Rock Feeder


by on Apr.22, 2008, under Metal Music News

Swedish Math Metal legends MESHUGGAH are confirmed for the WITH FULL FORCE Festival, taking place July 4-6, 2008 at Flugplatz Roitzschjora in Löbnitz, Germany.
Other confirmed Nuclear Blast-Bands on the billing are:
MESHUGGAH havev just released their latest effort obZen on March, 7.

meshuggah photo 2008Among the band’s most recognizable qualities are lead guitar player Fredrik Thordendal’s abrasive, chaotic and discordant solos, singer Jens Kidman’s vocals, which resemble manic screams and shouts, the churning, dissonant rhythm guitars and the polymetric drum beats. In a typical Meshuggah song, there are two separate rhythms present: a standard 4/4 meter and a completely different metrical subdivision played by the guitars. Oftentimes, drummer Tomas Haake plays two separate rhythms: a standard 4/4 beat with his hands while following the different metrical subdivision of the guitars with his feet. However, this is not the only arrangement used. Sometimes Haake’s cymbals will follow the steady 4/4 while his snare goes with the bass drum/guitars. Other times his snare will stay with the steady 4/4 while his cymbals follow the bass drum/guitars. Sometimes, Haake follows the guitar parts entirely (cymbals, snare, and drum) and the listener is left to follow the beat on their own. All this together creates an awkward but pulsating rhythmic pattern that works as the basis of Meshuggah’s songs.
For example, the main riff of the song “New Millennium Cyanide Christ,” from their 1998 album Chaosphere, follows the first aforementioned blueprint. Haake beats a rather slow 4/4 rhythm with his hands, while the bass drums and guitars play a repetitive 23/16 rhythm pattern on top of it. As the subdivided pattern is repeated, the pattern’s accents shift to different beats on each repetition. After repeating the 23/16 pattern five times, a shorter 13/16 pattern is played once. These patterns sum up to 128 16th notes which equals exactly 8 measures in 4/4 meter. This, however, makes it a syncope, not a polyrhythm.
An example of when Haake’s cymbals keep the steady 4/4 while his snare and bass drum follow the guitars would be the beginning of Stengah from their album Nothing up until the 1:44 mark. An example of when Haake’s snare follow the steady 4/4 (in this case, on every 3) while his cymbals and bass drum follow the guitars come right after the last example, from 1:44-2:00 also on Stengah from their album Nothing. An example of when Haake follows the guitars entirely can be found from the beginning until the 2:00 mark of the song Concatenation from their album Chaosphere.
It is also notable that the band’s songs rarely follow a verse-chorus structure. There is little repeating of lyrics and the lyrical passages can be considered very long verses or stanzas.
The band has evolved through a number of stylistic periods. Contradictions Collapse has a sound similar to Metallica’s concurrent albums. None is embracing a more complex approach that would lay the grounds for their later style. Destroy Erase Improve and Chaosphere have a more distinct, off-time influence along with the thrash metal sound. Nothing and Catch Thirtythree have a sound close to the vein of groove metal, consisting of droning and slow grooves.
While live drums were obviously not abandoned, an unusual decision was made to use programmed drum patterns using Toontrack’s “Drumkit from Hell Superior” (developed in co-operation with Tomas Haake and Morgan Ågren) sample library on their album, Catch Thirtythree, not only providing a more precise and mechanized drumscape, but also making drum beat creativity a more collaborative effort amongst all of the band members. It cemented the album as one of the band’s most complex works to date. The band members have, however, stated in several interviews that the decision to use programmed drums was due to the lack of time given by their label to produce the record.

On their latest records (I, Catch Thirtythree, the re-release of Nothing, and obZen), guitarists Thordendal and Hagström use custom-made Nevborn, and custom Ibanez eight string guitars. These guitars add two low strings to allow the crushing, heavy riffs to be played in even lower registers. They currently use Line 6’s Vetta II Amps.

source – wicki

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