Album review: Meshuggah – Immutable

Tech titans Meshuggah make everyone else look bad again on album number nine…

Album review: Meshuggah – Immutable
Dan Slessor

Over the course of more than 30 years, tech metallers Meshuggah have made a habit out of moving the goalposts, forcing everyone else to continuously play catch-up. Returning with ninth full-length Immutable, their first in six years, they maintain their modus operandi, pushing the envelope and delivering a record that stands apart from the pack.

Though it is aptly titled, in that their core sound is unflinchingly maintained, they have once again subtly evolved, and it is arguably their most diverse collection, stretching 13 tracks out over 66 minutes. From the start they are pummelling, the slow rolling chug, ringing leads and breathy vocals of Broken Cog unsettling, and from there they launch into The Abysmal Eye, which boasts one of the top three riffs of their storied career, and it is unlikely any song this year will do as much damage.

The slow rumble of Ligature Marks is almost impossibly weighty, with a decidedly moving climax, and then there are the three instrumentals, all of which leave an impression. The brief Black Cathedrals is all guitar squall and disarmingly black metal-esque, then there’s nearly 10 minutes of the slowly evolving They Move Below, and finally haunting closer Past Tense, which ends the album on a darkly subtle note.

It really is impossible to pick fault with the record, every track playing its part, and further cementing their legend. Where Meshuggah go from here is anyone’s guess, but should they choose to call it a day with Immutable their swansong they definitely would be going out with a bang – as they rightly should.

Rating: 4/5

For fans of: Gojira, Mastodon, Metallica

Immutable is released on April 1 via Atomic Fire

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