Keeping Time With Meshuggah

Thrash had waxed and waned. Hair metal was over. Gory death metal was still on the rise stateside, and experimental genre amalgams were starting to emerge around the globe. Enter Meshuggah, Sweden's revered death metal technicians, who exploded on the scene in the mid-'90s. Providing a visceral reaction across the metal underground, raising eyebrows and dropping jaws with their overtly percussive, time signature-defying sound, the band dropped bombs in the form of now-classic albums Destroy Erase Improve and Chaosphere. Fans rallied around what they were doing, eventually isolating the signature crunching "djent" guitar sound—a seemingly nonsensical term that became for Meshuggah's young disciples the name of an entire movement.

And as influence and mystique abounded in the 20 years of Meshuggah's overall reign, in 2012 it all culminated in the perfect crescendo. After six studio albums and heaps of praise, Meshuggah find themselves riding an all-time career high with their seventh record Koloss debuting at #17 on the U.S. Billboard 200. Touring in support of this feat, we caught up with their esteemed drummer Tomas Haake at the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco to discover what makes his band tick. Watch as we dissect the sonic nature of Meshuggah to learn more about the inspiration behind the group's most successful release to date, and don't miss your chance to get a taste of Koloss by grabbing "Do Not Look Down" for free below. – Jen Guyre, Google Play

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