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Meshuggah - ObZen CD (album) cover

OBZEN

Meshuggah

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.69 | 232 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
2 stars My favorite Meshuggah-era began with None from 1994 and concluded with I a decade later. I didn't find Catch 33 to be on par with those releases due to excessive use of drum machines and lack of bass sound outside the digital one that came from the drums. In hope of a new Meshuggah era I listened to ObZen, but this album managed to disappointed me even more than Catch 33.

It's not really the writing that makes this a lesser release since most of the tracks are pretty solid. Instead it's the band's performance that isn't what it used to be. Jens has a great voice but this time around I found it irritating. I don't know whether his vocal cords have weakened due to the abuse that they have undergone over the years or that he just tries too hard to sound even more brutal than what he used to. As for the instrumental section of the band I found them going for a more Tool-like sound on this album and although I love Tool we all know that Meshuggah is pretty original on their own so they definitely have no need to imitate other acts and just progress in the direction that they have been going for all these years.

The material here is, for most part, solid but is brought down by the mentioned flaws and I therefore hesitate to bring up a single stand-out track. It's more a question of which of the compositions have suffered the least from this new approach.

Overall ObZen is in my opinion a flawed release by a great band that we all know can do a whole lot better than this. Incidentally the album has become the most commercially successful release of their career which has to do with the Meshuggah-by-numbers approach which occupies almost all of this album's running time. Let's hope that the band will re-group for their next album and surprise me once again!

**** star songs: Combustion (4:11) Pravus (5:12) Dancers To A Discordant System (9:36)

*** star songs: Electric Red (5:53) Bleed (7:19) Lethargica (5:49) ObZen (4:26) The Spiteful Snake (4:54) Pineal Gland Optics (5:14)

Rune2000 | 2/5 |

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