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Meshuggah - Immutable (Album Review)

Thursday, 14 April 2022 Written by Will Marshall

The definition of immutable is “unchanging over time or unable to be changed”. As strange as it may seem for a band with their legacy and status as innovators, Meshuggah more than fit the bill with their ninth album. This is, at its core, a band doing what they do, in both the best and worst ways.

For a band that pioneered the contested djent genre, ‘Immutable’ is far too close to its title’s definition for comfort, and also suffers from being far too long for the ideas it does have to fill the space.

Opener Broken Cog chugs along at length before its first interesting moment, a meandering guitar lead that is layered upon itself. Lead single The Abysmal Eye is better equipped to capture the imagination with its  post-metal churn and Jens Kidman’s iconic bellow. 

Sadly, the rest of the album continues in much the same vein. There is plenty of the chugging, convoluted guitar work Meshuggah are known for, though the snare does keep a regular rhythm throughout, which ensures accessibility. It’s the same thing they’ve done for years, but it’s neither as towering as ‘Obzen’ or as chaotic as ‘Destroy Erase Improve’. ‘Immutable’ simply is. 

Unfortunately that’s not enough, and at over an hour in length it has outstayed its welcome by the time They Move Below lumbers into sight and takes up a full 10 minutes of runtime. It’s progressive in most of the right places and encapsulates the best that ‘Immutable’ has to offer in terms of head-nodding riffs, but also the worst as it lacks any sort of groove and its back half is lacklustre. 

From the band that gifted the world Bleed, and whose live shows have become the stuff of legend, the intensity isn’t there. The riffs and the polyrhythms are largely present and correct, but Meshuggah are idling, rather than going for the throat as they should.

Meshuggah Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu May 26 2022 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Sat May 28 2022 - MANCHESTER Manchester Academy
Sun May 29 2022 - BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
Mon May 30 2022 - GLASGOW Barrowland
Wed June 01 2022 - DUBLIN 3Olympia Theatre
Fri June 03 2022 - LONDON Royal Albert Hall

Compare & Buy Meshuggah Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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