Over the years, Swedish tech-metal behemoths Meshuggah have constantly shifted the boundaries of an entire genre and inspired wave after wave of bands hoping to ape their sound. With each subsequent album, the Swedes have torn up their blueprint and had you re-evaluating everything you thought you knew about the band. With the release of their ninth studio recording, Immutable, they do this same very thing.

Hailed by many as pioneers of heavy music, the fact that Meshuggah can keep reinventing themselves is quite breathtaking and, as a jarring, chugging riff slams Immutable into your face, this creative musical juggernaut clearly has no thoughts of slowing down. As the waves of grinding tech metal are filled out with an almost eerie vocal line, the hairs should already be standing up on the back of your neck. The album then lurches into “The Abysmal Eye,” an immaculate, crushing display of tech metal. Brutally clinical, the record returns to that juddering, skull-rattling delivery for “Phantoms” and “Ligature Marks,” both perfect examples of how devastatingly heavy and sonically epic this band can be.

“They Move Below” is the first time where we see these pioneers shifting gears on Immutable as they really start to mix things up. Opening up with some nice, soothing passages before those familiar foundation-shaking riffs appear on the horizon, interspersed with a trippy, head-melting twist. At nine and a half minutes long, the first track on the album to run over the five-and-a-half-minute mark, this instrumental is probably the moment where you realize that, up to this point, the Swedes have just been toying with you… and now they’re wheeling out the big guns for the second half of this sonic monster.

“Kaleidoscope” has a ridiculous groove to it but one that, in true Meshuggah style, fights for attention when coupled with Jens Kidman’s throaty barks. “Black Cathedral” is another instrumental, but one that almost has cold, harsh black metal blood pulsing through its veins. Of course, as only Meshuggah can, they follow that up by drilling a ridiculous chugging groove into your head in “I Am That Thirst.” At this point, if your mind isn’t completely blown, it will be just as soon as both “The Faultless” and “Armies of The Preposterous” have steamrollered you over in an almost perfect display of tech-metal savagery.

At over an hour+, there is no denying that Immutable is a true test of your stamina but, if you’ve ever entered into the world of musical head-fuckery that is Meshuggah, you should be well prepared for the journey ahead. Immutable is Meshuggah at their absolute finest. They’re a band who have been copied by many but, as this collection of prog/psychedelic/tech metal creations pulls your mind and body apart, nine albums into their career, the Swedes have again showed the rest of the world that they are still a million miles ahead.

Immutable Track Listing:

1. Broken Cog
2. The Abysmal Eye
3. Light The Shortening Fuse
4. Phantoms
5. Ligature Marks
6. God He Sees In Mirrors
7. They Move Below
8. Kaleidoscope
9. Black Cathedral
10. I Am That Thirst
11. The Faultless
12. Armies Of The Preposterous
13. Past Tense

Run Time: 66:43
Release Date: April 1, 2022
Record Label: Atomic Fire Records

Author

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.