Meshuggah - Rare Trax


Not blessed, or merciful
Apr 11, 2001
Sarf Lundin, Innit
Meshuggah - Rare Trax
Nuclear Blast - 2001
By Philip Whitehouse

Meshuggah, according to the Nuclear Blast bio I got with this album, means 'crazy'. After listening to and watching these guys in action, I can belive it. Meshuggah are possibly the most dangerously insane people in metal at the moment. Luckily, their music hasn't suffered from this mental instability, as this compilation of 10 rare songs and a couple of videos ably demonstrates.
Meshuggah's style is difficult to describe without hand gestures and gurning - it's like taking grindcore, slowing it down a little, introducing tempo changes, melody and solos and adding a twist of Swedish lunacy. Basically, it's fast, it's heavy, but it has melody and a beat as well.

The first track on this compilation, 'War' was originally recorded for guitarist Fredrik Thordendal's 30th birthday, while the last, 'The Ayahuasca Experience' was recorded while under 'some kind of influence' according to the band. It sounds like a free-form jam session committed to record, and no-one is entirely sure when it was recorded.

Other highlights include the three tracks which make up Meshuggah's extremely rare and highly coveted Psykisk Testbild EP. As well as being good tracks in their own right, they also hold the power to incite people to violence via their inclusion on this album - because the 1,000 lucky people who actually own the EP now feel like idiots because everyone else has it too!

The video section of the CD contains some gems, also. Specifically, the video for 'New Millenium Cyanide Christ', which consists of five men playing air guitar, air drums, air bass and screaming vocals into a pen - in the back of an RV. Also, the 'Tour and Studio Cips' video is a edited together mess of 'completely irrellevant material' shot over a two-year period by the band.

If you like your metal heavy, speedy, melodic and mad, then I would definitely rush out and buy this album.