Meshuggah

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Meshuggah
Meshuggah performing live
Meshuggah performing live
Background information
Also known asMetallien (1985-1987)
OriginUmeå, Sweden
GenresExperimental metal
Years active1985–present
LabelsNuclear Blast
Fractured Transmitter
Atomic Fire
MembersJens Kidman
Fredrik Thordendal
Mårten Hagström
Tomas Haake
Dick Lövgren
Past member(s)Johan Sjögren
Jörgen Lindmark
Per Sjögren
Torbjörn Granström
Niklas Lundgren
Peter Nordin
Gustaf Hielm
Websitewww.meshuggah.net

Meshuggah is an extreme metal band from Umeå, Sweden. The band used to be named Metallien. They have been playing since 1985. Meshuggah is known for using 8-string guitars in their newest albums. Meshuggah's music uses changing time signatures and polyrhythms. The band inspired djent, a genre of metal. The band's current members are singer Jens Kidman, guitarists Fredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hagström, drummer Tomas Haake and bassist Dick Lövgren.

Meshuggah has been nominated for Grammis two times: once for Catch Thirtythree, and once for obZen. In 2018, the band was nominated for a Grammy Award for their song "Clockworks".[1] All of the band's albums after Nothing have been on the Billboard 200 music chart.

History[change | change source]

Band starts and Contradictions Collapse (1987–1994)[change | change source]

In 1985, guitarist Fredrik Thordendal started a band in Umeå.[2] The band was named Metallien. Metallien made many demo tapes, but the band ended after they were released. After the band ended, Thordendal kept using the band's name while playing music with other people.[2]

Meshuggah was made in 1987 by singer and guitarist Jens Kidman.[3][4] He named it "Meshuggah" because the word means "crazy" in Yiddish. The band recorded many demos, but broke up after Kidman left. Kidman made a new band named Calipash. It had Thordendal as a guitarist, as well as bassist Peter Nordin and drummer Niklas Lundgren.[2] Kidman and Thordendal decided to rename the band to Meshuggah.[2]

In 1989, Meshuggah released an extended play (EP) with three songs. It was named Meshuggah. It is also known as Psykisk Testbild.[5] The band made 1,000 vinyl copies of the EP. The copies were sold at a local music store.[6] In 1990, drummer Tomas Haake replaced Niklas Lundgren.

Meshuggah joined Nuclear Blast.[2] Nuclear Blast was a German heavy metal record label. They made their first album, Contradictions Collapse, in 1991. Many people liked the album, but it did not sell many copies.[5] Kidman stopped playing guitar for the band. He wanted to focus on singing.[7] Mårten Hagström joined the band to play guitar instead. He was one of Haake's friends. The band made an EP named None in 1994.[8] They also made a Japanese version of None.[9]

Thordendal was working as a carpenter. He cut off the tip of his left middle finger in an accident.[2] Haake also hurt his hand in an accident. Because of this, the band could not play music for many months. Thordendal had surgery to put his fingertip back on. The finger healed. Meshuggah recorded an EP named Selfcaged in 1994. They released it in 1995 because of the injuries.

Destroy Erase Improve (1995–1997)[change | change source]

Fredrik Thordendal (left) and Mårten Hagström (right).

In January 1995, Meshuggah went on a European concert tour. After the tour, the band made Destroy Erase Improve. This was their second album. After making the album, the band went on another European tour with Machine Head.[3] During the tour, Nordin had balance problems because of his inner ear. This made him very dizzy. Because of it, Nordin went back to Sweden. Machine Head's bassist, Adam Duce, offered to play bass for Meshuggah when Nordin was gone. The band did not want him to. They kept playing music with only four members. Hagström used a pitch shifter for the rest of the tour to make his guitar sound lower.[9]

The album was released in May 1995. Critics liked the album. One said that the album was the "work of highly skilled men with powerful instruments".[10]

Later in 1995, Meshuggah went on tour with Swedish band Clawfinger. Nordin had to leave the band because of his dizziness. Gustaf Hielm replaced him.[11] The band went on another tour in late 1995 with Hypocrisy. In 1997, the band moved to Stockholm to be closer to their record label.[5]

Meshuggah made an EP named The True Human Design in late 1997. It had one new song named "Sane". The other tracks were different versions of the song "Future Breed Machine" from Destroy Erase Improve.[12] Thordendal also released his own album. It was named Sol Niger Within. At the end of the year, Meshuggah started planning their next album.

Chaosphere and Nothing (1998–2002)[change | change source]

In May 1998, the band said that their next album would be named Chaosphere. Meshuggah recorded music for the album in May and June. The band went on a tour in the United States. They released the album in November 1998. Chaosphere had less thrash metal music on it. This was because the band wanted to make groovier music. In early 1999, Meshuggah went with Slayer on an American tour.[13]

After the concerts and new album, many popular heavy metal magazines wrote about Meshuggah.[13] The band started to write new music in 2000. They said that work was going "slowly".[3] When they were making their next album, Meshuggah released Rare Trax. This was many songs the band did not release. It also had music from the Meshuggah EP.[14] Hielm left the band in July 2001. Meshuggah joined Tool on a long concert tour. They played music for over 100,000 people.[15]

Chaosphere was recorded in five to six weeks in May 2002. The band decided to play at Ozzfest (a music festival). This made the band have to produce the album in only three days.[16] After recording the album, Meshuggah went on an American tour.[17]

The album Nothing was released in August 2002. It sold over 6,000 copies in its first week of being sold. It reached number 165 on the Billboard 200.[18] Meshuggah was the first member of Nuclear Blast that went onto the Billboard 200 music chart.[19] The compact disc version of Nothing has no words on it except for ingenting.[20] This means nothing in Swedish. At the end of 2002, the band went on another tour with Tool. They also went on their own tour.[21]

Catch Thirtythree and obZen (2003–2009)[change | change source]

Jens Kidman in 2008.

In February 2004, bassist Dick Lövgren joined Meshuggah.[22] The band released an EP named I. The EP only has one song on it, and it is 21 minutes long. The band took six months to make the EP. In May 2005, the band released the album Catch Thirtythree. It is the only Meshuggah album that has programmed drums on it.[23] Seven thousand copies of the album were sold in the first week. It went to number 170 on the Billboard 200. The band was nominated for a Swedish Grammy for the album. They made a music video for the song "Shed" in June 2005.

Meshuggah released a remixed version of Nothing in October 2006. The remix also had a DVD with videos of the band playing live, as well as the band's music videos for "Shed", "Rational Gaze", and "New Millenium Cyanide Christ".[24]

In March 2007, the band started making obZen. They finished the album in October, and released it in March 2008. Most of the time the band took making the album was used to learn how to play the music they wrote. It was the longest time they had ever taken making an album. obZen reached number 59 on the Billboard 200 music chart. It sold 50,000 copies after six months. After releasing the album, the band went on a world tour. They played in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

In January 2009, obZen was nominated for a Swedish Grammy award.[25] However, it did not win. Haake said the band was planning on making another album. In April, Meshuggah had to cancel the concerts they were going to play at. This was because Haake had a herniated disc in his spine.[26] He got surgery for it, and the band was able to play music in the summer.[27]

Koloss, The Violent Sleep of Reason, and Immutable (2010–present)[change | change source]

Meshuggah at a concert in 2018.

The band's seventh album, Koloss, was released in March 2012. It reached number 17 on the Billboard Top 200, and number 12 in Sweden.[28]

In February 2013, Meshuggah released an EP with two songs on it. It was named Pitch Black. The extended play has a song on it named "Pitch Black" that was made by Thordendal in 2003.[29] The other song on the EP is a live recording of "Dancers to a Discordant System" from obZen. On May 12, 2016, Meshuggah put a video on YouTube saying their next album would be released in 2016. Later, the band said the album was named The Violent Sleep of Reason. It was released in October 2016, and reached number 17 on the Billboard 200.

In June 2017, the band said that Thordendal was taking a break from touring. He would be replaced with guitarist Per Nilsson from Scar Symmetry.[30] In 2018, Meshuggah was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for their song "Clockworks".

In March 2021, Thordendal came back to the band so they could work on a new album.[31] They released their ninth album, Immutable, on April 1, 2022.[32]

Style[change | change source]

Meshuggah plays many different types of metal music. Many people call their music experimental metal, but it has also been called groove metal,[33] alternative metal,[34] extreme metal,[35] and progressive metal.[36]

The band has a unique way of playing metal music. They use many complex music styles, such as playing with polyrhythms, polymeters, and changing key and tempo. This makes the music very difficult to play. Hagström has said that "it doesn't really matter if something is hard to play or not. The thing is, what does it do to your mind when you listen to it? Where does it take you?"[37] Meshuggah uses many different polymeters. In some songs, the guitars may play in 17/16 (a difficult meter), while the drums are in 4/4 (a normal meter).[38] Hagström says that "everything we do is based around a 4/4 core", but the band plays "parts differently around that center to make it seem like something else is going on."[37]

Members[change | change source]

Current members[change | change source]

  • Jens Kidman – singer
  • Fredrik Thordendal – lead guitar, supporting singer
  • Tomas Haake – drums, spoken vocals
  • Mårten Hagström – rhythm guitar, supporting singer
  • Dick Lövgren – bass

Timeline[change | change source]

Studio albums[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Lynch, Joe; Lynch, Joe (2017-11-28). "Grammys 2018: See the Complete List of Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Meshuggah Songs, Albums, Reviews, Bio & More". AllMusic. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "MESHUGGAH". web.archive.org. 2008-10-20. Archived from the original on 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. "Inside 'obZen': How Meshuggah Pushed Themselves to the Limit to Make a Masterpiece". Revolver. 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "MusicMight :: Artists :: MESHUGGAH". web.archive.org. 2008-12-18. Archived from the original on 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. "MESHUGGAH". web.archive.org. 2008-04-21. Archived from the original on 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  7. "Decibel Magazine". web.archive.org. 2005-11-29. Archived from the original on 2005-11-29. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. "MESHUGGAH". web.archive.org. 2007-05-13. Archived from the original on 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  9. 9.0 9.1 "MESHUGGAH". web.archive.org. 2008-08-22. Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  10. Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve Album Reviews, Songs & More | AllMusic, retrieved 2022-11-03
  11. "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - MESHUGGAH Guitarist: 'We're Always Experimental In One Way Or Another'". web.archive.org. 2008-12-26. Archived from the original on 2008-12-26. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. "MESHUGGAH". web.archive.org. 2008-07-25. Archived from the original on 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "MusicMight :: Artists :: MESHUGGAH". web.archive.org. 2008-12-18. Archived from the original on 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  14. "Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority". web.archive.org. 2008-12-20. Archived from the original on 2008-12-20. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  15. "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - Archive News". web.archive.org. 2005-03-27. Archived from the original on 2005-03-27. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  16. "Meshuggah - Nothing - Review - Stylus Magazine". web.archive.org. 2008-06-17. Archived from the original on 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  17. "Jack Osbourne's Favorite Metallists Meshuggah Prepare For 'Nothing'". MTV. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  18. "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - MESHUGGAH: "Nothing" First-Week Sales Numbers Revealed". web.archive.org. 2008-12-26. Archived from the original on 2008-12-26. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  19. "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - MESHUGGAH Breaking New Ground With 'Nothing'". web.archive.org. 2009-05-05. Archived from the original on 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  20. "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - MESHUGGAH Complete Work On "Nothing", August Release Expected". web.archive.org. 2008-12-26. Archived from the original on 2008-12-26. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  21. "BLABBERMOUTH.NET". web.archive.org. 2003-11-06. Archived from the original on 2003-11-06. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  22. "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - MESHUGGAH Split With Bassist, Announce Replacement". web.archive.org. 2008-12-26. Archived from the original on 2008-12-26. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  23. "MESHUGGAH". web.archive.org. 2008-08-22. Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  24. Meshuggah - Nothing Album Reviews, Songs & More | AllMusic, retrieved 2022-11-03
  25. "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - IN FLAMES Wins Swedish GRAMMIS Award For 'Best Hard Rock' Album; Video Available". web.archive.org. 2009-01-24. Archived from the original on 2009-01-24. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  26. "archive.ph". archive.ph. Archived from the original on 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  27. "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - MESHUGGAH Forced To Pull Out Of Finland's SAUNA OPEN AIR Festival". web.archive.org. 2009-06-11. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2022-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  28. "Bands". Nuclear Blast. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  29. "Meshuggah - New Track Streaming Online". Metal Storm. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  30. Blabbermouth (2017-06-02). "MESHUGGAH Guitarist FREDRIK THORDENDAL To Miss MEGADETH Tour; SCAR SYMMETRY's PER NILSSON To Step In". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  31. Kennelty, Greg (2021-03-25). "MESHUGGAH Rejoined By Fredrik Thordendal Full-Time". Metal Injection. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  32. Branniganpublished, Paul (2022-01-28). "Listen to the new Meshuggah single, The Abysmal Eye". loudersound. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  33. published, Jimmy Hubbard (2013-01-04). "Interview: Meshuggah Discuss Their New Album, 'Koloss'". guitarworld. Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  34. Meshuggah - Contradictions Collapse/None Album Reviews, Songs & More | AllMusic, retrieved 2022-11-08
  35. "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - MESHUGGAH Guitarist On Songwriting Process, 'Math Metal' Tag". web.archive.org. 2008-10-10. Archived from the original on 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2022-11-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  36. "Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority". web.archive.org. 2008-12-20. Archived from the original on 2008-12-20. Retrieved 2022-11-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  37. 37.0 37.1 "Decibel Magazine". web.archive.org. 2005-11-29. Archived from the original on 2005-11-29. Retrieved 2022-11-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  38. "Meshuggah - Nothing - Review - Stylus Magazine". web.archive.org. 2008-06-17. Archived from the original on 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2022-11-08.

Other websites[change | change source]