Released on: 2001-08-20
With the release of Rare Trax, MESHUGGAH gives fans a glimpse into the demos and early recordings that laid the foundation for the band Rolling Stone Magazine calls, “one of the ten most important hard and heavy bands.” The seeds of greatness were first sown in 1989 with the first MESHUGGAH release, usually referred to as “Psykisk Testbild” (roughly translated as “Psychological Test Picture”), even though it really has no title. Containing “Cadaverous Mastication,” “Sovereigns Morbidity,” and “Debt of Nature,” this vinyl-only release has been the “Holy Grail” for dedicated MESHUGGAH fans, as only 1,000 copies were pressed. The band jokes that its inclusion on Rare Trax is likely to “stir up some pretty ugly feelings in the few lucky bastards owning an original vinyl copy since it’s now been rendered completely worthless.” Such is the humor of these Swedish speedballs.
Drummer Tomas Haake joined in 1990, and the band recorded “Abnegating Cecity” and “Internal Evidence,” both of which appear on Rare Trax in demo form. These songs later appeared on the band’s first full-length release, “Contradictions Collapse”. Eleven years of reflection prompted the band to decide, “the demo versions turned out better with a bit more speed and ‘playfulness’ than the later ones.” A period of flux followed “Contradictions Collapse”. Jens Kidman put down the guitar to focus solely on his vocals, and Haake’s school chum Mårten Hagström joined. Sometime before recording the classic EP “None”, MESHUGGAH recorded “The Ayahuasca Experience.” No one’s quite sure when they recorded this track, as the band claims to have been under “some kind of influence,” but the best guess is ’93, and Rare Trax marks its first appearance.
The EP Selfcaged followed, but it wasn’t until the release of “Destroy, Erase, Improve” that the world stood up and took notice. A two-month European tour with MACHINE HEAD established MESHUGGAH as a live presence, and two separate tours later that fall (with CLAWFINGER and HYPOCRISY) solidified their superiority. Bassist Peter Nordin left before the CLAWFINGER tour and the band played several shows without a bass player before Gustaf Hielm (ex-CHARTA 77) joined at a gig in Hamburg, Germany. In 1996 Haake, Kidman and Hagström had some free studio time and thought they might as well record something, even though they didn’t quite know what. The result? “Don’t Speak” and “By Emptyness Abducted.” The songs were never meant for release, yet here they are on Rare Trax.
MESHUGGAH then followed up “Destroy, Erase, Improve” with the EP “True Human Design”. The next true release for the band, however, was the monumental “Chaosphere”. The phenomenal response led to MESHUGGAH’s first performance at the Milwaukee Metalfest and a full American tour with thrash titans Slayer. The first song off “Chaosphere”, “Concatenation,” is presented on Rare Trax in remixed form. And now we have Rare Trax, which kicks off with “War,” a song originally recorded for guitarist Fredrik Thordendal’s 30th birthday. Besides the ten rare tracks, the disc contains a video for “New Millennium Cyanide Christ” and a live video for “Elastic,” as well as random clips shot on tour and in the studio. These demos and video clips offer a rare look into the musical psyche of one of metal’s most confounding and important bands.
|Track list||Total runtime|
|2||- Cadaverous Castication||7:51|
|3||- Sovereigns Morbidity||4:31|
|4||- Debt Of Nature||7:19|
|5||- By Emptiness Abducted||4:51|
|6||- Don't Speak||3:28|
|7||- Abnegating Cecity (demo)||6:24|
|8||- Internal Evidence (demo)||7:01|
|9||- Concatenation (remix)||6:17|
|10||- Ayahusca Experience||4:32|
|11||- +3 Mpeg Video Tracks|