Long songs are nothing new to the metal world, especially not the realms of progressive or technical metal. That’s one of the reasons why Meshuggah’s 2003 I EP was so beloved by fans. If you’re a beginner Meshuggah fan, then I is basically an endurance test; for veteran fans, it’s 21 minutes of pure bliss. As such, it makes perfect sense that Meshuggah has recently announced that I will be re-released as part of their ongoing 25th anniversary celebration.
Drummer Tomas Haake stated the following about the re-release of I:
This 21 minute madness that is the song “I” is something we’ve always been extremely proud of!! Originally recorded for Jason Popson/Fractured Transmitter record label, this was a “one off” that Nuclear Blast gave us the go ahead for – as we were under contract with them. Our plan was to just quickly write a little nugget of a song to help our friend Jason to kinda kickstart his label. It wasn’t quick however. We ended up spending a couple months on this thing as it just kept evolving and kind of took on a life of its own. This song is really different as it wasn’t “written” in the normal sense, but recorded without anything more than very open guidelines/ideas as to what kind of style we wanted each part to have. For example, the initial 1½ minute drumfill is an excerpt of around a 15 minute recording of me just randomly going off on a kick/tom fill. Once we had chosen which part of it to use, we had to chart out the hits on paper and guitarists Fredrik [Thordendal] and Mårten [Hagström] then basically used sight-reading/avista to get the hits right while recording. And this is how we continued through the whole song/process.
We often get the question “When will you guys play I?” And though I’m sure it could be done with a lot of listening and hard work, it’s really too unstructured a track. It would take up too much time and effort to make sense.
We’re super stoked now, to have this be re-released under the NB flag. Distribution and access to this little demon of a song was never quite what we had wished back when this was released, so we’re thrilled to see it be brought back to life!!
To further add value to this re-release, we added a couple live tracks and another weird little track “Pitch Black” that some of our fans may have heard but probably not all, as it was only released in a limited number. Enjoy!
The full track listing for the re-issue can be found below.
If you’re a Meshuggah fan and you’ve never heard the song “I” before, you definitely should consider picking up this EP. “I” is unlike anything else in Meshuggah’s discography, and to try and describe is nearly impossible. But all Meshuggah fans should listen to it at least once, because it is an experience that is unlike any other.
I re-issue track listing:
2. Bleed (live)
3. Dancers to a Discordant System (live)
4. Pitch Black
And here’s “I” in case you haven’t heard it: