Not even a whole year after releasing the best album of their career, Meshuggah have revived an unreleased track recorded all the way back in 2003 titled Pitch Black. The song has been released through Scion A/V as a two song EP with the same name along with a fantastic live version of one of the best songs from ObZen, Dancers of a Discordant System. Very rarely have I seen a single song gain so much goddamn hype. I’m not the biggest fan of Meshuggah, but I can’t deny their incredible musicianship and the amount of influence that albums like Destroy Erase Improve and Catch Thirtythree have had on the heavy metal genre.
The problem that I have with this band is that almost all of their stuff sounds the same. That’s why I love their newest full-length as much as I do, because it sounds different from all of their other stuff. This is also the reason why I can’t stop listening to Pitch Black; it sounds even MORE different than their other stuff. The biggest difference that people will notice about this song is the vocal style. The vocals aren’t those really creepy yells that everyone’s used to hearing. Instead, they’re much calmer and more relaxed. It’s hard to explain to people considering how common the vocal style is. It’s almost like a really dark and demented rap that doesn’t connect with the complex polyrhythmic style of the music. All of this is an interesting concept and shows that this band has more variety than they may express to people.
The sound production is unlike any of their albums. Not only does it sound different, it’s actually much better in many ways. When it comes to having lots of bass, Meshuggah is one of the best bands to listen to. The problem is that Meshuggah’s albums don’t have quite enough bass (except for their newest record). The instant the drum intro finishes, you can feel the bass run through you (that is, if you have good speakers). The balance between the treble of the metallic guitar distortion and the bass of the entire drum set couldn’t be any better. The vocals aren’t buried behind the indestructible wall of sound the rest of the band creates, they’re perfect right where they are.
Personally, I’m not one that loves live albums, but the live version of Dancers of a Discordant System is fucking fantastic. The sound quality is crisp and everything can be heard. And to put the icing on this small, but awesome cake, we have some of the best album artwork that’s ever been on a Meshuggah release. I tip my hat to both the band and the producer. I would give the Pitch Black [EP] a score of 15/20.