Meshuggah (4 stars)

The Garage, Glasgow, Mon 8 Sep 2008

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Its been a long time coming for the return of the Swedish metallers and many may have wondered whether it would actually ever happen. Their last appearance this side of the border was way back in 95' supporting Machine Head with two cancelled shows in-between. But, forgiving the long absence and with the release of the excellent new album Obzen, anticipation for Meshuggah is high.

Rather bizarrely, as the excitement grows, we are treated to a good twenty minutes of 'Do Ya' Think I'm Sexy' coming out of the PA on a loop. A few even seem to be dancing. Then as the lights are dimmed everyone knows it's time to get down to business. On vocal attack Jens Kidman wastes little time with niceties. He prowls the stage with his demented on-stage persona, rolling his eyes back and staring down the crowd. He roars through new songs such as Bleed and Electric Red amongst older favourites such as Stenga.

Despite being at the more technical end of the market, Meshuggah have an experimental and stylistic approach that sets them apart from other metal bands. However the poor acoustics in the Garage left a lot of the guitarist Frederik Thordendal's s atmospheric notes and jazzy solos hard to decipher. Otherwise the drilling drum patterns of Tomas Haake and the crunch of the 8-string guitars (yup, 8-string) was immense.

The best reactions greet songs from the Destroy Erase Improve album, with Suffer in Truth causing a unison of furious heads thundering up and down. The intensity rises a further notch as the squeal of the staccato intro to Future Breed Machine begins. This turns out to be the final song of the night and is followed by chants of 'One More Tune' and 'Me-shug-gah - Me-shug-gah' long after their exit. After such a long wait a mere hours performance was a tad disappointing.

Still, what an hour.

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