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Meshuggah

Sweden's most sonically brutal metal group, Meshuggah, has decided to slow things down a bit for their new release, Catch Thirty-Three. In the process, they have incorporated drum programming into their new sound instead of using real percussion. If that's not bad enough, much of the guitar throughout the album sounds like an overly distorted and mixed bass, which can be especially annoying when you've got two guitars and a bass essentially rumbling around the same frequency.

Catch Thirty-Three follows the release of last year's EP, I. Only 28 minutes in length and one song, I displayed the Swedish metallers pushing past their own boundaries of mind-bending rhythms. Although broken up into 13 tracks, Catch Thirty-Three is a 47-minute earache. Unless one is constantly paying attention to his/her personal disc player, the listener is not meant to know what "track" they are listening to during Thirty-Three's "listening experience."

The backbone sound of Thirty-Three begins during its second "track," "Imprint of the Un-Saved." A constant wailing guitar cry is layered under a barrage of bass overkill, with another guitar section to match. The programmed drums mimic the band's signature off-timed raw groove. The never-ending roller coaster takes off from there. Mere moments of Thirty-Three offer a break from its one-part symphony. "Mind's Mirrors" is highlighted by silence, guitar plucking and programmed spoken vocals. A 13-minute opus that repeats everything previously heard, "In Death--Is Death" features a last half with more guitar plucking.

The "catch" is that fans of Meshuggah are going to be disappointed.

More by Jon Hobson

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