Catch Thirty-Three
Artist: Meshuggah
Format: CD
New: Not in stock

Formats and Editions


Simper away, minions of Ludd! All the brouhaha about Meshuggah's progressive digitization doesn't amount to a hill of USB cables. Sure, the band's sixth album was largely cut and pasted into existence. Sure, the drums are sampled. Sure, the band has already announced that it won't be performing the album live, because-well, it's not that kind of party. Does that make them Milli Vanilli?

Hardly. Drummer Tomas Haake built the percussion files barehanded, using sounds created by striking the various parts of his acoustic kit with narrow, tapered wooden rods. Fredrik Thordenal and M~ayenrten Hagstr"om flailed at steel strings, while vocalist Jens Kidman bellowed his pancreas out. The biggest difference between the Swedish heavyweights and lesser metal contenders is that Meshuggah spent the better part of a year and a half finessing the self-produced Catch Thirty-Three in Cubase.

Besides, in the immortal words of William S. Burroughs, it's the results that matter. This batch radiates a brutal alien beauty that mere meatware labor-intensiveness simply can't attain. Plus, zeros and ones stay well in the background; whether gently stroked in the service of mystery, as on "Sum," or whipped into "The Paradoxical Spiral" and the 32nd note maelstroms of "Dehumanization," it's Hagstr"om and Thordenal's down-tuned custom eight-strings that provide Catch Thirty-Three's sonic signature. Is that metal enough for you?

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