Maybe it’s time that Meshuggah make an acoustic album? Just throwing it out there. Now there’s nothing inherently wrong with Koloss, it’s just nothing new for the progressive math metal juggernauts. Especially consider what a colossal record Obzen was, add a four year wait for a new album, and Koloss tends to fall flat.

Maybe it’s unfair to compare “I Am Colossus” to Obzen‘s ferocious opener “Combustion” but it needs to be done. Most of the first half, like “I Am Colossus”, just lurches along with a Meshuggah-by-numbers feel. The mechanical thrash of “The Hurt That Finds You First” is the first one that’ll have you lifting your head up and paying attention but at that point you’re already five songs in.

There’s some great stuff on here. Like I said, it’s not a bad record but at this stage in their career I tend to expect more from Meshuggah. If you want to get truly excited, skip towards the end of Koloss. If they centered the whole album around the sound of “Demiurge”, I think I would’ve been happier overall. It’s a weird, eerie little ditty with pummeling guitars. It could easily be on a soundtrack that was a tribute to the sci-fi work of Ridley Scott or H.R. Giger. It’s thunderous. It’s powerful. It’s everything that the rest of Koloss is not.

Take another winner like “Swarm” as it comes at the listener like a battering ram with those trademark guitar riffs. Where it differentiates and really steps up is Tomas Haake’s tribal beats and perfectly timed fills. Closer “The Last Vigil” hits the nail on the head with my opening statement. It’s a quiet instrumental that’s more atmosphere than anger and  perfectly wraps up Koloss. Hopefully this bleeds into the next album.

Koloss is out now on Nuclear Blast.


Grade: C



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