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Meshuggah - ObZen CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.74 | 238 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Meshuggah has got to be the only metal band that can surprise you by playing something with a comprehensible note sequence. Be it a normal guitar solo or riff, Meshuggah generally wants nothing to do with that. They would prefer beating you senseless with their heavy rhythmic assult - no melodies, no repetition in the rhythm, and certainly no sung vocals. So when I popped on their new album, obZen, I was astonished to hear a standard 4/4 riff, to which the rest of the musicians did not soon after provide the expected convolution. Sure, the intensity levels were still there, and it definitely sounded like Meshuggah, but this is a simplicity that we have not heard since the band's early years (keeping in mind that we're being subjective when referring to the simplicity, of course). Complete with a thrash-metal-esque guitar solo, Meshuggah has crafted a piece that resembles a song! The band has decided to let everyone know that they can condescend to a normal person's level while still crushing them. After that rockin' opener, Combustion, we move back into the familiar therritory of the highly- complex, and will remain there for the remainder of the album. This album is not as bizarre and incomprehensible as their releases from the past decade, but it is certainly Meshuggah at their most brutal. I would even go as far as to say that this is Meshuggah's most enjoyable album; while the music remains intellectually stimulating, you will be able to remember these pieces more easily than, say, I, and so you will be more likely to form a connection with them.

The band has basically taken elements from all of their albums and put together a condensed summary of their career thus far. While it may not go down as their finest work, it's not nearly as intimidating as the ones that might. Truth be told, though, it's on par with what you'd expect from this brilliant group, and it won't disappoint anyone. obZen will keep the current fanbase excited all the while picking up many new Meshuggah fans.

Moatilliatta | 4/5 |


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