The Swedish metal legends Meshuggah have been relatively quiet lately due to the effects of COVID-19 on the music industry. They haven’t exactly been doing nothing this year though. During their enforced break from touring and performing, they’ve been setting some huge plans in motion for 2021 and beyond. A new album is expected at some point in 2021 and the band has also announced some massive tour dates, including a show at the Royal Albert Hall in 2022.
Meshuggah will be undertaking an epic trek across the UK and Europe from November-December 2021. The Royal Albert Hall show will take place in June 2022. They’ll be bringing Swiss black metal meets trip-hop meets delta blues experimentalists Zeal & Ardor along with them for all dates except for the Royal Albert Hall show. No other support acts have been confirmed as of yet. Meshuggah will play multiple UK dates as part of the tour, stopping off in Bristol, Glasgow, Manchester and Nottingham as well as that Royal Albert Hall show in London. The heavy metal pioneers will also play multiple shows in France and Germany, along with stopping off in The Netherlands, Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Announcing shows this far in advance might seem a bit odd, but it has been the general trend for artists right now. With the COVID-19 crisis threatening to extend into easter time, it’s likely touring won’t fully resume until the second half of the year. Whilst we won’t get to see many of our favourite artists for six months to a year, it’s at least a signal that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Things will gradually return to normal and we’ll be able to enjoy what we’ve missed due to the ever-present spectre of the pandemic.
Meshuggah are far from the first metal band to play the ultra-prestigious Royal Albert Hall. Fellow Swedes Opeth recorded a live album there back in April 2010, where they played their seminal album Blackwater Park in full. Whilst Opeth’s show was brilliant, Meshuggah’s could be much more of a spectacle. The band is known for its incredible live show, which includes a fully bespoke light show. How would that light show look in the Royal Albert Hall? It’s something that could be very awesome indeed!
Meshuggah haven’t given an exact date yet for the release of their next album. According to a recent interview with Tomas Haake, the band are already well into writing it and are expecting to release it at some point during late 2021. Whilst the band has been slowed down due to the pandemic, they have been able to write separately from each other in their own studios. They were also incredibly lucky in that they had just finished their planned touring cycle before lockdowns started happening; they’ve been able to ride out the storm financially and prepare for next year.
Words by Robert Percy
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