“Koloss”: the not-so-colossus album by Meshuggah


Meshuggah’s Mårten Hagström, Dick Lövgren, Jens Kidman, Fredrik Thordendal, and Tomas Haake, from left to right. “We know our limitations, and we also know what we want to do,” says Haake. EDVARD HANSSON & BRENDAN BALDWIN*

By Dagoberto Alfaro, Reporter

From the depths of eerie halls, the spoken words of Meshuggah are frightening yet exciting. They bring a different approach to metal.

Founded in Umeå, Sweden, in 1987, Meshuggah made a breakthrough with their first debut EP, Meshuggah, they produced a new sound in the metal scene and brought forth a second coming in the genre. However, Meshuggah’s album, “Koloss” is on the lowball of albums. 

The metal group released the 10-song album in 2012. 

With so many songs, it seems a shame not to review them all, but for time’s sake, the selections have been narrowed down to the top three. The top tracks were difficult to choose because the album itself is intense, but in the heat of the moment, one has to defer to “The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance”, “Behind The Sun”, and “Swarm”.

Listeners will like the album for its infectious and vibrant sounds. The mix of ambient riffs and heavy bass lines smashed with gut-wrenching vocals and choppy drums fills a chef’s kiss to the ears. Audiences will enjoy the breakdowns: throughout the whole album, every song brings the diligence of metal. Its progressiveness is bound to keep people listening. 


“The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance” includes vulgar riffs, and takes more of a guttural approach throughout the whole song. Although the vocals could be heavier, overall, the combination of every increment of the song makes for a balanced piece of music. Towards the end, there is also a solo that makes the song more intense, but also tones down the heaviness for a little bit so it gives listeners some wiggle room to recover from what they heard before jumping right back in.


The next song on the list, “Behind The Sun”, comes with a slow intro and pops to sludgy but clean riffs. It takes a slower pace, yet still feels engulfed. As the track cuts to the last few minutes, the beat becomes faster and more brutal. These are the riffs that are bound to move listeners’ heads.


Last but not least, “Swarm”: this song covers the cluster of a guitar riff, and binds the album’s tracks together. Vocals are gentle, yet still indulging.  As the song takes a faster approach, it still sticks complicated beats, and the lyrics are flush with meaning.

Although the album is mid-tier, it still takes an addictive toll on the listener. The audience will appreciate the heavy music, as well as the mixture of slow and fast beats that always call havoc into the room.