Personally, I barely consider this album "fun". This is the kind of thing I soak up with my brain and leave my heart squarely at the curb.
Yet, to the Meshuggah fan, all the difficult, disagreeable things I described above are key elements in what makes the band distinct and amazing. It's all a matter of perspective.
Meshuggah defines mutation of rhythm, their pulverizing jackhammer rhythms writhing in different time-signatures like a tortured cat. If a metalhead tried headbanging to this stuff he'd probably look like he was in the throes of a seizure.
Frederick Thordendal's unique guitar solos evoke a demented, bizarro Allan Holdsworth. Like Holdsworth, he uses a breath controller for his guitar. With this he accomplishes a tremolo-like staccato effect like a super-computer punching out lines of code. Among the armies of Hammett and Malmsteen imitations in metal, Thordendal is easily one of the genre's most unique soloists.
To get the full Meshuggah experience, it would help to be versed in some music theory. I have to say I can't completely understand the music (but at least I admit it, eh?), but I still love it -- it is unique, powerful, challenging, and unmerciful. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Meshuggah doesn't have any notable imitators -- I think that would trivialize what they do, unless of course someone came along who did it better (good luck!).
As a side-note, I saw Meshuggah open for Tool in October and needless to say I was impressed. Granted, I was a little too far away to get wrapped up in the performance's intensity (if it's a metal show I like to be close), so it was a dull enjoyment. But beholding their flawless execution of this Einsteinian metal was fookin' impressive. Composing and recording it in the studio is one thing, but to play it live...eegah! Such is a testimony of Meshuggah's uncanny talent.
Cold, mechanical, and cerebral, _Destroy Erase Improve_ is high-art out of Sweden...without a doubt one of the best and most original metal albums ever.
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