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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 ObZen, the eagerly awaited return to form after Meshuggah's cold, programmed Catch-33, is a curious case. On pretty much every front it delivers: whereas Catch-33 was just too mechanical (why make Haake sit out when he could play the stuff he programmed?), this puts Thomas back behind the kit and shows the band go back to their Destroy Erase Improve and Nothing days. It's full of crushing riffs, distorted jazz-tinged solos, and pummeling drums; however, something is missing.

After a few spins, this feeling didn't go away. Hmmm, what could be absent from this album?....oh, how about a point? The music never goes anywhere. Take their 21 minute magnum opus I: that covered all kinds of drastic time changes, with some great solos and killer structure. This album, on the other hand, sounds like the same riff with a few variations over and over...and over.

Now, Meshuggah's always worked within a pretty narrow framework on their albums, but I've always felt that by the end of a listen their songs sound different. ObZen is a note-perfect album; not a moment is out of place or weak. However, I just don't care. I miss the Meshuggah who could really throw in some actual jazz into the mix, rather than just putting some in Fredrik's solos. So, at the end of the day, it's a great album musically, but it bores me. I supppose that balances things out.

Grade: C-

1800iareyay | 3/5 |


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