Alcatraz Line up: 2019
Even early on in their career the Swedes from Meshuggah were ahead of their time. While their debut ‘Contradictions Collapse’ (1991) was basically a thrash album with some progressive tendencies mixed in, their sophomore effort was fuelled by an innovative fusion of death metal, thrash and progressive metal. Subsequent recordings have been more groove-oriented and therefore slower paced but touches of other genres are always present. The individual members are all consummate musicians in their own right but as a unit, these djent pioneers cannot be described in terms of labels as no two records sound the same. If you’re new to Meshuggah then try their celebrated seventh CD ‘Koloss’ (2012) as it offers a great summary of the band’s catalogue up until that point. ‘The Violent Sleep of Reason’ (2017) is the first album in ages where the musicians recorded their parts while physically in the same room, resulting in the most organic-sounding Meshuggah effort in ages. If you’re into groovy, complex, masterfully performed yet accessible metal then Meshuggah will definitely float your boat.