The Violent Sleep of Reason is the eighth studio album by the Swedish extreme metal band MESHUGGAH, formed 1987 in Umeå. MESHUGGAHs line-up consists of founding members vocalist Jens Kidman and lead guitarist Fredrik Thordendal, drummer Tomas Haake, who joined in 1990, rhythm guitarist Mårten Hagström, who joined in 1992 and bassist Dick Lövgren since 2004.
The album's title was loosely inspired by The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, an etching by Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The album's title and lyrical themes are a commentary on terrorism, extremist views on ideals, religious dogma, and the violent implications of "being asleep, so to speak, or not reacting to what's going on in the proper way". Concerning the album artwork, Tomas Haake stated:
"It was a hard one in the sense that you don't immediately have a visual to the title The Violent Sleep of Reason – how do you portray that?
"So when discussing this with Keerych Luminokaya, who also did the artwork for our 25th anniversary box set along with the artwork for Koloss, we just let him loose on that idea and how to portray that.
"What you're seeing on the artwork is basically a human being that's been in stasis for a long time. The vines were the original idea – they're growing into him. But it's a body that's been asleep for so long that it's been taken over by something else."
In an attempt to depart from the production on previous albums like Koloss and obZen, this album was recorded live. According to Haake, this allowed the band to capture their sound more "honestly" and to capture the "rawness" of albums from the '80s and early '90s that "inspired us when were growing up." Haake elaborated:
"If you put it all together using computers then you often have to fix problems after the fact. I've gone back to records where I've not known every drum part. And once you do that you can start with drums and then just add layers of guitars and then bass and it all sounds perfect.
"ObZen and Koloss are great albums but, to me, they are a little too perfect. It didn't really capture what we sounded like honestly.
"But where we recorded live you get to hear the push and pull, one person might be a little ahead and the other might be a little behind. If you kill that, you can kill the energy."
Today's tune "Clockworks" is a single taken from the latest album "The Violent Sleep of Reason", released on 7 October 2016 on Nuclear Blast. Official music video (produced by Julius Horsthuis).
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