“Destroy Erase Improve” – Reloaded (remaster) by Meshuggah

Artist: Meshuggah
Title: “Destroy Erase Improve” – Reloaded (remaster)
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 7/8/2008
Genre: Technical Death Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

It begins here Metal fans and that is the best way that one can describe the groundbreaking release from Sweden’s Meshuggah when it comes down to 1995’s “Destroy Erase Improve”. The exciting album gets a justified remastering treatment and this release comes to us “reloaded” with a number of cool bonus tracks as well. In 1995 the Metal scene in Europe was thriving, but over here in the States we were dealing with the dismalness of being bleak thanks to the “Seattle Sound” of Grunge where every musician in a flannel shirt secured a recording contract and offered up their personal malaise ad nausea. The exciting nature of what Meshuggah was bringing to the table at the time was sadly missed by a number of fans who would have really sunk their teeth into it and I admit to being one of them. “DEI” is an album that pummels the senses with off time signature thunderous drumming courtesy of Tomas Haake while the riffing of Hagstrom and Thordendal cuts like a razor blade. While the music offered up delivers a righteous thrashing, there is also a cool Jazz and Fusion feel based on the technical guitar diversity of Thordendal who breaks rank from the traditional expected run on the frets and instead demonstrates skills that one would not often find in a band like this. It opens with “Future Breed Machine”, which is an impressive introduction to the band for the new listener and also a number that is often delivered as a part of their live show to this day. The exciting tune is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the other offerings on the recording that while at some fourteen years of age is still a fresh sounding and relevant Metal release. Had tunes like “Beneath” and “Soul Burn” been released today, they still would have worked out well for the band. It was clear that the group was exploring many different musical dynamics across the board with this one and such is the reason that fans of not only conventional Death Metal, but also those who enjoy Progressive elements and Jazz Fusion would be stunned at what was being done here.

As a Metal album this one ranks up very high on the lists of “must have” releases and while its remastering treatment is nice, the cool bonus of the “Self-Caged” EP is a pleasant addition. The EP was mostly demos that would eventually end up on “Destroy Erase Improve” and there is also a live rendition of “Gods Of Rapture” which is a tune that would appear on the bands “None” EP. This comes as a high recommendation for those who might not yet own a copy of the release and even for those who already have it. The chance to have the EP included makes it all the more enticing and offers you the chance to pass along your much used copy to a developing Metal mind who might hopefully find the inspiration inside its tracks that you had found so many years ago. It’s in a neat little jewel box and does offer you a booklet with all the lyrics for the tunes. The band still continues to defy the musical senses in today’s rapidly changing musical geography and fortunately for us has maintained the envelope pushing with their latest slab of material on “Obzen”. I think it will be a long time before we see Kidman, Haake, Thordendal and Hagstrom (the bands original members who still are active today) doing a cover album or an acoustic release and I thank the fates for that very much. Fans of the band would find interest in knowing that Nuclear Blast Records has also issued “Reloaded” versions of the bands “Chaosphere” and “Contradictions Collapse” albums and each of them also offer you some bonus content that would appease your appetite for their particular Metal flavor.

Track Listing:
1. Future Breed Machine
2. Beneath
3. Soul Burn
4. Transfixion
5. Vanished
6. Acrid Placidity
7. Inside What’s Within Behind
8. Terminal Illusions
9. Suffer In Truth
10. Sublevels
11. Vanished (demo) – bonus
12. Suffer In Truth (demo) – bonus
13. Inside What’s Within Behind (demo) – bonus
14. Gods Of Rapture (live) – bonus
15. Aztec Two-Step – bonus

Official Website: http://www.meshuggah.se

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