The lords of the polyrhythm are back with their ninth studio album Immutable and even after 30 years, Meshuggah is still killing it and showing the world they can write some incredible music. Straight off the bat, from the opening track Broken Cog, you know you’ve put on a Meshuggah album, it's their sound, their riff style, you know it’s going to be good, and you know you’ll get what you want out of it.
This album blends amazingly, the song progression from track 1 to track 13, over 60-Minutes of riffing, flows like a river, Immutable is incredibly well written and produced, which you’ve come to expect from this band. This is the kind of album you should have on and listen to in its entirety. Whether the album lyrically is conceptual or not, I am unsure, but the music definitely sounds like it is or at least produced in a way to be cinematic or soundtrack-esque and even has a 9:30 minute instrumental, They Move Below, about halfway through the album. This song breaks up and revitalizes the album, flow, its starts slow and builds all over again to then bring you into Kaleidoscope which brings it straight back into the single string chugginess. On my first play-through of the album, I put it on and just listened without really taking note of a track change and then realised I was halfway through the album, it's just ebbs and flows in the right places.
One thing I have always loved about this band, regardless of what they are playing, you are always able to find the beat and headband along. These songs aren’t riddled with changing riffs, crazy interludes, or bridges, they are generally a couple of different riffs per song and then fleshed out with some lead work here and there. It really gives you time to enjoy the riff and get into the flow of the song, sometimes I find in prog metal that bands try and cram as many riffs into a song as they can and you get “Oh that’s a killer riff….. and it's gone” you don’t find that with Immutable.
The three singles released from this album, The Abysmal Eye, Lighting the Shortening Fuse and I Am The Thirst will give you a slight taster of the album, pretty good choices from Immutable to show off. The Abysmal Eye has a film clip that is visually stimulating as there is a ton of imagery flowing across the screen, vast deserts and of course, eyes everywhere. My favourite track off the album is Ligature Marks, this is ridiculously heavy and ambient. The repeating rhythm just hypnotizes you into head banging, you can’t help it.
Hearing this album, you can hear how Meshuggah have really paved the way for Modern Metal and their influence on the scene, whether the current bands are conscious of it or not. They are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to their craft and this album just further cements that in. I hope that by the time they get to tour this and even get to Australia, they are all fit and fighting, the drummer, and goddamn WHAT a drummer, Tomas Haake has been suffering from a skin condition that has caused issues playing but you wouldn’t even notice from listening to this. Meshuggah are unstoppable and Immutable.