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Never Played Live

MESHUGGAH Has Never Played These 10 Songs Live (But They Should)

Picks from throughout their entire career!

Meshuggah 2022

A good chunk of Meshuggah extensive discography has made it to the stage, but these seven haven't yet… and they really should. Check out all of our Never Played Live series here!

"Abnegating Cecity" from Contradictions Collapse (1991)

A lot of early Meshuggah leans harder into an almost Metallica-thrash-type of sound, making it all a little difficult to slot into their modern setlists. That being said, "Abnegating Cecity" feels like it could be thrown in somewhere – maybe as the opening track to an encore?

"Sublevels" from Destroy Erase Improve (1995)

"Sublevels" is a mid-paced crusher that could easily fit into some sort of Catch Thirtythree medley. It's just atmospheric enough to match that energy, but just groovy and energetic enough to segue into other non-Catch Thirtythree material. It's also a damn good song.

"Don't Speak" from Rare Trax (2001)

If Meshuggah ever feels the urge to get the pit going, "Don't Speak" is a great choice. I'm sure some of you are wondering why "Don't Speak" is on here and not the Rare Trax speed demon "War", and the answer is pretty simple – "Don't Speak" isn't too far out of the norm for Meshuggah. "War" is a whole separate beast.

"Spasm" from Nothing (2002)

I'd imagine "Spasm" would be hard as hell live for two reasons. One, because this song's rhythmic pattern is a maze of insanity; and two, because all the spoken word vocals are performed by drummer Tomas Haake. So Haake's life would be hell for about four minutes, but at least Jens Kidman gets a water break.

"This Spiteful Snake" from ObZen (2008)

Another beefy groove from Meshuggah that never quite made it to the stage. You'd think the demand for a front-to-back obZen show would be higher too, considering it's one of their most popular albums (and even got a standalone reissue this year). Plus the riff around the 2-minute mark is a monster.

"Marrow" from Koloss (2012)

If Meshuggah ever needs to replace "Combustion" in a setlist, my vote would be for "Marrow". It's got the whole "clean intro into a bone-smashing groove" thing going on, and they could go right into it from "The Hurt That Finds You First". Nobody loses in this situation.

"Pitch Black" from Pitch Black (2013)

Let's face it – nobody really talk about "Pitch Black" and it ain't making it to any setlist. "Pitch Black" was recorded in 2003, released as a standalone single by Scion A/V in 2013, and eventually became a bonus track on the I EP releases. It's got real "Spasm" vibes and is worth your time, but yeah – don't expect this one.

"MonstroCity" from The Violent Sleep Of Reason (2016)

"MonstroCity" was a surprising find because c'mon, listen to that riff. Is Meshuggah just afraid that people will groove so hard the venue might sink into the crust of the Earth? Or that the neck-related injuries will be too numerous? Give us "MonstroCity", Meshuggah.

"Ivory Tower" from The Violent Sleep Of Reason (2016)

Pretty much everything that went for "MonstroCity" also goes for "Ivory Tower", though a little slower and a little more of that slithering "where the fuck is the downbeat" thing that Meshuggah has mastered. Still, it's a beefy slow riff that would certainly bring the heat live.

"The Faultless" from Immutable (2022)

Maybe Meshuggah is still warming up to this one considering they've only played four of Immutable's songs live. Immutable felt very much like a record that was meant for the stage, and "The Faultless" really ought to be played at least one. It's a beast.

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