It’s so inspiring when a band manages, fifteen + years into their career, to produce work as original and powerful as this. After testing the “epic” waters with last years “I” ep – a 21 minute slab of perfection – Meshuggah has expanded its vision to an entire album-length composition, “Catch 33.”
True, there are 13 song titles corresponding to 13 tracks on the CD, but this track indexing has nothing to do with individual songs; tracks 1-3 all blend seamlessly together and function as a single chunk of music. Likewise, tracks 4-6 also form one “song,” or at least one sub-section of the album as a whole. The album is clearly meant to function as one complete work; the opening theme gets reworked a few times over the course of the album, as do certain other musical ideas.
Personally, I almost always just listen to the whole thing, although occasionally I will skip straight to track 8, “In Death,” which features my favorite riff on the album.
Even for Meshuggah, this one stretches the boundaries of rhythm and melody – this band can take two notes and make an incredibly complicated groove simply by playing with the time signature. But there are also some soft passages with clean guitars, which display a strong sense of harmony. This album has it all.
Of course, the recording quality is nothing short of stunning.