Rating:
8.6
Meshuggah - Chaosphere
10 November 1998


01. Concatenation
02. New Millennium Cyanide Christ
03. Corridor Of Chameleons
04. Neurotica
05. The Mouth Licking What You've Bled
06. Sane
07. The Exquisite Machinery Of Torture
08. Elastic

Reloaded bonus tracks:
09. Sane [demo]
10. Future Breed Machine [Mayhem version]
11. Futile Bread Machine [Campfire version]
12. Future Breed Machine [Quant's Quantastical Quantasm]
13. Future Breed Machine [remix]


Just when you thought that the "grey goo" hypothesis was ludicrous, along comes Chaosphere, assembled by the technical masters, Meshuggah. Extremely influential in the metal scene, yet at the same time very underrated. Unparalleled visionaries, or maniacal lunatics? I'll leave it up to you to decide. In any case, you know as they say, "there's a fine line between genius and insanity"

So, naturally there were big boots to fill after the genre-breaking Destroy Erase Improve and, with Chaosphere, Meshuggah injected more aggression into their music than ever before. At the very core of Chaosphere lies an inorganic, synthetic heart, relentlessly pumping complex, polyrhythmic sonic impulses, defined by the gut-wrenching, bombastic guitar work while being empowered by the unorthodox, incredibly sophisticated drumming (keep your ears open for the bass drums, and you'll know what I mean). From the very first second, you are subjected to an audible juggernaut that will ruthlessly keep pounding on your ear drums! "Concatenation" makes your head ache (in a good way), with its ultra-heavy, premeditated violence, while "New Millennium Cyanide Christ" perfects this warfare with its own brand of merciless brutality. The torment does not end, however, as Meshuggah goes absolutely berserk with "The Mouth Licking What You've Bled," incidentally my favourite track of the album. When you listen to Chaosphere, you feel like you're being hit with a megaton monster truck while simultaneously crushed under a fleet of sonic tsunamis that surround you! "Organized chaos" is how I would like to describe this album.

Chaosphere is a well-oiled machine, no disputes about that, but it also has its fair share of bugs and glitches. To start with, it suffers from a strain of inconsistency that is atypical of all of Meshuggah's releases. While some tracks wreak havoc right from the get-go, others seem to lack that distinct "memorability quotient" that will keep the listener hooked for a long time, "Exquisite Machinery of Torture" being an example, which unfortunately becomes the victim of my skip button more often than not. Its overall sustainability can be questioned as well; I don't really remember myself playing it day after day, month after month, year after year, you know what I mean? Too much of Chaosphere, and you'll become nauseous of it, eventually making you vomit all of its yummy nutrients all over your favourite rug, and you don't want that, do you?

Whether or not any of this makes sense, one thing is for certain: there is not a shred of soul in Chaosphere. If you're trying to explore deep, emotional music, avoid this one like the plague! This is music programmed to invade our pathetic little minds, dehumanize us and transform us into an army of soulless cyborgs, ushering in a new era of metal under the watchful eye of the "New Millennium Cyanide Christ," as prophesized. Now that's a world I can live in any day!

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Meshuggah
Album: Chaosphere


 


written by MechanisT | 30.12.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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!J.O.O.E.! - 30.12.2010 at 19:57  
Well I wouldn't regard Mesh as especially underrated these days, everyone and their mother knows who they are and what they can do not to mention that they're ripped off by a heck load of bands.

Nice review though (especially the grey goo reference). I was never especially fond of this one myself, I always found it strange that it came after DEI as it kinda felt more like a bridge from their earlier straight thrash work to their progressive/post stuff, but that's just my tastes. I like your reviewing style a lot.
MechanisT - 30.12.2010 at 20:00  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 30.12.2010 at 19:57

Well I wouldn't regard Mesh as especially underrated these days, everyone and their mother knows who they are and what they can do not to mention that they're ripped off by a heck load of bands.

Nice review though (especially the grey goo reference). I was never especially fond of this one myself, I always found it strange that it came after DEI as it kinda felt more like a bridge from their earlier straight thrash work to their progressive/post stuff, but that's just my tastes. I like your reviewing style a lot.


Thanks for the generous words

Yes, everyone and their mother know Meshuggah, but what about papi? Surely he needs to bust his brains out with some insane music after returning home all tired!
!J.O.O.E.! - 30.12.2010 at 20:02  
Written by MechanisT on 30.12.2010 at 20:00


Thanks for the generous words

Yes, everyone and their mother know Meshuggah, but what about papi? Surely he needs to bust his brains out with some insane music after returning home all tired!

I dunno, after a hard day's work I'd probably go for something a bit less intense myself. This album could push someone over the edge, especially if you're stressed over a job you hate.
MechanisT - 30.12.2010 at 20:07  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 30.12.2010 at 20:02

Written by MechanisT on 30.12.2010 at 20:00


Thanks for the generous words

Yes, everyone and their mother know Meshuggah, but what about papi? Surely he needs to bust his brains out with some insane music after returning home all tired!

I dunno, after a hard day's work I'd probably go for something a bit less intense myself. This album could push someone over the edge, especially if you're stressed over a job you hate.


Well, he can always use that extra adrenaline when he finds his wife cheating him with another man...
!J.O.O.E.! - 30.12.2010 at 20:13  
Written by MechanisT on 30.12.2010 at 20:07

Well, he can always use that extra adrenaline when he finds his wife cheating him with another man...

I hope this isn't all based on personal experiences... that would be pretty depressing.
MechanisT - 30.12.2010 at 20:17  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 30.12.2010 at 20:13

Written by MechanisT on 30.12.2010 at 20:07

Well, he can always use that extra adrenaline when he finds his wife cheating him with another man...

I hope this isn't all based on personal experiences... that would be pretty depressing.


Nah, just kidding (or was I?). Anyways,I do find them a tad underrated tbh, I expected them to be on the top 50, yet somehow they linger at 88th...now that's depressing...
!J.O.O.E.! - 30.12.2010 at 20:22  
Written by MechanisT on 30.12.2010 at 20:17

Nah, just kidding (or was I?). Anyways,I do find them a tad underrated tbh, I expected them to be on the top 50, yet somehow they linger at 88th...now that's depressing...

Yeah I'd have expected them to be a bit higher. They've notched nearly 250,000 listeners on Last.fm though which is pretty impressive.
MechanisT - 30.12.2010 at 20:26  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 30.12.2010 at 20:22

Written by MechanisT on 30.12.2010 at 20:17

Nah, just kidding (or was I?). Anyways,I do find them a tad underrated tbh, I expected them to be on the top 50, yet somehow they linger at 88th...now that's depressing...

Yeah I'd have expected them to be a bit higher. They've notched nearly 250,000 listeners on Last.fm though which is pretty impressive.


True them words, sir.
rational.gaze - 31.12.2010 at 18:01  
Killer review! I strongly agree with your sentiment of being devoid of emotion and soul. In my opinion it acts as an inverse of the latter, bombarding the listener with an onslaught of calculated devastation. Of all their discography, Chaosphere falls #2, surpassed by Catch 33. I like to compare the band to an aged whiskey...you know its good but sometimes its hard to understand exactly why until youve sampled it a few times. Meshuggah isn't easy to sit through a whole album repeatedly, as you stated in your review (with the exception of the 2 or 3 astounding, trademark songs). I have to listen to the more drawn out songs separately sometimes to get the jist of whats going on. When driving or whatever, as you do, I skip over those tracks. When I want to decipher the drone tracks, I listen to them first thing in the morning or put them on as background music to subconsiously absorb whats going on. Again, awesome and thorough review. Coming from a huge Meshuggah fan, its spot on.
!J.O.O.E.! - 31.12.2010 at 18:08  
Written by rational.gaze on 31.12.2010 at 18:01

Coming from a huge Meshuggah fan

Never would have guessed that with your username =P
Valaskjalf - 03.01.2011 at 03:17  
Very good review, and so pleased that this album gets some recognition. People always seem tip-toe around this one an talk about either "Destroy Erase Improve" or "Nothing", which in their own rights are fantastic, but "Chaosphere" for me is their pinnacle. Its the album that got me into extreme music 12 years ago when I wasnt really listening to anything much heavier than Machine Head.

Awesome album, for the little emotion it has, it makes up by brute force and brain-drilling heaviness.
Valaskjalf - 03.01.2011 at 03:25  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 30.12.2010 at 20:22

Written by MechanisT on 30.12.2010 at 20:17

Nah, just kidding (or was I?). Anyways,I do find them a tad underrated tbh, I expected them to be on the top 50, yet somehow they linger at 88th...now that's depressing...

Yeah I'd have expected them to be a bit higher. They've notched nearly 250,000 listeners on Last.fm though which is pretty impressive.


I agree on the underrated bit...thing is their music isnt much of a crowd pleaser for the general metalhead - you cant even properly headbang to it! lol Its not something you can just come to grips with immediately and from what a lot of my friends tell me is that they jsut dont gel with Meshuggah even though they listen to similarly technical metal. Theres something a bit too mechanical and they confuse the intricacies in the band's music with monotony. Most people who i talk to who dont like Meshuggah find them boring and dont invest the time to actually look past the "noise" or "lack of structure". I think Meshuggah perhaps has too much structure, just not in the obvious way that people expect lol
MechanisT - 03.01.2011 at 12:09  
Written by Valaskjalf on 03.01.2011 at 03:25

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 30.12.2010 at 20:22

Written by MechanisT on 30.12.2010 at 20:17

Nah, just kidding (or was I?). Anyways,I do find them a tad underrated tbh, I expected them to be on the top 50, yet somehow they linger at 88th...now that's depressing...

Yeah I'd have expected them to be a bit higher. They've notched nearly 250,000 listeners on Last.fm though which is pretty impressive.


I agree on the underrated bit...thing is their music isnt much of a crowd pleaser for the general metalhead - you cant even properly headbang to it! lol Its not something you can just come to grips with immediately and from what a lot of my friends tell me is that they jsut dont gel with Meshuggah even though they listen to similarly technical metal. Theres something a bit too mechanical and they confuse the intricacies in the band's music with monotony. Most people who i talk to who dont like Meshuggah find them boring and dont invest the time to actually look past the "noise" or "lack of structure". I think Meshuggah perhaps has too much structure, just not in the obvious way that people expect lol


...and that is exactly why I love Meshuggah!
Valaskjalf - 03.01.2011 at 16:17  
One other thing, what do you think of "Neurotica" and "Corridor of Chameleons"? My two favorite tracks on the album...especially Neurotica, with its intro riff that seems to go just a little bit longer than expected every time and then explodes into one of the best metal riffs Ive ever heard, disharmonic and almost too melodious for Meshuggah but in a good way. And then Corridor of Chameleon with its super random lyrics and riffing which always reminds me of a bread machine in a super market lol The "breakdown" in that song around 2:50 is so neckbreak inducing you cant NOT play it at full volume and headbang yourself into paralysis.

Seriously good album, I can listen to it over and over all day long even a decade after it's release...in fact I just put it on now while typing this
MechanisT - 03.01.2011 at 17:03  
Written by Valaskjalf on 03.01.2011 at 16:17

One other thing, what do you think of "Neurotica" and "Corridor of Chameleons"? My two favorite tracks on the album...especially Neurotica, with its intro riff that seems to go just a little bit longer than expected every time and then explodes into one of the best metal riffs Ive ever heard, disharmonic and almost too melodious for Meshuggah but in a good way. And then Corridor of Chameleon with its super random lyrics and riffing which always reminds me of a bread machine in a super market lol The "breakdown" in that song around 2:50 is so neckbreak inducing you cant NOT play it at full volume and headbang yourself into paralysis.

Seriously good album, I can listen to it over and over all day long even a decade after it's release...in fact I just put it on now while typing this


Yeah, this album is on heavy rotation on my playlist nowadays, and I still find it as excellent as ever.
Personally, "Corridor of Chameleons" is killer material as usual, and regarding "Neurotica", well, I don't find it as awesome as some of the other songs here, but a darn good song nonetheless. The only songs in here which I don't like is "Exquisite..." and "Elastic", but only because it's soooo long.
Illog1cal - 12.02.2013 at 01:26  
One of the most insane creations man has ever created.

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