“Koloss”, the new album from Swedish experimental extreme metallers MESHUGGAH, sold 18,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 17 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Released in March 2008, MESHUGGAH‘s previous CD, “obZen”, opened with 11,400 units to debut at No. 59. This was substantially more than the 7,000 first-week total achieved by its predecessor, “Catch 33”, which entered the chart at No. 170 back in June 2005.
“Koloss” was released in Germany on March 23 and the rest of Europe on March 26 (March 27 in North America) as a CD digi, limited-edition Magic Cube (CD digi plus DVD exclusive to Nuclear Blast mail order) and two-LP brown vinyl via Nuclear Blast Records.
“Koloss” track listing:
01. I Am Colossus
02. The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance
03. Do Not Look Down
04. Behind The Sun
05. The Hurt That Finds You First
07. Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion
10. The Last Vigil
The “Break These Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion” video can be seen below. The performance clip was directed by Owe Lingvall of Sweden’s Village Road Film.
States MESHUGGAH vocalist Jens Kidman: “We were high on tacos and sodas when we recorded this video.”
In a recent interview with MSN‘s metal music section Headbang, MESHUGGAH drummer Tomas Haake stated about the band’s decision to call the new album “Koloss”, “It’s not so much like a theme, it’s kind of how the overall album is more towards something heavier than anything that we’ve ever done. We wanted something that had that sound to it, something monolithic, something huge. Also a few things that tied into that was the stress and anxiety that a few of us went through up until we started recording this album because of previous sessions where we felt we were doing things the wrong way. That lingers with you, you don’t want to do the same mistakes again, you want to save the mental health of a few in the band as well, try to do things another way. So it felt like a colossal thing to get out of the hat this time, even though it went smoother in a lot of ways. Also once we knew what artwork we were using, because it’s not artwork that was designed for this album, it was an existing piece of art by this Russian artist Luminokaya, we just fell in love with the piece and we found out it hadn’t been used for anything, so we could buy the rights for it. Once we saw that, and we already had the title ‘Colossus’, we had that song in there, we just felt like this creature on the cover looks like, is it a god, is it a devil, what is it? The word ‘Koloss’ just fit for some reason.”
On the topic of how the band found the album artwork, Haake said, “I don’t even remember, I think I was just looking through random art online probably three or four years ago I saw this guy’s art the first time. I got in contact with him, and initially he was supposed to do something for the album but we trailed off into other things and we didn’t stay in touch for a while. I just took for granted that the piece had been used for something already, but when I finally asked him he said no, it was up for grabs. He’s done a lot of additions and renditions and versions of it for the whole layout, so he’s spent a lot of time on it too, and we’re really stoked that we ended up using this art.”
Regarding the suggestion that “Koloss” sounds like MESHUGGAH deliberately tried to expand its sound even more than on “ObZen”, Haake said, “We definitely pushed ourselves hard with ‘ObZen’, too, but maybe that one feels even more like a flirtatious thing with the stuff we were doing earlier on and the stuff we grew up with. I still feel there’s some of that on this one too, with the different tunings, and a couple of the songs are actually written for six-string guitar and not all of them being really down-tuned eight-stringed stuff. That’s definitely to get that old-school thrash vibe in there, even though the music is different, of course. There’s definitely a little bit of that going on this album, too. But apart from that, we basically tried to create something that we find intriguing. We always try to find new ways of writing our own music, so to speak, to see if there’s an additional lateral movement, a sideways step that we can take for ourselves to feel that we did something new with this one and that we pushed ourselves into doing something that came out cool and refreshing. That’s kind of what we always aim for, and this time it came out like this.”