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Imagine if scientists were to hybridize the DNA of late-1980s Metallica and Chaos A.D.-era Sepultura, splice it into the genome of a superhuman cyborg, then send it on a mission to destroy all weak Metal bands in its path. That cyborg would be Meshuggah. Building their stuttering jackhammer riffs atop constantly shifting odd-time rhythms, they execute with frightening, machine-like precision and cement-crushing heaviness. Vocalist Jens Kidman barks out sci-fi-damaged lyrics in an unyielding roar; guitarist Fredrik Thordendal chimes in now and then with Fusion-derived solos that would probably sound horrible on a jazz record, but fit right in with what Meshuggah does. The biggest criticism here would be a lack of outward variation -- the fast tempos, melody-free vocals and densely packed guitars lend a similar surface to each song. Within that limited framework, though, the variations are fast-paced and seemingly endless.
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