I (Special Edition)

Umeå’s djentle giants revisit their off-road indulgence

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Even by their own skewed standards, Meshuggah went off on a tangent when they recorded I as a one-off independent release in 2004.

This expanded reissue is a reminder that this band approach everything from angles that their acolytes and peers wouldn’t even know about. Twenty-one minutes of scattershot polyrhythms, jarring ambience and riffs that could only be danced to by a Meccano octopus, I itself is as uncompromising and clever as anything in the Swedes’ catalogue. Not that anything Meshuggah have made since Destroy Erase Improve has been less than essential, of course, but the bonus tracks here do seem incongruous tethered to the mind-shattering lead track. Live versions of Bleed and Dancers To A Discordant System are punishing and hypnotic and the slithering Pitch Black will be familiar, but there’s no mistaking the supremacy of the main event.

Via Nuclear Blast