When it comes to heavy metal music, I have a confession to make: my schooling is – shall we say – somewhat limited. Shamefully, I have tended to view it more as a fashion style (black t-shirts, long hair) rather than a musical one.
As an unschooled outsider, approaching metal maestros Meshuggah’s latest album, The Violent Sleep Of Reason, was always going to prove to be difficult. And while my own personal taste for crisp, clean melodies was never going to be satisfied here, what was most disappointing was the feeling that it was the dedicated disciples who were the ones really being left short-changed.
Without any moments of relief, the constant cacophony of screaming vocals and pounding bass is sure to test the patience of even the most committed fan. And it would be wrong to call this an album in a traditional sense, as rather than showcasing the full creative range of the songwriting, what we get is essentially one song repeated 12 times.
This is an album that is going to have a hard time winning over new fans, but for the hardcore headbanger there might be something to enjoy.