Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Meshuggah (named after the Yiddish word for "crazy") is a five-piece Scandinavian/tech metal band from Umeå, Sweden who use extended polyrhythmic passages, complex drum patterns, odd time signatures, smooth, melodic lead guitar solos, and harsh, atonal vocals.
Meshuggah was formed in Umeå in 1987; two years later, the band released their first record, an EP entitled Psykisk Testbild (which can be roughly translated as "psychological test picture", perhaps in reference to a Rorschach Test image). This recording displayed a straightforward thrash metal-influenced sound along the lines of Metallica's concurrent releases. What made the band unique, however, were hints at the more complex music that the band would later develop into their signature sound. As the group grew older, they further refined the technicality of their musicianship and songwriting. They also began recording more and more extreme music, influenced by both death metal and thrash metal, yet not similar to or categorizable as either.
Among the band's most recognizable qualities are lead guitar player Fredrik Thordendal's smooth, clean, Allan Holdsworth-esque type solos, the nearly atonal rhythm guitars, the constant use of unconventional time signatures, and long polyrhythmic passages help create the chaotic sound of Meshuggah. Guitarists Thordendal and Hagström use custom-made Nevborn eight-string guitars. These guitars add deeper strings to allow the crushing, heavy riffs to be played in the lowest register possible.
- Psykisk Testbild [EP] - (1989)
- Contradictions Collapse - (1991)
- None [EP] - (1994)
- Destroy Erase Improve - (1995)
- Chaosphere - (1998)
- Nothing - (2002)
- I [EP] - (2004)
- Catch Thirty-Three (2005) release dates: May 16, 2005 (Europe), May 31, 2005 (USA)1
Live and other releases
- Selfcaged [Demo] - (1995)
- The True Human Design [Compilation] - (1997)
- Contradictions Collapse & None [Compilation] - (1998)
- Rare Trax [Compilation] - (2001)
- Jens Kidman - Vocals - (1987-)
- Fredrik Thordendal - Guitar - (1987-)
- Mårten Hagström - Guitar - (1992-)
- Dick Lövgren - Bass - (2004-)
- Tomas Haake - Drums - (1990-)
- Marcus Bigren - Guitar - (1990)
- Gustaf Hielm - Bass - (1998-2004)
- Peter Nordin - Bass - (1987-1995)
- Niklas Lundgren - Drums - (1987-1990)
- Meshuggah Official Homepage
- meshuggarchive.tk - Comprehensive link archive for all things Meshuggah.
- Espen's Meshuggah Thesis - An essay discussing the various elements of the music of Meshuggah.
- Meshuggah Official Forum
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