Meshuggah
None


3.5
great

Review

by HSThomas USER (33 Reviews)
May 14th, 2010 | 31 replies | 10,651 views


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A look at a possible future for Meshuggah.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Meshuggah have always been a rather electic band. Through six albums they have strived to create a sound that is unique and beautiful in its brutality. Yet while its uniqueness is unquestionable, its repetitiveness and ability to cross genre boundaries has always been something that is put into question. This EP is as important as Obzen because it not only showcases where the band has come from but where they could have and could still go.

As the Genesis of Meshuggah's sound this EP was very much treading into the dark with a white cane, it was at a time when the band was still experimenting and at this point some of the elements within this EP sound weaker than they do within the following releases. The lyrics upon this EP are varied, ranging from Haake's mind-bending metaphors upon Humiliative and Gods of Rapture to the rather abrupt lyrics of Jens Kidman who shouts more about "his ***ed up feelings" upon Ritual than anything else. The guitar riffs of Fredrik Thordendal and Martin Hagstrom are technical but at certain points the interchanges between riffs such as within the end of Humiliative felt out of place, the same applies to the vocals; Jens Kidman has yet to find his feet with the rhythmic beat of the songs with the seemingly random placement of some of his screams and shouts within Sickening. Sickening itself is very much one of the weakest songs upon this EP, its structure derailed mostly by the two guitars occasionally mistiming their riffs with Haake's druming and the use of an acoustic solo two thirds of the way through that felt completely unnecessary.

Fortunately many parts of this EP sound more than make up for what is lost. Haake, the stone monolith that he is, does not fail here with consistently impressive drumming, the opening to Gods of Rapture a bombastic attack upon the listener's skull with his drumsticks. The guitars of Martin Hagstrom and Fredrik Thordendal are far from monotonous. They incorporate soloing upon songs such as Ritual and Humiliative and for once it sounds more natural than before. The incorporation of tentative acoustic sections that are reminiscent of later Jazz Fusions are also pleasant and most of the time well-timed such as again on Ritual. Jens Kidman's vocals, while out of rhythm at certain points on this EP, are far more varied than ever before and since, his use of clean vocals upon the chorus of Ritual a first and sadly last time for him. They are also at points chilling and powerful, the brilliant Aztec Two-Step where it is at its best. With all the instruments pushed behind him, his abrasive vocals create rough textures that make the listener feel the terror of an Aztec ritual. This unarguably shows the pounding rhythm that the band would become most famous for.

It is through this rhythm that the future can be seen. Humiliative, Sickening and Gods of Rapture can cleary be seen to point to both Destroy Erase Improve and Chaosphere-era releases with their speeding riffs and robotic drumming that changes upon a heartbeat. The jazz-fusion-style acoustic sections and song structure of electric-acoustic-electric would be present for both these releases and beyond. However it is the Aztec Two-Step that has the greatest sight of all the releases. It's overflowing riffs, while not possessing the later's complexity and faster beat, is reminiscent of both Nothing and Catch Thirty-Three within its repetition and rhythm. Similarly the drumming is repetitive yet rhythmic and with the ability to change with the rhythm. It is something that is also very prominent within Nothing and Catch Thirty-Three as with the effective use of silences to leave the listener, skull-crushed and ears bleeding, upon the edge of tension. For this then it was the most important track ever. It was. Now the most important track would go to Ritual for not what has been done in its future but for what could possibly be done in our future.

The song is unusually melodic in its composition for Meshuggah. Many of the elements that the band refuses to incorporate into its sound or uses very little of such as guitar soloing and variance in vocals are all pushed to the forefront. Granted it is not as complex here but it is the promise that it shows that makes it far more important. It shows us guitar solos and riffs that are more organic than digitised with mathmatical precision within later works. The use of clean vocals too that, while a little weak, have the potential to be so much better. All of this rapped up within a traditional Meshuggah structure. It shows they can pursue melody with out losing that core sound that makes them so unique. It's an area they could have reached out into and could still but so far they have not done so. Indeed with the song Bleed upon Obzen it seems the direction they will taking will be more in the line of hardcore, the completely opposite direction. It is a shame as it is an impediment upon a band who wishes to break genre boundaries. Maybe it is the fear of being caught up in mainstream metal? Who knows but in the end the None EP, like Obzen, showcases what has come before in Meshuggah's history and also a possible future for the mad geniuses. A future that is paved in caved-in skulls and smashed computers...



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user ratings (128)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ConsiderPhlebas
May 14th 2010



6157 Comments


I think I need to hear this. Love Meshuggah.




Cool review, man.

ConsiderPhlebas
May 14th 2010



6157 Comments


There are a few minor grammatical errors, which almost everyone has when they first put a review up - for instance, there should be an 'as' before 'Obzen' in the last sentence of the first paragraph. There is the odd run-on sentence here and there, too. But overall it's good, man - detailed but not not boring; enthusiastic but objective.

R6Rider
May 14th 2010



4063 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'VE SEEN THE BLOOD OF GENERATIONS!

Digging: Homewrecker - Worms and Dirt

SatansLittleHelper
May 14th 2010



192 Comments


nothing

Relinquished
May 14th 2010



22318 Comments


Great review, was planning on doing this but never got around. "Ritual" and "Humiliative" are my favorites off this.

asaf
May 14th 2010



873 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sickening is great. stoked they put it on the contradictions collapse release.

R6Rider
May 14th 2010



4063 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5


R6Rider, I'm guessing you like Humiliative, Aztec Two-Step's better, trust me on that.

My favorite track off this always seems to change. But yeah good review. My first experience of Meshuggah was this along with Contradictions.

Relinquished
May 14th 2010



22318 Comments


What do you think of Jens Kidman's clean vocals?


They were good, reminded me of Layne Staley of Alice In Chains, but deeper, a few times. Kinda wish they made a few more songs with the clean vocals.

Relinquished
May 14th 2010



22318 Comments


I just wish they would pursue some of the promise they show on this album, they could go so much further...

I don't know. To me, this is a tamer version of Destroy Erase Improve. I think they did go far and beyond with what they've done so far.

R6Rider
May 14th 2010



4063 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No prob.

I think Contradictions is pretty underrated especially for the time it was released in. But I do agree they should do something along the lines of None again. They've released some awesome stuff like Nothing and especially Obzen but I think they have done all they can with their current sound.

Relinquished
May 14th 2010



22318 Comments


DEI is pretty much the same as this but better.

Relinquished
May 14th 2010



22318 Comments


You're right that Meshuggah have been taking a more hardcore approach with their sound, in obZen they still have their groove-oriented songs (given more of a slower tempo) with some songs with more hardcore chugging than usual.
I guess they can either write faster, more thrashy songs like they did with this, DEI, and Chaosphere. Or more groovy, repetitive (though I enjoy that), slow songs.

Relinquished
October 26th 2010



22318 Comments


god I love Humiliative

KILL
January 26th 2011



67023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

same

Digging: Picchio dal Pozzo - Picchio dal Pozzo

KILL
December 26th 2011



67023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

THE GRIP OF HATE

AND LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

MO
December 31st 2011



17341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

all about aztec two step

Digging: Soundtrack - Turok 2: Seeds of Evil OST

Fluttertrank
September 9th 2012



16915 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aztec Two-Step fucking rules.

DJENT DJENT DJENT DJENT DJENT DJENT.

yeah sweet chords

Digging: Xanthochroid - Blessed He With Boils

KjSwantko
November 5th 2012



8717 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow this is a lot better than I remembered.

MO
November 5th 2012



17341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck yea kj

BigPleb
April 11th 2013



28267 Comments


Only Meshuggah I haven't heard.



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