Tomas Haake: Complex Meshuggah Licks

“Abnegating Cecity” From Contradictions Collapse

I’ve always dug the intro to this tune. The pattern is in 6/4, and the opening fill pattern begins with a pick-up note that can easily confuse your perception of the downbeat’s placement. Haake plays to the guitars and slams out this pretty straight ahead fill groove pattern. In the fifth measure, the groove changes with the snare hammering quarter-notes over bass drum accents and thirty-second-note ruffs.

tomas haake

“Autonomy Lost” From Catch 33

Extreme metal has a dirty little secret — the drum parts are often faked. They may be programmed with a drum machine or sequencer and sampler, or assembled from performance snippets into a single complete performance (think Metallica), then quantized and Pro-Tool-ed into superhuman speedy perfection. This is not always the case. After all, most extreme metal drummers trigger their kick drums, and since drummers and bands rarely cop to doing it, one can’t always tell. Catch 33, the latest release from Meshuggah, had the drum parts created using Haake’s commercial sample library, Drumkit From Hell. While I have no doubt Haake will be able to play the drums programmed on the recording live, I’m enough of a purist to wish he’d played drums on the recording. I do appreciate their honesty about programming the drum parts.

This cool groove has all the oddness one expects from Meshuggah. The drum groove begins in 5/4 with a snare hit on 1 and quarters driving on a sloshy hi-hat. The fifth bar chops the first couple of beats off the beginning of the pattern, and uses a measure of 11/8 to cycle back to the beginning. It doesn’t make a lot of toe-tapping sense, but it’s interesting and follows the guitars to a “T.”

tomas haake
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