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Meshuggah - Nothing CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.56 | 136 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Sothoth
2 stars Like an Energizer Bunny running increasingly low on batteries, Meshuggah's Nothing still putters along pounding its bass drum, but with less speed, spark, and, in keeping with the simile, energy. I will say that it's almost an exemplary feat that a band can create such technically astute music that also manages to crush me with unrepentant ennui and even repugnance. This stuff physically hurts after awhile with its perpetual mid-tempo barrage of what often seems like two note chord progressions chugged ad-nauseum over precise yet sluggish polyrhythmic drumming. There's also the vocals, constantly yelling like a drill sergeant losing his mind dealing with stoned slackers who just want to eat nachos and nap.

I know a decent portion of Meshuggah fanatics at this point would be shaking their collective heads with the understanding that I just "don't get it", but here's the thing; I am a fan of much of their material. I love ObZen and some of their other albums, but man Nothing just removes much of what I dig about the band's aspects and leaves the pure basics in a stripped down shambling form. There's no energetic speediness or change of format to counter the heavy groove-based numbers, resulting in an excursion that impresses early but settles into a tedious display of nu-metal grooves spliced up and reassembled in occasional jarring fashion. Like a heavier Korn with mathematics degrees.

Granted, I do admire the production in that this album is unquestionably heavy sounding with its extra stringed guitars groaning and "djenting" (silly word, I know) out hellish low notes in mean calculating fashion. As well, on a few occasions interesting melodic soloing appears to add a bit of ambience to the mechanical display, and yes, the tempo virtuosity is exceptional. But I will also say that they do the polyrthymic wackiness much more impressively on other efforts, including the equally plodding but overall better and more interesting Catch 33. As someone who likes what this band can achieve concerning what I would consider their best releases, I can't really recommend this album at all as it churns out one similar mind-numbing sequence after another. I need aspirin and coffee now.

Prog Sothoth | 2/5 |


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