Personnel: Jens Kidman (vocals); Fredrik Thordendal, Mårten Hagström (guitar); Tomas Haake (drums).
Audio Mixer: Danne Bergstrand.
Recording information: Fear And Loathing Studios, Stockholm Sweden.
Rather than trying to beat their ever-growing legion of imitators at their own game, Swedish prog metal destroyers Meshuggah look to prove that other bands not only aren't in the same league as them, but aren't even playing the same sport. On Koloss, their seventh album, they call upon all of their technical mastery as they take a slower, more groove-oriented approach to songwriting that's more about the perfect execution of precisely syncopated riffs than simply getting out there and proving that they've taken guitar lessons. While restraint isn't necessarily a word one would seem likely to use while describing a band as extreme as Meshuggah, it's exactly that quality that makes Koloss such a solid, even airtight, album. With so many years of experience as innovators under their belts, they have the kind of restraint and patience required to not overplay songs like the album-opening "I am Colossus" and the later track "Swarm." Rather than feel the constant need to dazzle the listener with guitar heroics, Meshuggah let everything just unfold in the most brutally heavy and effective way possible. With their status as the old guard on the more progressive end of the extreme music spectrum, Meshuggah have easily proven to listeners time and time again that they know their way around their instruments better than most, so even though Koloss isn't the band's most daring or experimental work to date, it's definitely worth any metal fan's time. ~ Gregory Heaney