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Meshuggah - Nothing (New version) CD (album) cover

NOTHING (NEW VERSION)

Meshuggah

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.82 | 81 ratings

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Any Colour You Like
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Meshuggah - Nothing, 2006

Having only heard the original 2002 release of Nothing once, I shall not make any judgement on the merits of the remaster in comparison to the earlier release.

Crushing density, chaotic pulsating rhythms, staccato barks and jazz chromatics collide into the relentless grooves of Nothing. This is what Meshuggah does best. Nothing is a restrained album by the standards of the band, while more groove-orientated than previous releases, Nothing fashions a nihilistic, grinding and robotic atmosphere that chugs on, and on, and on.

Those accustomed to the technicality and heaviness of Meshuggah will understand that the beauty of Nothing does not lie in the 'musicality' of the compositions, but the seemingly endless and pulsating tonality of machine-like instrumentation. Indeed, those looking for typically beautiful music need not apply. Nothing is the sound that you computer makes as the insides become corrupted. Nothing is the sound that you car makes as it tears itself apart. The only difference, is that the sound of Nothing is not chaos, but a carefully orchestrated deconstruction which requires multiple listens to fully comprehend. The mind-altering technicality of Meshuggah is more than a side show, indeed the often subtle patterns that emerge almost seem subconscious, complimenting the mechanical aesthetic of the lyrics and music. Jens Kidman's characteristic bark molds easily into the grind, pushing the listener closer to the lyrical descriptions he expels at great volume. Haake's drumming is typically polished, while the occasional chromatic neo-jazz guitar solo adds a further sinister artificial atmosphere to the album. Lyrically, Nothing is based around existential philosophy, but also exposes the basic faults of humanity leading to the crushing reality that we all face.

While the bludgeoning riffs and liquid patterns are fun at first, but the lack of diversity between tracks dents the overall impact of the album. However, to focus on what Meshuggah doesn't do is to ignore the core concept of the music. The nihilistic overtones and inorganic atmosphere of the album should push the listener away, but not distance them from the hypnotic rhythms and subtleties of Nothing. Indeed, right up until the final moment of "Obsidian", where the album ends mid riff, the conceptual focus of the album is complete and engaging. There is simply nothing more to say. The bonus DVD is also nice, and rounds off what is a very solid release.

Any Colour You Like | 4/5 |

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