AlbumsNovember 29, 201121,303 views

Meshuggah Catch 33


01. Autonomy Lost 02. Imprint of the Un-Saved 03. Disenchantment 04. The Paradoxical Spiral 05. Re-Inanimate 06. Entrapment 07. Mind's Mirrors 08. In Death - Is Life 09. In Death - Is Death 10. Shed Real Audio 11. Personae Non Gratae 12. Dehumanization 13. Sum
2005 Nuclear Blast Records
Our score 8

by Cory
4/30/2005

Hot on the heels of their innovative I EP, Meshuggah have created Catch 33, a monstrous symphony of polyrhythmic metal madness. The band describes Catch 33 as "an experiment of sorts," a concept album designed to flow as one complete composition. While repetition was always one of Meshuggah's tools in the studio, the band have taken it one step further on this record. Much of the record is admittedly programmed and, as always, Tomas Haake's computerized Drumkit From Hell delivers the superb precision and musically astounding beats that have helped make Meshuggah one of the world's foremost metal acts. Many metal bands have created or attempted concept albums in the past, but Meshuggah's execution sets this album apart, for better and for worse. Their devotion to the album as a singular entity has created a work that stands up as a whole, but lacks the band's signature power in its individual parts. The first three tracks all fit together seamlessly. So seamlessly, in fact, they should have been one track. The same single riff flows through all three and their total length is shorter than many of the album's other tracks. Perhaps I'm missing the artistic purpose behind this one. The album is broken up into a few groupings of this sort, with tracks 4-6 comprising the next one before the interlude "Mind's Mirrors." The challengingly long combination of "In Death - Is Life" and "In Death - Is Death" provide temporary relief from the musical onslaught before "Shed," the disc's first (and presumably only) single, brings the album back to full speed. Most of the disc's tracks begin in what seems like the middle of a song or musical idea, which made it incredibly difficult to review, but did not at all affect my enjoyment of the music. If you haven't heard Meshuggah, I don't know what I can say to describe their sound. The band has created their own style and presence, the likes of which has yet to be imitated properly. Tomas Haake's drumming (or programming thereof) has sounded pretty much the same for their last few albums, due to the fact that he has created his own near perfect set of triggered drum sounds. My personal favorite factor in the band's overall sound is the way the bass figures in so heavily. In many metal bands, guitars are favored, but in Meshuggah all parts are equal and even the vocals are more of an accent to the music. As a fan of what Meshuggah do musically, I appreciate this disc, but there is a part of me that couldn't help but wonder why the band felt the need to test their audience's attention span on two consecutive releases. Additionally, where the I EP moved quickly through its duration, Catch 33 has a few segments during which the instrumentation is so sparse, it becomes wearing to listen to. As the band said, this is an experiment and, like most artistic experiments, Catch 33 contains moments of both brilliance and failure. I'm also not entirely sure that I buy the argument that the drums had to be programmed due to the nature of the project's ever-changing song structure. No listener would ever be able to tell, but knowing this information, I can't help but feel like they're cheating. Using triggers to get an even sound is one thing. Using computers to make beats is another. Meshuggah are obviously capable of playing their material, so why not do it Bottom Line: Meshuggah could've easily released another Nothing or Chaosphere, but they refuse to rest on their laurels. Catch 33 is an experiment in structure that results in a fascinating and powerful listen. That being said, the disc certainly has its flaws and I don't see it having the mass appeal of the band's previous material. Anyone who genuinely admires Meshuggah should welcome Catch 33 as an artistic benchmark in the band's career, while casual fans may want to hold off for the next full-length, upon which the band is already hard at work.

29 comments

Post Comment
zach_ 4/30/2005 10:59:54 AM

first post


din_ 4/30/2005 11:37:44 AM

THIS ALBUM f*ckING SLAYS!!


Sean Loiselle_ 4/30/2005 11:54:19 AM

Haake has a lot of hand problems from being caught in some sort of industrial accident. My guess is that that factors in a lot with the programming.


Vagina Bile_ 4/30/2005 11:54:48 AM

I wonder when all these shitty bands on lamb goat are going to give meshuggah a little more recognition for their shitty break downs everyone loves. If it were for these geniuses, they would have their 4/4 break downs that try and replicate every rythmic source of magic Meshuggah has created.


tiger_ 4/30/2005 12:27:05 PM

what does their name mean?? i dont feel like researching it... someone here has to know. these guys are f*cking good.


Insanity_ 4/30/2005 12:43:02 PM

Meshuggah = Insane or Insanity... If i remember correctly...


rainbowsatan_ 4/30/2005 1:26:26 PM

Meshuggah is hebrew for "madness". Is this record even out yet?


be_my_hero_ 4/30/2005 1:58:05 PM

i like thursday


CJ Alderson_ 4/30/2005 2:02:33 PM

I say meh to you Cory! You are a fiend! How could you give these cheap bastards an 8 and us a 7! You sir are a disgrace to society and you lose at life!!!


this band sucks_ 4/30/2005 3:26:22 PM

add two parts nu metal, one part chug, and repeat that riff for 30 minutes at a time, out pops meshugga.


rainbowsatan_ 4/30/2005 3:36:35 PM

^has no f*cking clue what they are talking about


Dave2112_ 4/30/2005 3:36:45 PM

Well, I agree for the most part with this review, although i think way to much is being brought upon the drums being programmed. Who cares? If one band on earth could get away with writing a album behind drums that were programmed, its Meshuggah. The process behind writing this record is known only to the band, so to base an opinion on something known only to them, is pointless. Also, a correct would be that they didn't program the drums because of the parts, the programmed the drum parts becau


this band sucks_ 4/30/2005 4:07:04 PM

*wears large black pants and listens to goth* -rainbowsatan


renegade_ 4/30/2005 5:23:16 PM

ALOL rip offs


anonymous 4/30/2005 5:39:30 PM

LOL @renegade


ThousandBleedingStars_ 4/30/2005 5:45:52 PM

This is awesome. Reminds me alot of A Life Once Lost and Donnie Darko, but still good.


Alex_ 4/30/2005 7:36:54 PM

everyone insists on changing my mind about how great this band is....though i've still yet to be sold. I dont know what it is about em that i dont like but i really dont like em.


hahahahaha_ 4/30/2005 10:34:32 PM

This is Meshuggah's worst album since DEI. All you other morons talking about how this band ripped off ALOL need to do about 4 seconds of research and see when Meshuggah's first album came out. Then, promptly find another dressing room to suck dcks in at shows as ALOL fooled you all. ALOL is to Meshuggah what Cory is to Freddy Mercury. Freddy already had the Aids, Cory just wanted it.


Nick_ 4/30/2005 11:13:39 PM

^^^^^^^^ f*ck me!!! I'm still in stiches over that one


Rara_ 5/1/2005 4:58:38 AM

Hahahahaha, but seriously, I'm not into this album.


Zach_ 5/1/2005 7:06:36 PM

Meshuggah is probably my favorite band, and i was kind of disappointed by this album. but like they said, its an experiment, who cares. and as for the fake drums, it doesnt really come out that often, but there are TONS of bands that do that. Almost all of the swedish metal bands that people worship do it. Anyone who's seen Tomas Haake live knows he can play it. so why not save time and money in the studio? good review.


anonymous 5/2/2005 1:06:40 AM

meshuggah owns your face. www.hxcmp3.com/bands/22911 new song.


SMokeOutLoud_ 5/2/2005 12:00:54 PM

no hear yet. however as it goes with every band, each album has it's own form of 'decline' as far as value to listeners. For the most part, it's just monotony, which can't be helped. Once you've heard a band, one, two maybe three albums down the road, it's old. If this is truely an experiement, and is not the same meshuggah i know, hey, i'll listen once. btw - LOL to the ALOL references.


Asch_ 5/9/2005 9:39:42 PM

You dumbasses, a life once lost is ripping off shug, not the other way around. Shug came out with Chaosphere in '98, hence the beginning of their new style


\m/_ 5/14/2005 2:54:25 AM

from a musicians standpoint, these guys keep getting better and better. I don't know what I would think of them if I didn't play an instrument, but this album definitely is pushing the envelope of everything they have done so far. And as to the fake drums, anyone who as ever seen Meshuggah live will agree Haake can undoubtably play the entire album w/ out too much trouble. I think this was a studio album written by the core song writers of the band.


Isyou_ 10/14/2005 4:42:48 AM

Meshuggah plays a large segment of Catch33 live so Haake can indeed pull off the drums this album.


Zach_ 10/17/2006 11:20:58 PM

Tomas recorded every drum sound himself, the computer was only used to put each beat into the songs in the patterns and beats and time sigs they follow. Word is Fredrik wrote the drums too, or at least co-wrote.


Dirk_ 12/6/2006 10:46:58 PM

You will love this album if Ozzfest is the first place you saw them, if not then 4/10.


Metal_mania_ 5/7/2007 11:17:11 AM

f*ck 8/10 this band is one of the most boring and monotone bands i have ever listened to