Review Summary: The only reason that you should buy this album is because of the bonus DVD, not the actual album itself.Meshuggah
is without a doubt one of the most unique metal bands around today. Their blunt force and technical thrash has taken metal into new levels where few bands could only dream of. Obzen
is their latest album and displays all of the qualities that Meshuggah
possess. The band started as a heavy thrash band, but with time, the band has increased and developed their skills that have brought forth a slew of masterpieces. Destroy Erase Improve
, Catch 33
are just of few of Meshuggah'
brilliant works. Even though their sound hasn’t changed in any drastic way, their music has always kept things complex and technical. Their drum patterns play one way and their guitar plays another; even their bass sections are given lots of room to show-off. Everything about their sound is complete chaos, but in a much more organized fashion. Meshuggah
doesn't take influences from other bands. Rather, they are the influencers and will always be a source of inspiration to many other bands. Even if Meshuggah
is capable of doing the most complex time measures in metal music, they are still capable of creating an album that doesn't stand out that much. The album I'm talking about is the re-release of the album Nothing
They first released the album Nothing
in 2002 and after a while they released an extended edition of the album in 2006 (Nothing (New Edition)
). This time around, the sound was a lot denser, gloomier and heavier. Some tracks were extended longer and the guitars were equipped with additional strings (8 string guitars to be correct). This edition has a bonus DVD disc that features live shows, official videos and some less professional videos from their vaults. The main reason why this album isn't as strong as their other albums is because Meshuggah decided to slow things down quite a bit! Nothing (New Edition)
is their slowest record to date. Even though the band still keeps this disoriented and complex, every song becomes progressively slower and more drone like, losing much of its entertainment and replay value halfway into the disc. A few of the turnoff tracks include Rational Gaze
is particularly boring because the song itself sounds like its falling into a empty space, completely devoid of anything half interesting to begin with. Rational Gaze
displays some of the most uninspiring riffs that the band has ever created. The structure and technical level has been stepped down a few notches, making these tracks sound dull, one-dimensional and just playing boring. However, the listeners with patience will find some hidden gems on this album such as Perpetual Black Second
, Straws Pulled At Random
and Glints Collide
. These tracks are slightly faster paced and contain better riff structures, keeping them a lot more interesting and more endurable then the other droning tracks on this album. The vocals continue the same harsh, stiff screaming found on previous albums and the lyrics continue to be weird and very fitting to the bizarre music arrangements.
The bonus DVD is much better than the actual re-recording if you ask me. Here you have some of Meshuggah's
best tracks including Future Breed Machine
, Straws Pulled At Random
and New Millennium Cyanide Christ
. The DVD also contains three videos that were shot at the 2005 Download Festival in the U.K (Future Breed Machine, In Death Is Death and Straws Pulled At Random), two official videos (Rational Gaze and Shed) and two videos that show that bands goofy side (New Millennium Cyanide Christ and Rational Gaze). One video shows the band playing air-instruments in a trailer wagon and the band members are headbanging like crazy. The other video for Rational Gaze, Mr. Kidman Delirium Version
shows you Mr. Kidman himself jumping around in a flat, dressed in various wigs and playing a few instruments. All of the videos are top-notch quality, especially the live shots with the headbanging maniac Kidman and his crew. The official videos are well done because they are one hundred percent computerized and represent the band member’s personalities at their craziest and chaotic selves. The last two videos are very funny to watch, but having Rational Gaze
appear three times on two discs can be pretty boring to be quite honest.
''It finally sounds the way we always wanted it to!'' - Meshuggah
The above quote is taken from a sticker attached onto the special editions case. It is great that the band is happy with their final results, but there is not a guarantee that the fans will see it as the band members have. I can't tell if this re-recording is better than the original (because I have never heard it). This album doesn't stand out in any way and it definitely hasn’t made a lasting impression on me compared to their other releases. There are some good tracks on this album but none of them would be considered Meshuggah
classics. Nothing (New Edition)
still has a devastating sound with that signature complexity that Meshuggah is well known for; it just feels like it doesn’t live up to Meshuggah’ standards. This is not a good place to start if you are new to this band. I would suggest that you look into albums like Obzen
or Destroy, Erase, Improve
. The only reason that you should buy this album is because of the bonus DVD, not the actual album itself.
+ Perfect sound production as always
+ Heavy song material
+ Awesome (and funny) bonus DVD material
- The songs are too slow
- Repetitive and uninspiring material
- Completely boring for the most part
-- Perpetual Black Second
-- Straws Pulled At Random
Final rating will be a 2/5.