Meshuggah @ Islington Academy, London

20/04/2012

Despite being one of the forefathers of technical brutality, it still shocks many that Swedish trendsetters Meshuggah have managed to sell out the Islington Academy. It seems that the last couple of years has seen an influx in bands attempting to “out-djent” the gigantic tunes of the Swedes and have failed, as well as creating the worst genre label in existence. This recent commercialism of technical, out-of-time metal sees Animals as Leaders getting the support slot and it is visible that many of the crowd here tonight are here for them. Their more progressive sound is admittedly impressive in such a large venue, however unless you are turned on by how fast a man’s fingers can move, you may be mesmerized (aka lulled) into a static silence.

In comparison, after an unnecessary prolonging of entering the stage, Meshuggah aurally stamp their mammoth foot to the floor, sending everyone flying, the support act included. Many of the new crowd seem baffled by the noise created by the headliners and their gig etiquette is equally vacant, as they cause difficultly for hardcore fans to enjoy the show at the front. Compared to many that have recently played at this venue, Meshuggah suffer no technical issues and instead create a monstrous atmosphere to surround an equally awesome setlist. Their latest onslaught ‘Kolloss’ slots effortlessly into the rest of the set, with opener ‘Demiurge’ proving that. The vibrating floor, strobe lights blinding you and Jens’ edgy headbanging whilst skulking around the stage proves that Meshuggah cannot be knocked off the podium they have had built for them, regardless of the whippersnappers nibbling at their heels.

Review by Lily Randall

Published in Devolution Magazine

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