Meshuggah

Live at The Palladium

Los Angeles, CA

October 9th, 2022

Review and photos by Travis Baumann

Swedish extreme metal pioneers, Meshuggah blast their way across America in the wake of releasing their latest masterpiece, "Immutable". Since 1987 their innovative approach to heavy metal has drawn fans who seek something monumentally heavy and ultimately complex and different.

Described as "math metal", "djent" (a sub genre they accidentally created), and "chaos metal", none of these terms really do them justice, especially when talking about their live performances.

Consisting of a group of musicians of near-virtuoso skill, they build polymetered songs where each musician might as well be playing a different song on their own that somehow synchopates in rhythm and drive with their bandmates, and builds a dense and intense wall of sound with unpredictable characteristics that draw the listener in deeper and deeper.

At its core, Meshuggah is predominantly dependent on Fredrik Thordendal, Mårten Hagström, and Tomas Haake for writing and developing their unique sound. The former two both play guitar, the latter handles the polyrhythmic drumming (and the majority of the lyrics as well). Adding on top of this insane trio is Dick Lövgren on bass guitar and Jens Kidman scream-singing over the top of all of the instrumentation.

A live performance is unforgettable, building and twisting in ways that are hard to fathom. A churning metal juggernaut that is relentless in its strength and depth. Their light show pulses and sweeps with the music, making an intense visual display to combine with audio assault.

While "Immutable" saw the most songs of any of their releases performed, they hit no less than half a dozen other albums with their lengthy set.

I have seen Meshuggah a number of times over the years and they never cease to impress me. This show was my favorite so far, with interesting back-lighting panels behind each of the band members as well as the massive set list touching upon so many of my favorites.

Setlist:

Broken Cog

Light the Shortening Fuse

Rational Gaze

Pravus

The Hurt That Finds You First

Ligature Marks

Born in Dissonance

Mind's Mirrors

In Death - Is Life

In Death - Is Death

The Abysmal Eye

Straws Pulled at Random

Encore:

Demiurge

Future Breed Machine

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