischievous hand. The bands efforts did not go unnoticed as they landed a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Metal Performance for their single, “Clockworks.”