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Why I Love... Meshuggah

Heart Of A Coward’s ringleader pays tribute to Sweden’s tech-metal revolutionaries.


“They turned the metal world upside and made everyone scratch their heads and say, ‘What the fuck?’ To begin with they were a cool name to drop but a lot of people couldn’t stand more than one or two tracks without going crazy, like it was some kind of weird sensory deprivation version of heavy music. But once you invest the time into it and pay attention to the complexity of the arrangements, and how everything reconciles within that, they’re unbeatable. A lot of bands go off on that technical tip but there’s no songs and no structure . Meshuggah riffs build in movements, almost like a classical piece. When music evolves, it’s important to build on that original template, but Meshuggah were so far ahead of their time, they have no need to evolve. They stand alone. ”


“When it comes to polyrhythms and the whole modern technical metal movement, all of the bands that followed in the first wave of post-Meshuggah technical stuff like Sikth and Dillinger Escape Plan, I’m sure they were all influenced by Meshuggah. I remember reading an interview with Deftones in Metal Hammer when I was a teenager, and their guitarist, Steph Carter, said that Destroy Erase Improve was the album that made him want that heavy guitar tone. So their influence stretches a long way.”


“Meshuggah are technical metal, but they’re insanely heavy, too. That concrete slab heaviness is what we were going for in Heart Of A Coward. We’re into Pantera and Metallica too, but Meshuggah is a huge part of what we do. If you don’t like those huge grooves and huge riffs, you have no business listening to modern heavy music. How can you like crushing music and then not get a stonking boner when you hear Catch Thirtythree? There must be something wrong with you.”


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