If there ever was a rock band approaching their music with a highly theoretical and scientific view, it is Meshuggah! The band from Umeå in Northern Sweden is one of the worlds leading bands in extreme metal. Some have labeled it avant-garde metal, experimental metal or math metal.


The complexity of Meshuggah’s music is largely based on their use of advanced rhythmical subdivision and combinations.


From English Wikipedia:

”Meshuggah has become known for their innovative musical style, complex, polymetered song structures and polyrhythms. Meshuggah was labeled as one of the ten most important hard rock and heavy metal bands by Rolling Stone and as the most important band in metal by Alternative Press.”


The song we have used as a base for our presets is called Bleed and is from their successful album obZen from 2008. The first verse uses a basic rhythmic cell that consists of three 16th notes (grouped in two 32nd notes and two 16th notes). This changes for the following verse where they add two 16th notes to make the cell consisting of five 16th notes (grouped in two 32nd notes and four 16th notes). The fact that these verses are in 4/4 adds to the complexity since the rhythmic cells doesn’t add up with the meter.
In our two presets we have taken the first verse as a starting point (you can easily change it to become the second verse by changing the Rhtyhm Pattern in the Editor). The basic gesture you should use if you want to play the actual song Bleed is to start in the lower left corner and gradually go up and down slowly every second bar. Use the transposing buttons to play the riff at the end of the verse.


The official website of Meshuggah