Meshuggah
obZen (15th Anniversary Remastered Edition)


4.5
superb

Review

by Ben STAFF
April 12th, 2023 | 245 replies


Release Date: 03/31/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Happy Birthday to M/eshuggah

To commemorate obZen’s 15th anniversary, and one rather spicy remaster, we here at sputnikmusic.com have decided to celebrate in old school style … that’s right BABY it’s track-by-track review time oooh loooooooord let’s GET IT ONNNN!!!

Combustion: Still the gold standard when it comes to Meshuggah openers, and mission statements in general tbqf: Combustion is the shit. Jens Kidman remains palpably deranged, neck-veins popping in HD, screm-ing (presumably) the Swedish national anthem atop the most chaotic version of the most chaotic song literally ever. He forcefully KABOOMs this 15yo car bomb of a record back to life, and yet, thanks to Thomas Eberger and Sofia von Hage’s mixing wizardry, there’s more subtlety and decorum to be found here than ever before. The boisterous drum fills and cymbal crashes, in particular, now ring clear as a bell, lending the already haywire aesthetic an extra shiny layer of cacophony. Undoubtedly an extreme metal icon, forever and always. Rating: 11 out of 10 yes yes YES

Electric Red: I used to think this was the problematic middle child of the otherwise immaculate obZen opening trio. I was, as it turns out, wrong (lol). Electric Red’s unexpected staying power comes not just from just how many absurd rhythmic switcheroos the bois rattle through, but the seamlessness with which they see it done, its perplexing (relative) accessibility a testament to the deft craftsmanship on display. It, too, has been bolstered by the added clarity re what precise drumkit fuckery Haake is hammering out at any given minute - see in particular the sharp snares and bubbly popcorn tom hits at the 2:55 mark, now infused with a joyous primal girth. Perhaps the greatest beneficiary of the fresh lick of paint here, me thinks. Rating: Androidic IBS simulator out of 10

Bleed: The alpha and the omega aka the beginning and the end aka one rather big and important boi. For real tho the BASS holy shit YES finally a version of this iconic-ness that hasn’t been compressed via a fax machine on a potato farm you are all in for a treat. The rest, as it’s said, goes without saying. A genre-defining, physics-defying, and by all accounts essential moment in LOUD music, whose influencees are innumerable and ungainly and (mostly) good. Rating: Bleed out of Bleed

Lethargica: I've always tended to snooze through this one and, tbh, still do. Bass sounds v. good now tho. Rating: an average destroying -4 out of 10 (as to be expected from the only album lull)

ObZen: Wake up MEN it’s breakfast time we’re cooking up some GROOVES heck. Always adored the sneaky way this succulent t/t ratchets up the heaviness notch by notch until oh heck oh no the breakfast is on fire oh god oh dear who thought it’d be a good idea to deep fry croissants buggering arse shit balls. Comments w/r/t the remaster: erm, idk (lol). I lack the vernacular and expertise and minimum required number of brain cells to articulate why this sounds so ‘uge, but it does (whoo). Rating: Big croissant out of small croissant

This Spiteful Snake: Does that relative moment of respite ting immensely better than Lethargica imho - slick serpentine synapse snapping is, clearly, the way. Rating: One smol snek slivering within a pile of more sneks out of snek

Pineal Gland Optics: The unholy incestial spawn of Combustion, Electric Red and ObZen: all the chameleonic grooves, perplexing drum fills and circuit-board-meets-atom-bomb textural tomfoolery. For my money, the unsung hero of the LP + sounding more barbaric than ever - the newfound textural depth to the vox is just *mwah*. Rating: A quiet pulmonary embolism out of 10

Pravus: Fuck me I always forget that this album has a second wind and starts throwing ablaze croissants left right and centre TAKE COVER good gosh and golly. Bashes your head into the table over and over and over and oops I forgot I’m meant to be reviewing a remaster erm where did I leave my audiophile cheat sheet *ahem* well, I mean, erm, this just sounds nice and heavy and slick and grr. Rating: Meshuggah out of hagguhseM

Dancers To A Discordant System: An epitome. Contains a lil’ bit of all that which makes obZen the triumph that it is w/ a few extra tricks released from sleeves as appropriate e.g. elongate and exaggerate and dial in mosh-mandatory-riffage and FINALLY open up the space and do some actual grown-up songwriting c.f. simply throwing calculators into walls w/ rage etc. Rating: The End Of The Fucking World out of 10

[okay so this is the really important conclusion-y bit where you insert insightful closing remarks that tie together all of obZen’s many qualities and values and the immense influence it’s had on you and your taste and all the good things it’s done for heavy music and the scene and then a little bit about how the remaster kinda blows lol I mean it’s no Redux treatment that’s for sure but I mean I guess it tweaks and tugs things in all the right ways whilst being respectful to the source material and is more than just an excuse to sell vinyls probably and then also idk do something clever and self-aware and meta just make sure you DO NOT FORGET TO DELETE tnx]




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user ratings (70)
4.4
superb


Comments:Add a Comment 
AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2023


10234 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sorry I am late here is your thread

artiswar
April 12th 2023


13567 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yessss, a track-by-track review. I haven't had an old fashioned in a long time. And I always throw calculators at walls when I listen to Dancers, how did you know

nash1311
April 12th 2023


8174 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Lethargica literally best track here lol. Ghost mind negged!

Gmork89
April 12th 2023


8679 Comments


Great review, Lethargica slaps tho

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2023


10234 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I mean it’s probably still a 3.5 the -4 is facetious / a joke but ye not for me

TheTripP
April 12th 2023


4519 Comments


Oooooohbzen

evilford
April 12th 2023


64500 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Bruh lethargica is one of the band's best songs lol



Still, props. And thanks for the thread

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2023


10234 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lethargica looks fun as shit live tbf but heck I did not see this backlash coming lol rip I stand by my opinions please do not ask me to provide further and better particulars thereof

Scoot
April 12th 2023


22223 Comments


this album shaped the next decade plus of metal

SteakByrnes
April 12th 2023


29871 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lmfao fun review throwback, I gotta jam this

DarkSideOfLucca
April 12th 2023


17662 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is prob the easiest 5 I've ever given out in my life



It's beyond so far beyond a 5, it's ridiculous

MonumentsOfParalysis
April 12th 2023


844 Comments


Lethargica defenders, arise!

Review is the tits tho frfr m/

boilingboyy
April 12th 2023


13 Comments


Classic album to be sure. But did it really need remastering?

SteakByrnes
April 12th 2023


29871 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yea this goes super hard, sounds a bit clearer and more beefy

DarkSideOfLucca
April 12th 2023


17662 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

To be fair, it took me a great many years to truly appreciate Lethargica as one of my favorites.



Bleed, obZen, Pravus and Dancers were always my favorites.



But yeah, now Lethargica is way up there for me, prob more than Dancers.

Christbait
April 12th 2023


343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've picked up on a lot of nuances with this version, especially when listening to Bleed. It's a great remaster. Absolutely love it.

Shemson
April 12th 2023


4156 Comments


Haha great review if you’ve enjoyed this site growing up over many years

Cimnele
April 12th 2023


2527 Comments


last 4 mins of dancers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

artiswar
April 12th 2023


13567 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Am giddy to hear this new + improved. Not sure when I will get to it but it's gonna be fucking awesome

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2023


10234 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My vinyl copy has been delayed for 2 weeks now I am a grumpy boi



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