Headlining the third stage at Download on Friday night we find Sweden’s progressive metal outfit Meshuggah. With a ten year career behind them they are finally reaping the rewards and gaining plaudits from all quarters. Championed by the likes of Porcupine Tree’s Steve Wilson they bring something different to the table.
They are unashamedly metal with trademark gravel vocals and thumping riffs but they also have an inventiveness in the music that seemingly knows no boundaries. From full on double bass led riff carnage to uber complicated guitar parts it’s all delivered with a rare and unstoppable intensity.
Vocalist Jens Kidman commands the stage with real presence and well he might with such a powerful backing! They switch tempo at irregular intervals and even if they are hard to handle at times they are nothing but impressive with an outstanding display of precise and controlled aggression. With a slight delay to proceedings due to technical problems the crowd are more than ready and play a fine supporting role throughout although you get the feeling that Meshuggah would deliver the goods if it were 1 person or 10,000 in the audience.
Worthy headliners, brutal, intense and totally on the money.