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Meshuggah - ObZen CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.76 | 259 ratings

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el böthy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Meshuggah´s music has shifted thru out the years. Starting as a death/trash metal band with Contradiction Collapse and Destroy Erase Inprove they moved into more tech direction stripping their music from any resemblance of melody and playing as fast as (un)humanly possible with Chaosphere they then tuned down their guitars and slowed their tempos to become the ultimate groove metal band making some of the most bone crushing riffs ever with Nothing and then leaving all behind to fully dive into experimental territory with the I ep and the 47 min long concept song/album Catch 33 Meshuggah has pretty much tapped a bit of everything in the extreme metal gorunds and always delivered the best music in each sub genre. So now that Meshuggah has done so much and so different things, even though always remaining true to their sound (you never for one second forget you are listeing to Meshuggah), what could be done next?

The awnser is obZen, an album that captures everything the band has been doing since their first album down to their last without sounding repetetive. It is, in a way, their swan song (til now at least). The fast, the slow, the groovy, the tech, the experimental, the trashy, it´s all here and in finest shape. Granted, it´s not as trashy as Destroy Erase Inprove, and it´s not as fast as Chaosphere, and it´s not as slow as Nothing nor as experimental as Catch 33, but obZen is all of those things all in one album. This is by far Meshuggah´s most varied work to date and, might I say, their best because of it. While all Meshggah´s albums are great they tend to be a bit same-y. Not this one. Here the now five pice line-up goes from trash with their opener Combustion on to groovy riffing wih Lethargica passing thru the ultra tech Bleed (which is Meshuggah´s best song after the incredible 21 min I) where all hats must be taken off for Thoman Haake for playing what must be some of the most difficult and creative drum patterns I have yet to hear in metal on to the more experimental Electric Red they do it all, sometimes even in one song like Pineal Gland Optics (which I can´t see how that can be played) where riffs, groove, experimentation and some faster tempos all collapse into an impressive piece of extrem music.

This is Meshuggah at it´s best! It´s not only an inpressive album to follow but also a great introduction to the band for the new comers. Again I must remark Haake´s drumming for he has never played better than in this album (which is already impresive) and, as always, to Fredrik Thordendal who I believe to be metal´s most important guitarist of the last 10 years! His riffs, his rythmic pattern´s and soloing have already crawled into a number of bands (including some non metal bands too) and there is a good reason for it, and this album is just another reason why. Also I must call out the best songs, which are, as I already said, Bleed, Electric red, obZen, Pineal Gland Optics and the fantastic 9 min closer Dancers To A Discordant System which has one of the best riffs I´ve ever heard in metal music. called Meshuggah the most important band in metal today... and it´s true! GET THIS ALBUM!

el böthy | 4/5 |


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