YouTuber plays 86 Meshuggah riffs in one take

Meshuggah are one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time, their devilishly drop-tuned guitar riffs and mind-bendingly complex arrangements inspiring waves of young metal acts since 1985, and almost single-handedly giving birth to the djent movement.

The Swedish tech metal stalwarts – more specifically, guitarists Fredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hagström – are renowned for their gloriously technical electric guitar work, so when we found out this dude on YouTube managed to play 86 of their riffs – one from almost every song from each of their studio albums – in one take, we couldn’t quite believe what we were seeing.

In a new video entitled “The Evolution of Meshuggah”, Greg Desmurs plays riffs spanning Meshuggah’s nine-album discography – from Paralyzing Ignorance, the opener from 1991’s Contradictions Collapse, to Armies of the Preposterous, the penultimate track from 2022’s Immutable – in a Herculean single playthrough that lasts well over 15 minutes.

And, of course, like his heroes, Thordendal and Hagström – he does so using an 8-string guitar: his ESP LTD H-1008.

While Desmurs’s effort is, without a doubt, one of the most ambitious guitar projects we’ve seen on YouTube of late, creators on the platform routinely opt to embark on similarly monolithic undertakings in a bid to ride the algorithm’s wave.

Earlier this month, Dutch YouTuber Thomas Zwijsen reworked the entirety of Iron Maiden’s Powerslave album – from opener Aces High to closer Rime of the Ancient Mariner – on nylon-string acoustic guitar.

And last year, another creator – Bradley Hall – set off on a quest to transform the entire first Lord of the Rings movie, The Fellowship of the Ring, into a three-hour metal song.

To see more Meshuggah-inspired antics from Greg Desmurs, head to his official YouTube channel.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created 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.