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Contradictions Collapse Classic Series

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Album Review

Reissues offer listeners something that they didn't have when an album was originally released: hindsight. Between 1991 (when Meshuggah's first full-length album, Contradictions Collapse, first came out in Europe) and 2008 (when Nuclear Blast reissued Contradictions Collapse on a 78-minute CD and added the 1994 EP None as bonus tracks), the Swedes accomplished a great deal in the metal world — and a band that started out as promising went on to become downright exceptional. Contradictions Collapse falls short of exceptional, but it is still a noteworthy outing and hints at the greatness that was to come. Back in 1991, Meshuggah favored an alternative metal/thrash metal approach that was best described as an angry, violent, dense, and brutally scorching blend of Slayer, Metallica, and Sepultura; the math metal/technical metal element was present, but Meshuggah hadn't really perfected it. There are hints of jazz fusion and progressive rock on "Qualms of Reality" and "Greed," although Meshuggah don't take that jazz/prog influence as far as they would on subsequent albums. In 1991, they still had some growing and developing to do; nonetheless, Contradictions Collapse is an exciting listen, and for longtime Meshuggah fans, it is fascinating to hear what they sounded like four years before 1995's Destroy Erase Improve, seven years before 1998's Chaosphere, and 11 years before 2002's Nothing. Nuclear Blast's 2008 reissue of Contradictions Collapse isn't recommended to novices who have yet to experience the viciously experimental pleasures of Meshuggah; Chaosphere and Destroy Erase Improve would be better starting points for novices. But Contradictions Collapse — although not essential — reminds listeners that even in the beginning, Meshuggah had a lot going for them.

Biography

Formed: 1987 in Umeå, Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Offering a complex form of metal that combined the sweeping adventurism of math rock, the oddball tempos of experimental jazz, and the stunning brutality of thrash metal, Meshuggah raised the bar for metal bands everywhere upon their debut. The roots of Swedish metal band Meshuggah were planted in 1985; originally named Metallien, the founding lineup included frontman Roger Olofsson, guitarists Peder Gustafsson and Fredrik Thordendal, bassist Janne Wiklund, and drummer Örjan Lundmark. After a few...
Full bio
Contradictions Collapse Classic Series, Meshuggah
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