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NOTHING (2006)


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Meshuggah Nothing (2006) album cover
3.71 | 117 ratings | 12 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Stengah (5:38)
2. Rational Gaze (5:26)
3. Perpetual Black Second (4:39)
4. Closed Eye Visuals (7:25)
5. Glints Collide (4:56)
6. Organic Shadows (5:19)
7. Straws Pulled at Random (5:16)
8. Spasm (4:14)
9. Nebulous (7:06)
10. Obsidian (8:33)

Total Time 58:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Jens Kidman / lead vocals
- Fredrik Thordendal / lead & rhythm guitars, bass (original 2002 recording), synth
- Mårten Hagström / rhythm guitar
- Tomas Haake / drums, spoken vocals (4,8)

- Dick Lövgren / bass (credited only by 2006 re-recording)

Releases information

Artwork: Tomas Haake

CD Nuclear Blast ‎- NB 542-2 (2002, Germany)
CD Nuclear Blast ‎- NB 1729-2 (2006, Germany) Remastered and partially re-recorded, new cover

LP Night Of The Vinyl Dead Records ‎- NIGHT 017 (2007, Italy)
2LP Nuclear Blast ‎- NB 3446-5 (2016, US) New cover

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MESHUGGAH Nothing (2006) ratings distribution

(117 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

MESHUGGAH Nothing (2006) reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog-jester
2 stars Another band I’ll hardly ever return to.

After numerous recommendations from respected sources I decided to give it a try. I felt like I’m making a mistake, because with all my love to emotions and melodies MESHUGGAH is hardly a band corresponding to these characteristics. But on the other side I’ve always liked some Experimental/Post-Metal bands, as well as few Tech/Extreme Metal ones. Who can pre-see the result? This is unexpected thought I. Borrowed “I” and “Nothing” from a friend and gave them few spins. Frankly saying, as much as I could bear, because there are no melodies/emotions at all. I can clearly see the point: this is pure energy, pure Metal, very complex, technical, with head-crashing riffs and outstanding level of maturity from each member of the band. But this is NOT my music. So why should I even bother writing this review? This is a testament, brothers, for future generations to come: don’t repeat my mistakes. If you like emotions and melodies most, you’d better follow the right instructions instead of getting yourself two evenings of instant headache. MESHUGGAH is a stopping bar to even more extreme music for me, and I doubt I’d ever go beyond this fence. So what’s for me? OPETH, TOOL, MAUDLIN OF THE WELL, EPHEL DUATH finally – yes. MESHUGGAH – no, thank you. This is where the music stops.

Review by Moatilliatta
5 stars In 2006, after the success of the band's first recording using drummer Tomas Haake's Drumkit from Hell program, Meshuggah thought it best to go back and renovate their 2002 transitional album Nothing. When recording the album, the group encountered several problems. The most significant of the problems was that the group had written the material for 8-string guitars, but their custom 8-string guitars had not been ready by the time of recording. This forced the group to use downtuned 7-string guitars instead, and the result was a tremendously muddy sound. Though Nothing received generally glowing reviews, the band was most displeased with it. Since they now had their 8-stringers, why, not go back and give the album the sound it was supposed to have in the first place? So, the band went back to the studio and practically re-did the whole thing from scratch. They scrapped all of the guitars, basses, and even the drums. The drums were redone using the aforementioned Drumkit from Hell. They triggered the drums using the original tracks with the program to give this redo the most precise foundation possible and to keep the songs as close to the originals in both structure and execution. The only changes to the songs are 1) a slightly slower tempo for Nebulous and 2) extending Obsidian to nearly twice the length of the original. Then the guitars and basses were laid down with the proper equipment. Finally, the old vocal tracks were put back in place with some extra dramatic effects. The band altered the color scheme of the original album cover from yellows and black to blues and black, put together a neat 3-D holorgram insert, and compiled a DVD of live videos and studio music videos to give this re-release some extra weight. On the cellophane wrapper, you'll find a sticker bearing a quote from the band: This is how we always wanted it to sound. Those who own the previous version of the album might not be convinced by the quote or the bonuses in the package, be it because they love their version, or because they hated it. Is the music worth the extra money? HOLY CRAP, YES!

Some fans say this version lacks the atmosphere of the 2002 version, and I say that is bunk! The atmosphere is definitely different, but while the old atmosphere was the result of equipment being used in ways it wasn't meant to be used, the new atmosphere seems natural and subdued beneath the clean, ultra-thick grooves. You can actually make out the notes on this one! The production is crystal clear and thicker than ever. While some more will also bicker about the use of programmed drums, I say whatever! Haake has already proved himself as one of metal's greatest drummers, and you know the guy can play this stuff anyway. Triggering the drums from the old tracks is a great way to update the sound of the kit, manipulate those two songs and still keep the parts how they were originally performed.

I ought to touch up on the material on this disc for those who aren't already familiar with it. Nothing shows the band shifting gears from a thrashy base to a slower, groovy one. The complexity is as high as ever, but instead of dazzling the listener with their speed, they dazzle the listener with indeipherable patterns and brutally deep riffs that lock into grooves with the trademark polyrythmic drumming.

This is probably Meshuggah's best disc to date, but how was I to know before this new version was put out? Truly, the old version was simply a good album that I admired but couldn't love, but this new version reveals supreme music by this revolutionary group; It's a shame that such glory was buried underneath that mud for four years. I must agree with the band, this is how I always wanted it to sound, too.

Review by Rune2000
3 stars I've never realized how much the guitar sound could do for my overall appreciation of music but this re-release version of Nothing made it seem very clear.

I don't really remember why I never bought the original version of this studio album, I did hear it a few times and even borrowed a copy from a friend at one point. I remember to have enjoyed its content but once Catch 33 was released I went straight for that album leaving Nothing on the lower end of my wish-list.

Eventually I heard rumors of a Nothing re-release and after reading an interview with Tomas Haake where he explained that the band never achieved the goals they had with their forth studio album, I decided that this was a perfect opportunity for me to finally get the album. I was so excited about hearing it, but once I finally did it wasn't all that I was hoping for. This re-release turned out to be truly a unexpected surprise because when listening to it, for the first time, I couldn't recognize any of these compositions. Granted that it was a few years since I heard the first version of Nothing but I just wasn't expecting such a dramatic difference. First off the guitars sound entirely different and although I can't judge if it's for the better or worse, from a professional point of view, I personally don't enjoy it as much. Then there is an issue related to the drum-track. I know that Haake has already received a lot of heat for using the Drumkit from Hell software (which also has been used on Devin Townsend's Ziltoid The Omniscient) on Catch 33 which did ruin that experience for me. I think that there have been some enhancements done to this drum-track as well. Although I still haven't compared it to the original version there are a few compositions that do in fact sound different.

These problems do ruin excellent compositions like Rational Gaze and Perpetual Black Second for me. Spasm still sounds great which probably has to do more with that it's a much stronger track to begin with. I would still pick the original over this any day of the week. I also don't understand what has happened to Obsidian. Who thought that it was a great a idea to double its length anyway?

There are so many things that I can nitpick related to this release but it all come down to me not seeing the point of this re-release. If they still have gone through all this trouble of re-recording most of the guitar tracks and some of the drum-parts, why not just write a new album in the same style? I doubt that this proposition would have split the fans as much as this album have done. The flashy cover and a bonus DVD don't make up for for these wrongdoings, so don't purchase this release just on that premise.

Since great compositions are still here I can't go below the good, but non-essential rating, but I'd like to stress the non-essential part.

***** star songs: Spasm (4:15)

**** star songs: Rational Gaze (5:26) Perpetual Black Second (4:39) Glints Collide (4:56) Straws Pulled At Random (5:17) Nebulous (7:07)

*** star songs: Stengah (5:38) Closed Eye Visuals (7:26) Organic Shadows (5:20) Obsidian (8:34)

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Nothing (Re-Recording)' - Meshuggah (5/10)

Meshuggah are one of the most influential metal bands to ever exist. The mere guitar tone o Fredrik Thordendal has inspired an entire 'djent' scene in modern metal, after all. They are a band whose detractors even acknowledge their sheer talent and accomplishment as musicians. Sadly, I would have to include myself as one of those detractors. While their (at the moment) latest album 'ObZen' wowed me, most of their discography passes me as being painfully monotonous, without much in the way of surprises or emotion. Despite a fancy re-cording, Meshuggah's re-recording of their album 'Nothing' still does little for me. Their music is technically impressive and they do brilliant things with the one apparenty musical idea they work with, but as a whole, there is something about 'Nothing' that is sorely missing.

Anyone who has heard Meshuggah will know that the band has a very clear sense of style, and they are rarely keen on deviating from their chosen course. In Meshuggah's case, their music revolves around chugging guitars, heavy drums, and the robotic, aggressive vocals of Jens Kidman. Occasionally, Thordendal will throw in a brilliant jazz solo, but this concept of having the entire band function as a rhythm section is what drives Meshuggah forth. In the case of this re-recording, Mesuggah sought to redo 'Nothing' due to poor circumstances revolving around the recording of the original. At the time of the original 'Nothing' recording, Meshggah did not have the 8-string guitars they wanted for the job, so they had to settle with something less bass-heavy. The result was a less meaty sound, and while other measures have been taken to polish up the sound of the album- including a redone drum production- 'Nothing' remains very much the same album that listeners will have possibly heard before.

Performance-wise, Meshuggah are a group of musicians who know what they want, and pull it off with flying colours. Despite the legions of soundalikes, there is not a band out there that really sounds like Meshuggah. On the other hand, Meshuggah's sound here is quite narrow, almost never straying from the prescribed chg-chug rhythms. The band's music has inspired a joke that they have only ever used one note in their entire career, and while that's obviously an exaggeration, it makes a bold point. The rhythms of Meshuggah are powerful, but it comes at a total loss of melody and emotion. Jens Kidman's soulless bark does not help things any; despite philosophically sound lyrics, the shock value of his aggressive vocals wears off within minutes. 'Nothing' is a technically impressive album, both in regards to the old and new version, but much of what I enjoy most about music seems to have been overlooked by Meshuggah.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Nothing's rel-release does nothing to change how I feel about it. Full disclosure, this is my own personal least favorite record by the band, a surprising sentiment given that some would consider the album to be the band's best. I, of course, will readily admit the immense impact of this album. ... (read more)

Report this review (#2353780) | Posted by ssmarcus | Thursday, April 23, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Meshuggah's Nothing is difficult to describe if you've never heard their music before. And the description, on its face, doesn't sound that appealing. Who would want to listen to rhythmically-defined, almost entirely melody-depraved music that is difficult to follow and has death growling, to boo ... (read more)

Report this review (#305519) | Posted by msphelps | Monday, October 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This was a big turning point in Meshuggah's carees. This LP is very different from the last one, the chaotic and fast-paced Chaosphere. On Nothing Meshuggah have tuned the guitars even further down, and slowed down the tempos beyond anything they've ever done. The result is a crushingly heavy, devas ... (read more)

Report this review (#256209) | Posted by idiotPrayer | Tuesday, December 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is my first review. I figured I would start with the album with I listen to most consistently, Meshuggah's Nothing. I hesitated giving this album five stars. Although extremely progressive in the aspect of making every single band member (vocalist included) part of the rhythm section, the ... (read more)

Report this review (#193846) | Posted by explodingjosh | Monday, December 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I don't think I have much to write about this album since much will be already written about the original. Although the band thought that the original Nothing lacked the energy in the guitars, my belief was that it was still one hell of a masterpiece. Rule #1: Don't play with what you've alre ... (read more)

Report this review (#155080) | Posted by hybreda | Monday, December 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is in all actuality the real "Nothing" It was Meshuggah's intent to make this album with 8 string guitars, but the lack of time and guitars forced them to just downtune the 7's. This is a fantastic album, embodying(sp) everything meshuggah is, the album has a far more organic sound, while st ... (read more)

Report this review (#119956) | Posted by Lex C | Friday, April 27, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have always felt that this is a very strong album, possibly their strongest. Meshuggah has done something that is very hard to do and that is to create a very original style of music and keep it evolving and actually good, better yet, amazing. This is a re-realease of Nothing, they have re- ... (read more)

Report this review (#113066) | Posted by Matt Dickens | Wednesday, February 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars To start, I love Meshuggah. They have been a very important part of my musical experience for about two years, and have not even started to grow old. This re-release of Nothing is far less organic than the original. The biggest reason that any fan should buy this album is for clarity. The patt ... (read more)

Report this review (#99178) | Posted by | Friday, November 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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