Meshuggah’s sound has evolved much since they began. When they first started recording material, they sounded like a faster, rawer version of Metallica. Things eventually got more complex and they made Destroy Erase Improve, which fused melody and their grindcore stylings. Chaosphere was harder, faster, and pretty much anti-melodic. Nothing was slower, even harder, and disappointing to many fans. With I, Meshuggah has taken a new direction.
To describe the sound of I, you would have to take the sounds of the three earlier albums I mentioned and combine them. It is indeed faster than Nothing, but it retains the thundering eight-strings that made that album so hard. It also takes the better elements of Chaosphere and blends in the melody of DEI. In essence, for a one-song, 21 minute EP, it is about as perfect as it can be.
There are, of course, some new parts added to the Meshuggah sound on this album. The melody parts have a new style which I cannot really describe; they bear a resemblance to DEI’s style, but they have elements of their own. Also, Tomas Haake’s drumkit sounds different to me on this album, like it’s a machine sputtering out double bass kicks and snare hits. In all, if you are a Meshuggah fan, this CD is worth $10. Even if it contains only one song, you should listen in, because the new parts of their sound (which will probably be included on their next album, Catch 33) are contained within.