(9/10) It's always amazing what the Swedes come up with. These guys found the formula to structure chaos. In a bit less than an hour the guys present ten tracks that sounds like steering a heavy steamroller with the sensitivity of a surgeon.

The way how the guys from Umeå create numbers like "Clockworks" is extraordinary, songs that go right into your ears and mind. On the one hand they are brutal as hell and on the other hand there’s an almost math-structure, a combination that make this five-piece so special. These guys work as a clockwork, precise and reliable since many years and they manage to get a lot of energy out of a constant fight between emotion and sense.

But it’s not only that Meshuggah focuses on music. The lyrics are an important part too. The opener “Clockwork” for example addresses all the ‘small little gears’ in ourselves that, as a combination, defines who and how we are. A reshuffling of these gears could lead to a new view on things which maybe would support solving or at least reducing some of our global problems.

The second strike "Born in Dissonance" underlines the described musical approach, something that became the band's trademark over the last 29 years.

"A Violent Sleep of Reason" isn't an album on which the band reinvents their sound. They keep their roots and inspiration with fine-tuning it to ultimate math-brutality. What changed though, especially compared to the predecessors, is the more organic sound of the album. While “Koloss” felt like a sterile, cold and giant piece of metal the new album opens up for a more ‘natural’ sound.

Roaring riffs are in the forefront throughout. Meshuggah builds their tracks on sledgehammer-like guitars, which are the base for each of the tracks. On top of that the band comes with a rhythm section that is more than a foundation for each of the ten tracks. Dick Lövgren and Tomas Haake function as the heartbeat for these ten riff monsters, something the rest of the band build on.

Songs like "Ivory Tower" and "Our Rage Won't Die” are jaw dropping and from another planet. And in case you're waiting for a minute of leaning back for taking a deep breath, better don't expect such a moment. These 58 minutes are packed with dynamic and complex songs that act as a sonic sledgehammer. Chaos and complexity is what “The Violent Sleep of Reason” provides, performed by a band that has control over things throughout.

Meshuggah gives another proof of brutality not going in line with simplicity. Quite the opposite is the case. Bundling and structuring this energy gives the result a far deeper expression that is demanding for musicians and listener. This record isn’t for John Doe from further down the road. "A Violent Sleep of Reason" is far away from mainstream and easy-going. This album is for fans that are willing to explore note by note in more than one go. Doing this unveils the beauty of Meshuggah’s interpretation of metal.





  1. Clockworks
  2. Born In Dissonance
  3. MonstroCity
  4. By The Ton
  5. Violent Sleep Of Reason
  6. Ivory Tower
  7. Stifled
  8. Nostrum
  9. Our Rage Won’t Die
  10. Into Decay


Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: October 7th, 2016


CD review MESHUGGAH "A Violent Sleep of Reason"
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