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Meshuggah - ObZen CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.74 | 238 ratings

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The Pessimist
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Meshuggah's album is an interesting one conceptually. Whereas in their previous albums they were experimenting with all sorts of different styles, rhythms and atmospheres, this one is a conglomerate of all four album phases they've been through. This, however, is a remarkably bad thing. Meshuggah are one of my favourite bands, but one of the things that motivates me, in fact the initial thing that motivates me, to buy a new album, is the fact that you KNOW it's going to very different from the last one you bought. Not the case with Obzen. Of course, this can be seen as a new experiment on it's own, or maybe even the 'final product', but there is nothing here we haven't heard before. Which makes it quite pointless to listen to. Anything that is done on here has been done in DEI, Chaosphere and Nothing, so if you look at Meshuggah in the same way I do then you will have very low patience for this album.

On the bright side, however, they have introduced something completely crisp and new to their repetoire. The song Bleed. It is incredible, and the mad rhythm machine of Meshuggah have revealed their ability to play grace-notes like no other band. This song is extremely tight and is an onslaught from start to finish (barre the quiet atonal section at around the 4 minute marker) and is probably one of my favourite songs they've ever pulled out. Also, the production is pretty damn amazing. You can hear every note crystal clear (apart from when they don't want you to) on this record, which is a definite upside. The mixing was done with quite some skill, as you can also hear the bass and both guitars seperately. The absence of this is often a criticism of Meshuggah.

Other than that, however, this album provides nothing to fans like myself. The two other tracks that may deserve mention are Pravus and Pineal Gland Optics, as they are both almost impossible to tap along to. How these guys do it surpasses me completely! However, on a musical perpective (contrary to a mathematical perspective), I don't have the patience for this album: we've seen it all previously. Listen to Bleed if you are to take anything from this. It's not a bad album, and would be a good place to start with this band, but from a fan's point of view, it's unoriginal and quite dull. 3 stars at best.

The Pessimist | 3/5 |


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