Meshuggah
obZen


2.5
average

Review

by Hugo Stiglitz USER (5 Reviews)
September 1st, 2009 | 276 replies | 13,749 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: jumbled thrash meets a robot

13 of 20 thought this review was well written

Opening with a salvo of chunky riffs likely to decimate your face while also likely to leave you dazed in a bored state and completely unmoved, Obzen is another calculated affair by the Swedish math/thrash/whatever outfit. While the band has gone through miraculous efforts to keep themselves alive and give themselves fresh inspiration, all in all the band's hilarious failure comes down to the fact that their diversity is merely chugging in "complex" time signatures with unforgivably monotone vocals and the occasional extraneous keyboard part. Although the band has written interesting past albums, their latest foray into tech-chug is as dull as possible.

If there was ever a flatter, duller, more tragically robotic vocal presentation given off than by Meshuggah’s desperately flailing lead singer, the album itself would just be a computer program; calculated, predictable and unwavering when it comes to following rules. Perhaps, then, that is why Obzen feels so familiar and so repetitive; it’s just the same rhythm over and over. If you’ve ever truly wondered how Meshuggah come up with their time signatures, you’re wasting your time; just roll a pair of dice against a wall and multiply each side by 3. Obzen is no different, offering the same "chaotic" contrived rhythms and notes that every other release they have put out has contained, with almost no differentiation and a boring production so disgracefully uninteresting I’m surprised the producer didn’t fall asleep while he was editing it. With 9 tracks and an overbearing 52 minute runtime, it’s surprising amidst the chugfest that they didn’t come up with at least one scarcely interesting idea. At this point, they are completely recycling concepts; any so-called “innovation” is just a pitifully desperate grasp at past glory.

The melodies are uninteresting, often with attempts at dissonance to make up for the fact at how boring they are; the rhythm is the same on every single song, made even more unforgivable by having exactly the same structure every single song and the same monotonous robotic vocal delivery every single song. The bassist is absolutely nowhere to be heard, but if he could be heard, he’d be just as recycled as everything else. The only part of this album that doesn’t seem to repeat itself over and over is the drumming, which is a hysterical irony considering that most drummers tend to play the same rhythm over and over. Tomas Haake, as always, impresses behind his kit, playing leagues above his contemporaries and band mates when seemingly all hope is gone. Truly, if the man had not rejoined the band prior to the release of this album, it’s quite safe to presume Obzen would have collapsed inwards on itself like a pitiful metallic neutron star.

The promise and talent this band has is inarguable and the complete waste of it unforgivable. If the band cannot comprise a series of riffs and notes that sounds vaguely interesting, perhaps they should go be math teachers, where they can be boring, monotone, repetitive, and benefit society as a whole. Obzen manages nothing greater than being a encore to everything else they’ve ever made, but when you consider that it’s the encore to album after album of recycled chug, you begin to realize why this reviewer was not surprised in the least.

Fun to lose your hearing to but not fun to hear.


user ratings (1970)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Brendan Schroer (1.5)
    An utter waste of time and talent....

    Matthew Roe (4)
    Headphone destroying and technically baffling, Meshuggah recapture their groove with some ...

    Slimjim367 (3)
    Although not breaking new ground, Meshuggah's latest proves a fun ride....

    TheLastAmeigo (4.5)
    you'd think that after 12 albums, any other band would be getting bored. Not Meshuggah......

  • Greg Majewski (3)
    Everyone's favorite Swedish math metallers return with a solid, yet slightly repetitive al...

    Jom STAFF (4.5)
    While sounding homogeneous in spots, 'obZen' is a potential metal album-of-the-year candid...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ulsufyring
September 1st 2009



1724 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

criticism is welcomed but often ignored

Ulsufyring
September 2nd 2009



1724 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

oh so that's how opinions work

Ulsufyring
September 2nd 2009



1724 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

your opinion of my opinion is also an opinion

fireaboveicebelow
September 2nd 2009



6837 Comments


obviously

Ulsufyring
September 2nd 2009



1724 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

see i didn't know that saying your opinion was right made it right

even though reaffirming your first opinion is an opinion of your own opinion and...

Ulsufyring
September 2nd 2009



1724 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

there you go with the opinions again

you really are a one trick pony, huh?

i suppose that's not true, now we have PRESUMPTIONS. you're as boring as this album

Mordecai.
September 2nd 2009



8277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

if i hear opinion one more time! Good review, but god damn i a disagree, especially with this;

"the final nail in the already buried coffin that was Meshuggah's sad, pretentious and unassuming career"

Ulsufyring
September 2nd 2009



1724 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

review made a valid point: band is boring and do boring things thus they are boring

you're ranting as much as i did captain hypocrisy

sad because they're sad, pretentious because they've made more or less the same album over and over, and unassuming because they haven't quite been yet discontent enough to try to change

MassiveAttack
September 2nd 2009



2688 Comments


I have a feeling a flurry of obscene amount of negatives will be here soon...so Ulsufyring if you get some random negs then just talk to the mod on the msg boards. This came off as a rant and it seems like you bash the band an insanely amount of time. There are some pretty good points here though and I look to see more.

Ulsufyring
September 2nd 2009



1724 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

rant: definition subjective

Lunarfall
September 2nd 2009



3179 Comments


first paragraph makes it sound like the metal community as a whole hate meshuggah and wants them to just quit
















but thats not the case is it?

Ulsufyring
September 2nd 2009



1724 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i suppose it might imply that, but that's just what i think of them

okay, perhaps the first paragraph goes a tad bit far, i concede to such a thing

Lunarfall
September 2nd 2009



3179 Comments


i think you could word that part better tbh but its a good review otherwise. it almost sounds like a 1.5-2 review in some places though.

fromtheinside
September 2nd 2009



18082 Comments


interesting that you chose this to be your first review.
you're too negative in the review for it to be a 2.5 to me
aside from the fact that you're rating is laughable, it was a decent read.

Digging: Transcending Bizarre? - The Serpent's Manifolds

Ulsufyring
September 2nd 2009



1724 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i think that meshuggah are talented and COULD write some more amazing material, but they're stuck in a genre (they invented themselves) that is so focused on a same-y sound that they'll never really be able to diversify

Ulsufyring
September 2nd 2009



1724 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

thank you

taylormemer
September 2nd 2009



4917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

criticism is welcomed but often ignored

Yeah, please do make sure you keep this attitude.


Ulsufyring
September 2nd 2009



1724 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

well if someone posts butthurt criticism like "your opinion is wrong", that's not very helpful, is it?

fromtheinside
September 2nd 2009



18082 Comments


lol. you're also kinda funny.

jingledeath
September 2nd 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah stick around review was pretty good although I disagree with most of it and I just checked your ratings, you listen to some real good shit breh



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