1998, Music

Chaosphere (1998) by Meshuggah

I listen to every record I review a bare minimum of three times (but rarely more than that unless I own the album and have heard it before). But every so often I listen to a record three times and I’m pretty sure I need to listen to it more to figure it out. This is one of those records.

Why am I having that feeling? Well, this is basically what can only be called mechanical, super syncopated rhythms playing in bizarre time signatures over which there is screaming (and a little talking) and some guitar solos that really work to avoid metal cliches. It is just absolutely bonkers. I think it’s safe to say that I have never heard anything like it (at least that I can remember). (Imagine Tool with a screamer instead of a singer, a way more mechanical “groove” if you can call it that – there’s no swing here – and even more complicated rhythms, and you get only the faintest idea.)

This is crazy difficult music that is willfully inaccessible and only for those who dare to approach such things. (Probably you should be listening to math rock prior to listening to this band, to get yourself in the right frame of mind.)

As someone who likes difficult music that challenges me and appreciates good musicianship, I respect the effort here, even if I have yet to find that moment when it clicks for me. I hope that, in time, it will open up to me and I won’t just respect it I’ll like it. (I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to count it though.)


  1. “Concatenation” (Lyrics by Haake, Music by Thordendal) 4:17
  2. “New Millennium Cyanide Christ” (Lyrics by Haake, Music by Thordendal, Hagström) 5:36
  3. “Corridor of Chameleons” (Lyrics by Haake, Music by Thordendal) 5:02
  4. “Neurotica” (Lyrics and Music by Hagström) 5:20
  5. “The Mouth Licking What You’ve Bled” (Lyrics by Haake, Music by Thordendal) 3:57
  6. “Sane” (Lyrics by Haake, Music by Kidman, Hagström) 3:49
  7. “The Exquisite Machinery of Torture” (Lyrics by Haake, Music by Haake, Thordendal) 3:56
  8. “Elastic” (Lyrics by Haake, Music by Hagström) 15:30
  • Jens Kidman – vocals
  • Gustaf Hielm – bass
  • Tomas Haake – drums, vocals (on “Sane” and “The Exquisite Machinery of Torture”)
  • Mårten Hagström – rhythm guitar
  • Fredrik Thordendal – lead guitar, synthesizers

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