It says much for Meshuggah's sonic single-mindedness that, over a quarter-century career, they have been consistently classified as “extreme” or “progressive” metal – neither mellowing into “meh”-tal nor standing stylistically still long enough for the mainstream to catch up. For all their storied technical prowess and software-based songwriting and recording, the Swedish quintet's sound is squeezably visceral: disquieting grooves and ominously oblique riffs tethered taut to humanity by Jens Kidman's perpetually livid, peeled-raw roar. Never pandering to expectation with self-conscious aural wackiness, Me-shuggah's latest opus, 2012's Koloss, is in fact less experimental than many of its predecessors but digs deep into both the band's and listeners' psyches with (mostly) slower grooves and obsessively precise execution. Never easy listening; always hard to ignore.
Fri., June 6, 7 p.m., 2014
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