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Meshuggah Contradictions Collapse & None album cover
3.36 | 10 ratings | 3 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Paralyzing Ignorance (4:27)
2. Erroneous Manipulation (6:20)
3. Abneagating Cecity (6:31)
4. Internal Evidence (7:28)
5. Qualms of Reality (7:07)
6. We'll Never See the Day (6:03)
7. Greed (7:06)
8. Choirs of Devastation (4:00)
9. Cadeverous Mastication (7:31)
10. Humiliative (5:17)
11. Sickening (5:46)
12. Ritual (6:17)
13. Gods of Rapture (5:10)

Total Time 79:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Fredrik Thordendal / guitar, lead vocals
- Peter Nordin / bass, vocals
- Jens Kidman / guitar, lead vocals
- Tomas Haake / drums, vocals

Releases information

This is a compilation that features the whole 'Contradictions Collapse' album from 1991, as well as the 'None' EP from 1994. Unfortunately, the last track on 'None' was cut from this album because of length, so there are only 13 tracks on this album instead of 14.

CD Nuclear Blast NB 292-2 / 27361 62922 (1998, Europe, digipack)

Thanks to Bj-1 for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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MESHUGGAH Contradictions Collapse & None ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MESHUGGAH Contradictions Collapse & None reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tapfret
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Two selections for a transitional period

Sub-genre: Tech/Extreme Prog-Metal (Strong fit)
For Fans of: Death, Atheist, Cynic, '80's thrash metal
Vocal Style: Not quite Cookiemonster, but an equally annoying yell fest.
Guitar Style: Heavily distorted, Metallica-like in the Contradictions Collapse numbers, more compressed and gated with Holdsworth style warm solo tones during None. Each album contains occasional clean breaks
Keyboard Style: Choral patch for ambience only heard on solo/bridge section of Gods of Rapture
Percussion Style: Heavy Heavy Metal, technically strong, thick with polyrhythms, especially on None
Bass Style: Occasional overdrive, picked metal bass
Other Instruments: None

Summary: The LP and EP presented in this collection mark important transition in the approach to Meshuggah's music. Contradictions Collapse, their first LP release is primarily viewed as a thrash metal album. The beats are fairly straight forward with occasional breaks and oblique syncopations. But the foundations for something different than the Slayers and Metallicas of the day had already been laid. Large sections of the songs included vast Jazz influenced chord extensions as well as tri- tonal and whole tone intervals that were few and far between at the time in the metal world. Hints of guitarist Fredrik Thordendahl's love of Alan Holdsworth were spicing his solos. This love comes into full light in None, particularly in the song Gods of Rapture, with its long keyboard backed, syncopated bridge/solo section. The EP marked a shift in the drumming approach as well. The opening song, Humiliative, starts with a rarely heard, almost drunken sounding polyrhythm that basically set the tone for the remainder of Meshuggah's career. The recording quality is greatly improved as well. The guitars have a tighter, compressed feel that give abrupt thumps with every chord.

Final Score: Whether considered a thrash metal or progressive metal album, Contradictions Collapse contains some tight, quality songs. No less than 3 stars. None is a defining moment in Tech/Extreme Progmetal. 4.5 stars. Kidmans voice is always a half star subtraction. Bonus points for leaving the ultra annoying Aztec Two-Step off the album.
3.8 Stars rounded up.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Contradictions Collapse & None" is a compilation album by Swedish technical thrash/groove metal act Meshuggah. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in 1998. It compiles the material from Meshuggah´s 1991 debut full-length studio album "Contradictions Collapse" and their 1994 "None" EP. As the compilation was originally released on a single CD, the closing track from the EP "Aztec Two-Steps" was left off the album because of the 80 minutes CD time limit.

Meshuggah started out playing technical thrash metal with a fusion edge. Imagine late 80s Metallica combined with Watchtower, but soon moved on to a more heavy and groove laden technical thrash metal style, before finally settling on the odd-metered, heavy, hypnotic, and aggressive technical/progressive groove laden extreme metal style they are predominantly known for. "Contradictions Collapse & None" respectively represent the two former music styles. Below are individual reviews of both albums (including the "Aztec Two-Steps" track although it was left off this compilation.

"Contradictions Collapse":

"Contradictions Collapse" is the debut full-length studio album by technical thrash metal act Meshuggah. The album was relased through Nuclear Blast Records in January 1991. The original vinyl version of the album features 8 tracks while the CD version features a 9th bonus track in "Cadaverous Mastication". Meshuggah formed in 1987 (shortly functioning under the Calipash monicker) and released the "Ejaculation of Salvation" demo in 1989 and later the same year the "Meshuggah (Psykisk Testbild)" EP. There has been one lineup change since the release of the EP as drummer Niklas Lundgren has been replaced by Tomas Haake.

Stylistically the material on "Contradictions Collapse" is technical thrash metal. Lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Jens Kidman has a voice and vocal style which is somewhat similar to how James Hetfield of Metallica sounded in the 80s, although generally a bit more monotone and raw and shouting. Comparisons to the most technical moments on Metallica´s "...and Justice for All (1988)" are also valid enough, but Meshuggah are ultimately an even more technically complex and brutal monster. There´s often a fusion edge to the drumming, and lead guitarist Fredrik Thordendal has a jazz/fusion solo style which is strongly influenced by Allan Holdsworth. "Contradictions Collapse" is not an easily accessible release and the material takes a bit of time and a few spins to remember. Given enough spins hooks begin to appear in memorable riffs and drum patterns or a catchy vocal phrase here and there. The point is that the album is more memorable than it may initially appear.

"Contradictions Collapse" features a powerful and detailed sounding production. It´s not the most well balanced sound production out there, and while it´s nice to actually be able to hear the bass on the metal production, the metallic toned bass is a little too dominant in the mix. The guitars should have been slightly higher placed in the mix and the bass a little lower and the album would arguably have prospered from it. Considering it´s a 1991 thrash metal release, "Contradictions Collapse" is still a well produced album though, so the balance of the instruments in the mix is after all a minor issue. Upon conclusion "Contradictions Collapse" is a strong debut album by Meshuggah and while it´s not a perfect release, and fans of the band´s subsequent releases aren´t guaranteed to enjoy this (it sounds very different from the ultra heavy, complex, and groove laden extreme metal of later works), it´s a succesful release on its own terms. Fans of technical late 80s/early 90s thrash metal are recommended to give this one a listen. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved.


"None" is an EP release by Swedish metal act Meshuggah. The EP was released through Nuclear Blast Records in November 1994. It bridges the gap between the band´s debut and sophomore studio albums "Contradictions Collapse (1991)" and "Destroy Erase Improve (1995)". Since the release of "Contradictions Collapse (1991)" rhythm guitarist Mårten Hagström has joined Meshuggah, making the band a five-piece. Lead vocalist Jens Kidman has therefore been relieved of his rhythm guitar duties, and solely performs vocals on "None".

Considering the rhythmic complexity of Meshuggah´s music that was probably a good idea, but compared to the technical thrash metal style on "Contradictions Collapse (1991)", the material on "None" are actually generally a little less structurally complex and more focused on heavy mid-paced grooves. In contemporary reviews the music style on "None" was often compared to thrash/groove metal releases by artists like Pantera, Machine Head, and Sepultura, but while there are both heavy riffs and groove laden rhythms in spades on "None", Meshuggah are ultimately a completely different sounding beast to the mentioned contemporary artists (who themselves would also be wrong to lumb in together). This is challenging, odd-metered, and unconventional thrash/groove metal. Meshuggah had not found their signature sound yet, and the music on "None" is not yet as hypnotic, repetitive, and alien sounding as later releases by the band...but it would be downright wrong to label this "just another 90s thrash/groove metal release" or normal in any way.

Meshuggah had a vision to challenge their audience (and themselves) from day one and "None" is no different in that respect to their other releases. "None" is a relatively long EP featuring 5 tracks and a total playing time of 33:14 minutes. Around 6 minutes of that time are just the band making noises and some silence and therefore closing track "Aztec Two-Step" actually only features 4-5 minutes of music, and not 10:43 minutes as the tracklist says. "Humiliative", "Sickening", and "Gods of Rapture" are all groove laden, heavy, and technical thrash/groove metal tracks, while "Ritual" is probably the most unique and different sounding song in the band´s discography. I wouldn´t exactly call "Ritual" a power ballad or anything like that, but it is unusually melodic and even features Kidman breaking out of his angry James Hetfield impersonation, singing some clean vocal that´s a first...and a last..."Aztec Two-Step" is an industrial tinged thrash/groove metal track.

"None" features a powerful, clear, and detailed sound production, and Meshuggah were already at this point an exceptionally well playing act, so while the EP isn´t a perfect release by any means there is enough quality here to fully warrant a 3.5 star (70%) rating.

So upon conclusion "Contradictions Collapse & None" is a good quality compilation album featuring all the material from the first two major releases by Meshuggah (minus "Aztec Two-Step"). None of the material featured here represents what today is Meshuggah´s signature sound, but it´s still good quality material worth a listen. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars Combo packs are always cool because more often than not you get a good deal that includes some rare or hard to track down tracks that have been out of print for a while but often such compilations throw you a curve ball by advertising one thing and only delivering an incompletion of the entire package. Such is the case with the 1998 MESHUGGAH compilation that combined the 1991 debut album "Contradictions Collapse" with the following 1994 EP "None." The original release by Nuclear Blast was only available in digipak but has since been released as a regular CD as well as vinyl 12".

This compilation contains all eight tracks from the original "Contradictions Collapse" plus the extra track "Cadaverous Mastication" which appeared originally on the debut self-titled EP (also known as "Psykisk Testbild") but has been tacked on to later versions of MESHUGGAH's debut full-length album. While this is fine and dandy, what irks me is that the EP "None" only appears with the first four tracks while the fifth "Aztec Two-Step" has been eliminated due to time limits since it skirted close to the eleven minute mark. While some have stated they find the track annoying, i personally love it and find the "None" experience incomplete without it. Other than that the album flows along with both releases appearing in order of original release.

One thing i do appreciate about this combo pack is that it represents in full contrast the great leap of technical prowess that MESHUGGAH undertook during the three year period between. The debut found the band still stuck in their early Metallica worship years with many riffs lifted directly from albums like "Master Of Puppets" and "?And Justice For All" although the band was starting to unleash the latent experimental freakery which at the time was still kept on a leash. The difference between the last track of "Contradictions Collapse" and the leading "Humiliative" from "None" is stark as it clearly displays how progressive, technical and experimental the band had become as it shed its thrash dependencies and sallied forth into the brave new world of djent-ology.

Since "None" is incomplete, this is really just an edition of "Contradictions Collapse" with four bonus tracks but four really good bonus tracks that hopefully will lead to acquisition of the actual EP in its entirety. While many may not really care if a mere one track is missing, especially from an EP which is often regarded as supplemental, then this is not a bad way to go but for me, "None" is the far superior release and deserves to be experienced in its entirety. I understand why these sorts of comps are released considering many wouldn't bother to track down the EPs that lurk between the cracks but it totally irritates me when such comps represent themselves as being the complete editions at hand but take liberties in editing out relevant material. Oh well.

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