25 years ago a technical Thrash Metal band started their ride and it turned out they released several albums that carved Metal into a new dimension. The staccato polyrhythmic band is one of a kind together with the monotonous screaming vocals. Tonight Meshuggah will play a selection of all their greatest hits. As exciting is Car Bomb who are the first time in the Netherlands. The frantic Mathcore act is a vicious younger brother of The Dillinger Escape Plan but carved their own niche.
Starting act tonight is Semantic Punk. The young band from Poland takes Meshuggah rhythms as starting point but the songs are much shorter and vocally it’s like if you listen to the screamers of At the Drive-In and Refused. Unfortunately I came in late so I only saw the last half of the set. The band ended with “Pstrokąty” that evolves in a long guitar ambient loop. The bass player and drummer left the stage while the guitar players are standing still and play their loop. I understand the band to have this as outro on their album to give the listener’s mind some time to relax; as a support act your time is limited and it was a better idea to play another regular song.
Car Bomb delivers us a mix of the polyrhythmic and mathematical madness of bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Meshuggah. Don't expect a perfect balance of technical virtuosity, excellent songwriting and melodic hooks. The New Yorkers are far more on the over-technical end of the spectrum. The result is a respectable performance, but with songs that are sometimes a bit too drawn-out and the struggle to stay on track this show was not an easy one. On the other hand, this is also where the band is aiming at. What lacks the most though is the visual aspect. This performance is best witnessed with eyes closed. (Car Bomb text by Astrid Zijl)
BAM! Directly with 'Future Breed Machine' Meshuggah proves they are the kings and make a complete metalgenre (the one with the stupid name) absolutely redundant. They continue with a couple of sick newbees (“obZen” or “The Hurt that finds you first”) and the sound is getting better although a layer of sub bass seems to be missing. Meshuggah shows in the past tend to be a bit more brutal. In style of last album Koloss artwork behind the band are placed on three huge wallpapers and projected with flash lights. It gave the perfect over the top feeling for the groovy technical metal band.
Celebrating 25 years means songs from the very first beginning are played tonight. “Cadaverous Mastication”, “Greed” and “Gods of Rapture” are showing a technical Thrash Metal band with the typical Thordendal solos included. The songs prove something was already in the water before the band finally caught world fame with their heavy, groovy and poly-rhythmic songs. These oldies are definitively not the best songs the Swedes have written so this was the weakest part of the set.They strike back with “Stengah” and “Bleed” and finally the crowd really goes meshuggah on the heavy neck breaking rhythms. The best is served at the end with “Straws Pulled at Random” and the total surprising encores “In Death – Is Life” and “In Death – Is Death” of my favorite Meshuggah album Catch33. The repeating riffs, sickening screams and drums are driving you insane in a positive way. After one and a half hour the Swedish catharsis is completed and satisfied the packed Melkweg.
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