Metal band impresses

Meshuggah brought their disciplined technicality, towering complexity and unrelenting aggression to the Filmore Sunday, Jan. 28 for a powerful show.

Promoting their new album, ‘The Violent Sleep of Reason,’ the progressive death metal band married their masterful musicianship with a similarly precise light show.

Every beat of the rapid and powerful drums was met with a response from the lights, seemingly every photon matched to the millisecond. This was even more impressive given the band’s polyrhythmic song structure and relentless pace.

Surprisingly, the band’s songs were preformed flawlessly, given the intricate nature of the songs. The songs showcased the band’s almost superhuman mastery of their instruments.

The opening act, Toothgrinder opened with a surprisingly long set, their punk inspired metalcore music contrasting Meshuggah’s Labyrinthian songwriting.

The hour-long set showed Toothgrinder’s musical chops with their fun, punk-influenced take on extreme metal. Frontman Justin Matthews’ positivity between songs and pleasant audience banter set the tone for the night — the juxtaposition of the brutality of the music with empathy and positivity was a constant theme throughout the show.

The grinding, churning and thrashing of the music electrified the crowd with every brutal riff and mechanical solo whipping them further into frenzy. The resulting mosh pit reflected the ordered chaos of the concert, the chaotic pit churning always counterclockwise. The pit was a surprisingly welcome place, with generally jovial participants, and participants frequently hugging after particularly intense hits.

Meshuggah’s vocalist and front man, Jens Kidman, led the band with ruthless intensity. The trademark death metal growling vocals reverberated though the venue sounding truly evil. Kidman somehow managed to maintain these throat-ripping vocals throughout the entirely of their nearly two hour set.

Every song played seemed to rise in intensity, building to the band’s fan favorite song ‘Bleed.’ ‘Bleed’ started with Kidman nonchalantly stating, “this next song is called ‘Bleed,’” to thunderous applause. The lights dimmed to nothing, only returning to strobe in time to the pounding drums.

The lights returned as Kidman’s growl grew, leading to a perfect blend of sonic and visual art encompassing the fury and aggression of the song.

Meshuggah put on an utterly fantastic show- there was not a miss for the entire night. Every song was built higher and higher to an amazing point.

The crowd left in a state of awe; rarely does a concert crowd seem quite as enraptured as Meshuggah’s audience.