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The best live experience I ever had with Swedish technical groove colossi Meshuggah was at Irving Plaza in February 2009. I recall distinctly, after a few songs, singer Jens Kidman turned his back on the audience and casually asked via microphone, "is there someone behind me?"

This struck me as a particularly brilliant piece of stage banter, because it not only teased the audience, but hinted at the extreme paranoia that is Meshuggah's lyrical stock in trade.

I tell this story now because Meshuggah have released a 360-degree lyric video to "Nostrum," the second song released from their upcoming album The Violent Sleep of Reason, and in that video, the viewer is positioned facing the lyrics. You must maneuver the camera around to see the titanic serpent-encased figure that is the subject of the album's artwork.

Meshuggah literally want to put someone behind you. Someone huge and ostensibly terrifying. I personally don't find the figure that intimidating, but I find the idea of 3D-rendered album art interesting.

I also personally don't find the song all that mind-blowing by Meshuggah standards, even though on first blush I like it much more than their previous single "Born in Dissonance". Fredrik Thordendal's extended solo section beginning around the three minute mark in particular showcases his ability to drive a song into further undulating extremity.

This video may go down as a cultural curiosity, an interesting use of contemporary ad technology - I can't think of another 360 degree metal video - but it still posits some intellectual content: any other band would have positioned the lyrics in front of the figure. By putting the lyrics and figure on opposing ends of this digital space, Meshuggah evoke Plato's Allegory of the Cave: the activity is in front of you, but the real horror, the deceptive force in life, is behind you. all you need to do to see it is crane your neck. Or, you know, just keep headbanging in place.

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Pre-order The Violent Sleep of Reason from Nuclear Blast here. follow Meshuggah on Facebook.

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