TVD Live Shots: Meshuggah and The Haunted at the O2 Kentish Town Forum, 1/20

I’ve seen some metal shows in my time, but Meshuggah is by far the heaviest. They make Lamb of God sound like Air Supply. Their time signatures are so incredibly insane that even Stephen Hawking would have trouble deciphering them. It’s controlled chaos that’s orchestrated perfectly by one of the most forward-thinking bands on the planet—and it’s a fucking mind trip to watch live.

Meshuggah‘s name (almost) literally translates to “crazy” in Yiddish. It’s the perfect word for encapsulating the contribution this Swedish experimental death metal band has provided the genre over the past 25 plus years. The band’s eighth studio album, The Violent Sleep of Reason, continues to push forward and evolve their very complex sound.

Drummer Tomas Haake (named by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest drummers of all time) recently talked to Loudwire about the songwriting process which is equally as complicated as the song structures. Haake says, in a nutshell, that the band doesn’t write on tour because “they tend to compartmentalize their responsibilities and even a show three months out can disrupt the writing.”

The process of writing actually starts on a computer and later translates into a live setting. Rehearsals take months to perfect the mind-bending rhythms and time signatures, and the band has reported playing one song more than 50 times straight through in rehearsal with an additional 20 in order to nail the recording.

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The show overall was sort of like having a front-row seat to the apocalypse while witnessing the detonation of a nuclear warhead—with satan himself as the master of ceremonies. To be honest, I’m not sure I could tell you which songs were the best, but I can tell you that collectively it was one of the most incredible displays of extreme music I’ve ever seen, and I highly recommend it. That is, if you can get tickets as fans are lining up in droves to witness an interpretation of what the end of the world might sound like.

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THE HAUNTED

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Check out hi-res Meshuggah shots in the gallery here.

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