Originally Posted by Doom
The band said they wont be playing catch 33 live. So learning it wont be a problem although I dont doubt he could do so. I admire his guts to program the drums. Some purists probably jibe him for that.
From memory I believe a lot of the drum programming for Meshuggah is done by Fredrik Thordendal. I'm not even 100% as to how much of it Haake did for Catch 33. Thordendal is a mean programmer, go check out some of the sample tracks he did for the DfHS website over at Toontrack. You can tell it's not real soloed, but I sincerely doubt even most drummers would be able to pick the difference in a good mix. From an old MD interview I believe Thordendal writes most of the drum parts using samples, then hands them over to Haake who learns them and works in fills and ghosting as he sees fit. The latest album seems to have skipped this step and just used the original programmed parts, albeit with some nice post-processing on the production.
When it comes to Haake himself, he's a monster. I've seen numerous live videos and he's a co-ordination machine. But yes, the band does tend to make the same album 50x. I personally think that each iteration makes some nice improvements, but they're the kind of band that makes one good album over their lifetime, gradually. A "greatest hits" album would be the best Meshuggah album ever.
Anybody who dislikes Nothing can go listen to Closed Eye Visuals from the solo onwards. That kicks the teeth out of most of DEI and Chaosphere, even if the rest of that album wasn't great. Catch 33 is nice background music for driving, haven't tried listening to it any other way yet.