Meshuggah have dropped the first single from ninth studio album, Immutable, The Abysmal Eye.
The track – which arrives ahead of the album's release on April 1 – sees guitarists Fredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hagström deploy a clutch of destructive 8-string guitar riffs – wrought with thunderous alternate picking phrases and chuggy palm-muting – over Tomas Haake's laser-precise drumming and underneath Jens Kidman's savage vocals.
While the track is arguably more digestible than much of Meshuggah's previous work, Thordendal dazzles at the 2:58 mark with an otherworldly guitar solo over a mind-bending odd time signature. Check it out below.
In a recent interview with Metal Hammer, Haake revealed how the age of the members of Meshuggah has played a part in the sound of Immutable.
“Sound-wise, we were going for a warmer sound this time around, less harsh mids and highs in the guitars and less abrasive cymbals,” he said. “Getting older, you feel like, ‘I wanna be able to enjoy this,’ and not just be mauled and run over.”
In the same interview, Hagström spoke of Thordendal leaving the band halfway through the touring cycle of their last 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.”
Speaking on the album's philosophy in a Facebook post earlier this month, Hagström explained: “The title fits perfectly for where we are as a band. 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.
“Humanity is immutable, too. We commit the same mistakes over and over. And we are immutable. We do what we do, and we don't change.
“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.”