The Violent Sleep of Reason is a better written album in general. Koloss was slow and filled with annoying headache inducing riffs and the only good song on it was Demiurge. TVSoR gives us a nice good throwback to the obZen/Catch33 era when Meshuggah were at their best.
Both albums have their qualities; I like the energy and diversity of TVSoR and the clinical, merciless perfection of Koloss. Not a big surprise if you take into account that the drums on Koloss (as far as I know) were done by a drum computer and TVSoR was recorded entirely live and not in the studio.. The band however once stated that they actually regretted to serve Koloss this way, - too perfect, so they went a different way - I assume- for TVSoR...
Took a few listens to sink in, I was dissapointed at first but this album has so much depth beneath the surface. It makes the rest of their catalogue looks like childs play... and I didn't think that was possible. The production on this is top notch and the best they have ever sounded. Almost rivals Catch 33 for me... time will tell.
The Violent Sleep Of Reason is just as crushing and devastating as you would expect a Meshuggah album to be. Like the album cover, this album takes you on a spiral-tranced ride, filled to the brim with endless, massive riffs and moments of absolute epicness. On first listen, I love this album, and I still have to re-listen to it to grab all of those glorious details that are waiting to pop out. Time will tell where this album will rank among the other 'Shuggah albums, but it's already one of my favorite albums I listened to this year.
Second listen of "The Violent Sleep Of Reason". I liked it the first time, but now... oh god, that's some very good shit. The riffing is as always sky-high good. Actually every detail in there. Very strong record.
I've never heard a Meshuggah album I didn't like until this one. If you'll look at my profile you'll see that Meshuggah is my top listened band overall, so I don't say this lightly, but the new album feels so by the numbers that it's insulting. Koloss was awesome, and I couldn't stop listening to it for weeks, but this new album is a real dud. I'm very disappointed.