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Meshuggah - ObZen CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.74 | 238 ratings

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4 stars This is a nice album, but not fantastic. The technicality of the music is definetely top notch, and there's a definite Meshuggah sound through the whole thing. However, some of the stuff definetely sounds repetitive and has a lack of ideas.

First off, Combustion has some great energy to it. Great speed, and the whole song is in a simple 4/4 tempo, unusual for later Meshuggah music. Great thrashing. The most inventive part is the count off, which the cymbal does a unique note delay that you will just have to hear to understand the interest of it.

Next is Electric Red. This one has some good energy to it, and the time signatures are just great and compliment the energy very well. There's not much to say about it, other than it's a very good song that has the signature Meshuggah style.

Bleed is amazing. It starts off very complex, with incredibly difficult triplet bass drums playing along with slower 4/4 cymbals and snare. This song is very thrashy and has a really good groove to it. After the chorus things pick up. The time signatures get more complex, and everything gets more polyrhythmic. Things get more and more complicated until after about five minutes. Everything drops out into atmospherics. This goes on for a bit, until everything blasts back in and a very cool guitar solo plays. The whole songs is just great and a must have.

The next song is Lethargica. This is one where the filler material starts coming in. To tell the truth, there isn't anything much beyond anything Meshuggah has done in the past that the filler tracks in this album do. That's why a bit of this album is pretty boring. Nothing inventive to Meshuggah. Sure, they're pretty technical, but as for making a good song, they fail and I almost always skip them. The same goes for this one.

Finaly Obzen. What can I say that hasn't already been said? Great polyrhythms, great energy. I think I like the vocals particularly on this track. It doesn't make me bored to hear it, which is good compared to some of the music on this album.

The next song is This Spiteful Snake. The drums start out very cool, with an interesting tom rhythm playing through out. That's what makes this song stick out. Again, this one has a great groove due to its very cool drumming through the song. A good one.

Pravus and Pineal Gland Optics are two more of the filler tracks. Nothing terribly new compared to other Meshuggah stuff. And after listening to all the tricky rhythms in this song, I get pretty tired listening to it. These songs start to make me lose interest in the album. But like the rest of the music, of course there's definetely high musicianship and technicality, but the songwriting tends to bore.

To end the album on a good note is Dancers to a Discordant System. The song has a triplet meter playing through out it, so it matches the lyrics when it talks about the waltz. However, the accents of the notes are very unusual, making it so interesting. The lyrics of the first verse seem to be almost black metal like, because it seems that it's whispering bumped up on the volume, making the listener raise their ear to hear some unique (in Meshuggah terms) vocals. The only beef I have is the fadeout ending. This is such a good track, and it seems dissapointing that such a good album closer should just fade away.

Well there you have it. Nothing new for all you Tech metal fans, but it's very good tech metal. Some stuff lacks substance, making parts a boring listen, but again the musicianship is very good. I'd reccomend it to any Meshuggah fan, and maybe use it as an introduction to this genre of metal, though there are definetely better albums in the genres. But it's worth your money if you want it.

topofsm | 4/5 |


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