Home Read Classic Album Review: Meshuggah | Rare Trax

Classic Album Review: Meshuggah | Rare Trax

The Swedish speed freaks collect some of their better non-album odds and ends.

This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


For more than a decade, Swedish speed freaks Meshuggah have been setting the standard for metal mayhem with their insanely intricate epics of destruction and their punishingly heavy delivery. And that’s just the stuff that made it onto their half-dozen albums and EPs.

Rare Trax, as the title makes obvious, collects some of the odds and ends that never saw the light of day. Like, for instance, the brain-crushing War, a track so freakishly overdriven and cripplingly intense it makes Slayer sound like sissies. Or the staccato syncopation and threatening vocals of Sovereigns Morbidity and Debt of Nature, taken from their ultra-rare first album Psykisk Testbild. Or the gonzo freakout Ayahuasca Experience, four and a half minutes of free-form fever-dream frenzy. And if that ain’t enough, the disc comes with three CD-ROM movies, including a video for New Millennium Cyanide Christ, with the band playing air-guitar and lip-synching — while riding in an RV barrelling down the highway. Seems they’re speed freaks in more ways than one.