The Violent Sleep of Reason

The Violent Sleep of Reason
Meshuggah - The Violent Sleep of Reason.jpg
Studio album by
Released7 October 2016 (2016-10-07)
RecordedPuk Recording Studios, Gjerlev, Denmark
GenreExtreme metal, progressive metal, avant-garde metal
Length58:55[1]
LabelNuclear Blast
ProducerTue Madsen, Meshuggah
Meshuggah chronology
Pitch Black
(2013)
The Violent Sleep of Reason
(2016)
Singles from The Violent Sleep of Reason
  1. "Born in Dissonance"
    Released: 25 August 2016
  2. "Nostrum"
    Released: 15 September 2016
  3. "Clockworks"
    Released: 7 October 2016

The Violent Sleep of Reason is the eighth full-length album by Swedish heavy metal band Meshuggah. It was released on 7 October 2016 on Nuclear Blast.[2] This album was recorded live in the studio, simultaneously with all members, rather than recording each instrument separately as is more common for modern recording. The band announced the new album, its title, and track list via Blabbermouth.net and Revolver magazine on 5 August 2016.[3]

Background

The album's title was loosely inspired by The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, an etching by Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The album's title and lyrical themes are a commentary on terrorism, extremist views on ideals, religious dogma, and the violent implications of "being asleep, so to speak, or not reacting to what's going on in the proper way".[4] Concerning the album artwork, Tomas Haake stated:

"It was a hard one in the sense that you don't immediately have a visual to the title The Violent Sleep of Reason – how do you portray that?

"So when discussing this with Keerych Luminokaya, who also did the artwork for our 25th anniversary box set along with the artwork for Koloss, we just let him loose on that idea and how to portray that.

"What you're seeing on the artwork is basically a human being that's been in stasis for a long time. The vines were the original idea – they're growing into him. But it's a body that's been asleep for so long that it's been taken over by something else."[5]

In an attempt to depart from the production on previous albums like Koloss and obZen, this album was recorded live. According to Haake, this allowed the band to capture their sound more "honestly" and to capture the "rawness" of albums from the late '80s and early '90s that "inspired us when were growing up." Haake elaborated:

"If you put it all together using computers then you often have to fix problems after the fact. I've gone back to records where I've not known every drum part. And once you do that you can start with drums and then just add layers of guitars and then bass and it all sounds perfect.

"ObZen and Koloss are great albums but, to me, they are a little too perfect. It didn't really capture what we sounded like honestly.

"But where we recorded live you get to hear the push and pull, one person might be a little ahead and the other might be a little behind. If you kill that, you can kill the energy."[6]