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Meshuggah drop uber-destructive new single, Light the Shortening Fuse

Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah
(Image credit: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images)

Extreme metal titans Meshuggah have released Light the Shortening Fuse, the second single from their forthcoming ninth studio album, Immutable.

Doubling down on the momentum built with the LP's first single, The Abysmal Eye, Light the Shortening Fuse is a chaotic amalgamation of odd time signatures, unrelenting breakdowns and crushing eight-string guitar riffs courtesy of guitarists Fredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hagström. Check it out below.

While it's hailed by Meshuggah as their “most explosive work of monstrous art yet”, Immutable, thus far, is arguably more digestible than much of their previous work.

“Sound-wise, we were going for a warmer sound this time around, less harsh mids and highs in the guitars and less abrasive cymbals,” drummer Tomas Haake told Metal Hammer (opens in new tab) back in January. “Getting older, you feel like, ‘I wanna be able to enjoy this,’ and not just be mauled and run over.”

The age of Meshuggah's members played into the general philosophy of the album, too. “The title fits perfectly for where we are as a band,” Mårten Hagström said in a statement (opens in new tab) when the album was announced back in January. “We're older now. Most of us are in our 50s now, and we've settled into who we are.”

“Even though we've been experimenting all along, I also think we've been the same since day one. The way we approach things and why we still make new albums, and why we still sound the way we do, it's immutable.”

Hagström added in the January Metal Hammer interview: “There’s spots on the album where we’re further away from the core of our past output, but saying there are [less]-Meshuggah sounding moments is basically admitting to failure. We want to be able to put our stamp on anything when we venture into music territories.”

In the same interview, Hagström recalled Fredrik Thordendal leaving the band halfway through the touring cycle of their previous album, The Violent Sleep of Reason, and rejoining during the recording of Immutable.

“Fredrik took the time out to build his studio and focus on trying to get his solo album done,” he said. “When we got off tour and went into album writing mode, we talked to Fredrik and let him know that we wanted him to play a couple of leads on this album. 

“That was his part in the production – he was going to be the lead guitar player and we needed him to be that wherever we felt that the songs demanded a proper Fredrik Thordendal Meshuggah lead... but we'd be lying if we said there hasn't been a difference since he took time out.”

Thordendal rejoining the band meant the departure of touring guitarist Per Nilsson of Scar Symmetry.

“We are releasing Per Nilsson back into the wild to roam free in any way he sees fit,” the band said at the time. “It has been a true privilege and honor to share the stage with Per and even more importantly we have made a great friend through our travels. Per. We thank you. You are a formidable human being!”

Immutable arrives April 1 via Atomic Fire Records. Check out its tracklisting below.

  1. Broken Cog
  2. The Abysmal Eye
  3. Light The Shortening Fuse
  4. Phantoms
  5. Ligature Marks
  6. God He Sees In Mirrors
  7. They Move Below
  8. Kaleidoscope
  9. Black Cathedral
  10. I Am That Thirst
  11. The Faultless
  12. Armies Of The Preposterous
  13. Past Tense

Meshuggah – Immutable

(Image credit: Atomic Fire Records)

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).