Meshuggah - Alive (Nuclear Blast/Riot)

It's a DVD, but forces conspired to send me the audio part of the package only. Oh well. I could listen to this and watch one of the films I got for christmas instead. Death Race or Home Alone 2?
Release Date: 
8 Feb 2010 (All day)

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The next five hundred odd words you read are going to be the literary equivalent of a man wanking his brains out. Not a listless, mid-afternoon ‘fuck I hate myself’ kind of wank either. The kind of frenzied, purposeful wank where you’ve just seen someone’s nipples or something. Seriously, this band are like that to me.

Meshuggah are basically the best metal band on the planet for me. If I had to choose one metal band to save in a global apocalypse it’d be them. I wouldn’t like half as much of the stupid noise I like if it weren’t for these Swedish sluggers. And noooo I didn’t get into them because Jack ‘Betty Ford’ Osbourne played them on his stupid show. I actually found out about them through an interview with artsy scottish post-rockers Mogwai, if you can believe that. Imagine being 16 and hearing Chaosphere for the first time. It’d blow your head off, which is precisely what it did to me all those years ago, when the heaviest thing I’d heard prior to that was my fat auntie farting.

Now we have a live DVD! Called Alive! Kiss are probably pissed. Well, to be honest I only have the CD portion of the package, so I can’t comment on how good the visual side is, but if it’s anything like the nonsense on the Raretrax CD (which included utterly amazing footage of the band cocking up in the studio and headbanging to folk), it’ll be funny as fuck. It was like the Pantera home video, without any of the inept redneck bullshit. Hopefully Alive will deliver on that count.

The audio part of the package though, I can confirm with gleeful aplomb, is absolutely fucking crushing. A minimum of stage banter, and an absolute maximum of detuned, polyrhythmic fuckbuggery. Even the songs from the altogether slightly underwhelming (though still excellent) ObZen album make more sense here, Electric Red and Lethargica in particular.

As expected though, it’s material from Nothing and Chaosphere which rules the dystopian roost. Seriously, if you can name me a better all-out metal song than Straws Pulled at Random you probably think Saxon represent metal at its best. You fucking spastic. When that song segues seamlessly into a bullet sleek New Millenium Cyanide Christ (a name that William S Burroughs would KILL for) you know you’ve got a pretty excellent live package on your hands. Need I mention that the band are tighter than a butch Scot in a gay bar?  Well they are. Messieurs Haake, Thordendal, Hagstrom and Lovgren play with the proficiency of evil robots, whilst Kidman (not Nicole) strains his vocals to beyond breaking point, managing to sound even more threatening than on record.

So you should buy it. It’s the best metal band in the world on top of their game. Hell, when they can afford to leave their ‘hit’ (Future Breed Machine) off the CD and it still kicks all sorts of arse, you’re onto a winner.

To conclude, it should be said that I find this band’s noticeable ascent most heartwarming. I never imagined in my wildest dreams, as an acne ridden teenager, that such a staunchly uncommercial band could become as successful as they have. I mean… Nothing. It’s the heaviest thing ever. How many bands would have the balls to write something like THAT 15 years into their career? The fact that it propelled them further tells me that perhaps people aren’t quite as stupid as I feared.

In conclusion, well done Swedish fellas!

Now. I must go and find some Kleenex...