Meshuggah - Catch Thirty Three

Nate The Great

What would Nathan do?
May 10, 2002
Meshuggah – Catch Thirty Three
Nuclear Blast Records – NB 1311 – 5/23/05 EU, 5/31/05 US
By Nathan Pearce


There is no doubt that Meshuggah is a pioneer in modern progressive, forward-thinking, pick-your-descriptive metal. Even metal fans that can’t seem to comprehend what Meshuggah is doing can agree with that statement (whether you like them or not). Furthermore, Meshuggah has come to that pivotal point where they have given birth to many Meshuggah clones; none of which come even close to the ingenuity found in each new release from their father band. Any band that moves forward with such awareness from the rest of the music world has two choices: they can either try to improve on something they’ve presumably perfected in the past, or they can continue with the forward momentum they’ve spent so many years building upon. With the long-awaited, much-anticipated Catch Thirty Three, Meshuggah has undoubtedly taken another step into the future.

Following the absolutely stunning I was going to be a VERY difficult task for Meshuggah. I took all the elements of Meshuggah, past and present, and created one of metal’s most amazing songs (I was a one song EP, if you didn’t know) EVER. That’s not just my opinion either . . . it’s a fact. Fortunately Meshuggah has absolutely no concerns about what their fans think. While they don’t deliberately set out to piss off fans, Meshuggah has become known for taking a left turn every time out of the gates. Once again, Catch Thirty Three takes another left turn. If I had to hurry this review up, I’d describe Catch Thirty Three as a combination of Nothing and I. But that won’t suffice for such an amazing album. As you probably already know, since the album has been talked about on the internet for at least a year now, Catch Thirty Three is a 47 minute, one song (divided into 13 tracks) opus. Much like Nothing, Catch Thirty Three, for the most part, moves along like a giant cyborg . . . bruising and crushing everything in its path, and much like I, Catch Thirty Three introduces many elements of surprise. Atmospheric breakdowns are now an integral part of Meshuggah’s sound. Hell, “In Death – Is Death” is pretty much a 13 minute venture into Meshuggah atmospherics; however, taken within the context of the entire disc (song), the aforementioned “track” is an essential element of the overall course of dynamics in Catch Thirty Three. It’s in these atmospherics, along with some vocal experimentation and other electronic manipulations, that Catch Thirty Three fuses itself into the listeners mind quicker and more intensely than any other Meshuggah release. The resulting effect is a Meshuggah album that is both MORE experimental and EASIER to listen to . . . notice I didn’t say easier to comprehend.

Don’t get me wrong Catch Thirty Three is NOT a simpler, more user-friendly version of Meshuggah. If anything, Meshuggah has outdone themselves in the experimentation department. I do believe, however, that fans that balk at the idea of a band that can twist and manipulate time signatures like a gangle of wet pubic hair will find Catch Thirty Three to be a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience. Fans of the band will no doubt ignore this review, as well as most other reviews, and buy the album no matter what anybody says about it.

If everything I just said is confusing or too descriptive for you (or just too damn much to read), here’s a shorter review for you. Catch Thirty Three is the Meshuggah album everybody (both fans and those on the sidelines) has been waiting for!


Meshuggah’s Official Website
Nuclear Blast’s Official Website
Textures is like a more proggy Meshuggah, and they're fantastic.
Mnemic is kinda like Meshuggah/Strapping Young Lad but more accessible.
Scarve are a French death metal band with a touch of Meshuggah about them - Fredrik guested on a track on the Irradiant album. They resemble SYL a bit more though...
Frantic Bleep aren't really Meshuggah clones, but they've got some of that proggy-without-being-proggy feel to them, and are completely awesome.
I think we should get back on the topic of this album owning all of your souls.
I've been listening to catch33 on repeat for a couple weeks now, trying to wrap my head around it, and... it's a masterpiece.

the above review is exceptional - its a difficult record to pinpoint but you did a great job.

this record totally kicks ass, and the psychadelic moments are truly other-worldly.

there are some serious interval jumps towards the end of the record, at high speed, that are impossible for most musicians to play, much less compose! but Meshuggah acheive this in a way that doesn't sound math-y but gives one a general feeling of, uh, aggro-freakiness!

I can't wait for this record to come out so I can have a proper copy.

if these guys can play catch33 live from start to finish, I'll be convinced that they really are advanced humans from the future who are here to give the metal world a kickstart.

Does anyone know when Catch 33 comes out in the US? I can't find it anywhere