Album review: "Koloss"
By Catherine P. Lewis
Friday, May 18, 2012
Swedish progressive metal band Meshuggah certainly takes its time between releases. “Koloss” -- the group’s latest and first album since 2008 -- is (relatively!) reined-in for this quintet, more typically known for an extreme sound.
Certainly, a few tracks sound as though the band is spinning into a fury. “The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance,” in particular, is a whirling dervish of rapid-fire drumming and electrifying guitar riffs.
Elsewhere, however, the group settles into a slower, heavier groove. “Do Not Look Down” chugs along with a growling intensity, while “Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion” channels a shuddering exhaustion that breaks with a lighter guitar bridge before crashing back down to a nearly sluggish tone.
While this album lacks some of the unbridled chaos of Meshuggah’s earlier work (the band’s name, after all, comes from the Yiddish word for “crazy”), the best tracks strike a balance between that mayhem and the group’s thicker sound. “Demiurge” features more measured vocals against fiery riffs, while “The Hurt That Finds You First” is propelled by a relentless drum line.
The group chooses to end on a particularly tranquil note. The album-closing ambient instrumental outro “The Last Vigil” is a letdown of an ending after an album this heavy.