Why I Love: Human Hell on Meshuggah

Human Hell are a heavy metal band that are due to release their new EP, The Only Guarantee In Life Is Death. It is released on 28th August via steaming platforms (link here).

In anticipation of the release, we asked the band to contribute to our Why I Love series. Evan Lebbell and Stephen Parnell on Human Hell join forces to tell us why they love the music of Meshuggah.

Hear Meshuggah's Mind-Bending New Song 'Born in Dissonance' - Rolling Stone

I think since the pure insanity of their 2008 album, Obzen, Meshuggah really changed music for a lot of people. Definitely myself included in there. That was when they became a stratospherically huge band. 

I’m not that old school (all things considered), I’m the baby of the band so no interesting stories of how I wandered into a Virgin Megastore and saw a shining beacon of an album that I knew would change my entire world for £5. No. I found it as a boy surfing YouTube from my bedroom. Being a drummer and bang on it as a kid too, most of my time would be finding new drummers and drum covers so I could see how this madness was done. The obvious song that stood out was Bleed. 

Meshuggah - obZen | Releases, Reviews, Credits | Discogs

Now if you haven’t heard this song as a metal head, where the fuck have you been? The kick pattern is the only sound that pops into people’s heads when they hear the word Meshuggah. Oh boy me too. It excites me just thinking about it. For me, Meshuggah is not just about that song though, it’s about this vibe they give off… it translates into Yiddish meaning “crazy” and that’s the only word I have for them. 

I walk about listening to Meshuggah more than my next 5 favourite bands combined, I’d use it in the morning to get amped up for my day, I’d use it in the evening to go to sleep, I listen in the shower, it inspires me in everything I do in Human Hell. I owe a lot to Thomas Haake just for opening up a new world of heavy to me. 

I think instead of going off on fanboying rampage over Meshuggah for the rest of this article here are a few specific things I really love about them.


The ability Meshuggah have at making the stankiest riffs known to man. Check Electric Red, Demiurge and Closed Eye Visuals. 


The rhythms they use are so messy it’s near on impossible to bang your head in the right place! See Sublevels and The Hurt That Finds You First and Concatenation.

Time signatures…

When you really have to wrap your ear around something and focus on what is actually happening using 3’s 5’s 7’s and sometimes it’s too much that I can’t even work out what is going on. For these I’d definitely suggest Bleed; that’s a 3 over 4 polyrhythm. Also listen to I Am Colossus and Do Not Look Down.

Live performances…

And lastly their live performance for this I’d recommend buying a ticket to see them but who knows when that will be? For now just listen to the whole Ophidian Trek live album. If you like heavyweight chaos and some of the highest levels of musicianship executed without error this album will change you.

Many thanks to Human Hell for their words on Meshuggah. You can pre-save the bands new EP by following the link here.

You can connect with Human Hell below their video for Misery.

Human Hell: Official Website / Facebook

You can read more from the Why I Love archives here.

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