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Meshuggah - ObZen CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.68 | 189 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This latest (at the time of writing, narf) Meshuggah album frustrates this reviewer because its music is on the threshold of being exciting and intelligent, just waiting for that one small shove - noise. Perhaps that's a strange comment to make about an extreme metal band, but it's their refusal to play anything but closely regimented, harmony-less metal riffs that locks away their potential.

It's not that their style is lacking in heaviness, since they stomp away as monomaniacally as they ever have and continue to sound like daleks with hyper-amplified staple-guns. obZen delivers nine more songs developed in the usual logarithmic formula, etched onto the skin-grafted circuit-board name-tags we'll wear in their imminent dystopic future... but the mood of the album is entirely too crisp and OK to be horrific.

Here's my theory - if these cyberpunk lunatics dabble more in noise, in shock and in free jazz (since you can hear Thordendal aching to flip out all through obZen) then they'll become meaningful overnight. Right now, their music is a statement unexploited; I wanna hear 'em confront, to see them terrify.

*sigh* A solid beginning of, addition to or conclusion of a Meshuggah collection. They've been playing music at this level of tension for almost twenty years, so here's hoping the next one tightens the vice on us all.

laplace | 3/5 |


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