That hoary ‘prog metal’ tag can be as much of a millstone as an accolade for a band, but Meshuggah are perhaps the best of even the elite in this area.
A quarter of a century in and they’ve found a way of sounding complex and intricate while never losing their innate fury. These qualities come across brilliantly on The Ophidian Trek. Recorded during their last US and European tour, this concert film has so much creative punch that every song here is taken to another dimension when compared to what the band have previously delivered on the studio versions. Much of this has to do with the manner in which the audience is involved in the music. The footage of people’s reactions here is enthralling, and instructive. While so many bands make the mistake of filming fans for a DVD as if they’re no more than mere extras, Meshuggah have made them part of the experience. In doing so, they have released something that really does justice to the whole idea of a live album. This is a climactic package that works from both the visual and audio viewpoint. It might well be the best live release of the year, and it’s a true spectacle.