Meshuggah + Trigger The Bloodshed @ Birmingham Academy 2 – 11th September


The presence of a huge majority of men in the crowd tonight gives an immediate indication of what’s to come. There are no punches being pulled this evening as Trigger The Bloodshed and Meshuggah take over the Academy 2.

Trigger The Bloodshed take to the stage to a mixed reaction, although it seems some of the crowd are there to see them more than the headliners, those waiting for Meshuggah show little interest in the Bath based metallers. Despite the racing guitars and battering drums, there is little movement in most of the room, however as the band released their debut only 6 months ago, this may not be a total surprise.


For anyone who enjoys melody or even any kind of tune in their music, Trigger The Bloodshed are probably not ideal, however they deliver all the crushing brutality any metal fan could ask for, blasting through ‘Severed’ and ‘Laceration’. It may be that it’s just going to take time for people to hear the band’s recent debut, or maybe that tonight was just the wrong crowd, however tonight Trigger The Bloodshed incite nowhere near the level of carnage expected.


The entire room erupts as Sweden’s Meshuggah make their entrance with ‘Perpetual Black Second’, far from the static crowd the support band were met with. As fists fly, the band deliver their constantly shifting music, the time signatures changing and rotating, making it difficult to get bored. Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Jens Kidman strikes an impressive figure, bathed in the red light which succeeds in setting the mood, while unfortunately being a photographer’s worst nightmare.


Meshuggah’s music is extremely technical, mixing styles and key signatures while making it sound like the easiest thing in the world to pull off. The set spans over 13 years, from 1995 album ‘Destroy Erase Improve’ to recent release ‘ObZen’, although the show is surprisingly short. With such a range of material, they easily could have played for longer, and the crowd were clearly up for it, however the decision to play a shorter, higher impact set may have created a much more memorable gig.


Final song ‘Future Breed Machine’ is clearly well known, as the first track from the band’s debut, although the fans may have gone for it even more if anyone had believed it would actually be the last chance. Still, massive solos and plenty of crowd interaction make it a fitting end to the set, and as many fans may have argued, they didn’t need an encore. Meshuggah had already more than proved their point.


Set List:

Perpetual Black Second
The Mouth Licking what you’ve Bled
Electric Red
Suffer In Truth
Rational Gaze
Straws Pulled at Random
Future Breed Machine

Review – Helen Catchpowle

Photos – Steve Gerrard

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