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Meshuggah - ObZen

Discussion in 'Metal Reviews' started by Bleakest Harvest, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Bleakest Harvest

    Bleakest Harvest \m/Misanthropic Hippy\m/

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    Meshuggah - ObZen
    Nuclear Blast - NB1937-2 - 11 March 2008
    By Paddy Walsh

    [​IMG]

    Meshuggah may be coasting along in their own little niche nowadays, but let's face it - what a niche! With a multitude of copyists in their wake, yet none of them offering any real threat to the summit of their sizeable ultra-tech bizarro-thrash mountain, a new Meshuggah release is always greeted with endless platitudes from critics and fans alike. ObZen doesn't really tread any new ground per se, but instead acts as a superb summation of the many head-spinning vistas they've frequented over the years, pinching elements from their entire catalogue, from the thrashy classic Destroy Erase Improve, the slowed-down groove of Nothing, the panic-stricken I EP to the all-out head-fuckery of Catch Thirty Three.

    'Combustion', for instance, is as straightforward a Meshuggah song as anyone could hope for these days, its opening riff nearly recalling Tool before it blasts off into myriad rhythmic twists and turns, before climaxing in an ear-splitting solo amidst Tomas Haake's omnipresent drum abuse. The incredible 'Bleed' rumbles menacingly, raising the ghost of Chaosphere but implementing the lessons learned from I in the process, thudding mercilessly in a barrage of controlled pounding. 'Lethargica' is just that, and it could have easily found a home on Nothing, creeping slothfully along and winding its tentacles around the ears. The proggy title-track seems almost structureless, but as always with Meshuggah the chaos is tightly controlled by guitarists Thordenal and Hagstrom, as the band effortlessly switch tempos at whim. This may sound rather tantalising, but closer 'Dancers to a Discordant System' is ObZen's major triumph, a 9 minute epic that is breathtaking in its scope, constantly heaving and swelling, Haake possibly flailing his drumsticks like a tribal robot, as Jens Kidman meanwhile rasps threateningly and screams manically throughout. The soaring refrain is the kind of effortless piece de resitance that the likes of Textures and Gojira only wish they could pull off with such grace, and Meshuggah do it with ease.

    ObZen doesn't attempt to reinvent Meshuggah, but it does an almost flawless job of reaffirming one's faith in a band who have consistently delivered the goods songwise, and for music this precise and technical, that is certainly no mean feat. At times ObZen may come across as a little too comfortable, mainly because we've become accustomed to Meshuggah constantly challenging us, be it with Nothing's sudden de-tunement or Catch Thirty Three's 40-minute, 1-track insanity. ObZen is a consistent, thoroughly arse-kicking play on Meshuggah's many strengths, and that should be all you need to know.

    Official Meshggah Website
    Official Meshuggah MySpace
    Official Nuclear Blast Website
     
  2. IntoPhagist

    IntoPhagist FloriiiiiiiooooooOOO!

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    Best Album of 2008
     
  3. circus_brimstone

    circus_brimstone Forest: Sold Out

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    Yeah, I'm really enjoying this one. I can't decide where I'd rank it in their discography, though. In any case, "Bleed" is a monster.
     
  4. Satanstoenail

    Satanstoenail My Larpstyle determines my Derpstyle

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    Excellent review.
     
  5. TheTechnogoat

    TheTechnogoat Protean

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    really knowledgable review. Electric Red and Dancers to a Discordant System are just fantastic.
     
  6. the_drip

    the_drip Martriden K

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    This is a great album. May be my favorite Meshuggah album as a whole.
     
  7. BloodSword

    BloodSword Member

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    There's Meshuggah and then, well I don't know. This is "growing" on me. However, DEI was just a monumental album for me. The "jazz/thrash" on that album put it over the top. "Acrid Placidity" is one of my all-time favorite songs by this band. And Frederick Thordendal might be the best guitarist out there today. Just my opinion.
     
  8. PaulRawNerve

    PaulRawNerve QUIM!

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    atrocious artwork.
    best meshuggah album since 'chaosphere'.
     
  9. circus_brimstone

    circus_brimstone Forest: Sold Out

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    Agreed!
     
  10. Krilons Resa

    Krilons Resa High Infidelity

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    Agreed as well. But I say best work since the I ep.
     
  11. Addicted

    Addicted Blaze In The Northern Sky

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    Insane album.
     
  12. Hail The Wizard!

    Hail The Wizard! Baptised by Gasoline

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    awesome album
    bleed - what a track!
     
  13. Return to Serenity

    Return to Serenity The Sultan of Slosh

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    Obzen is def in my top 5 of last year.. amazing album..




    Last I check Gojira didnt sound anything like Meshuggah nor do they try, no need for the rip.
     
  14. Dimaension X

    Dimaension X Member

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    The guitar solos seem a bit "buried" in the mix, though. Anyone else notice this? It's too bad, cause Thordendal's "Holdworthian" guitar solos are a big attraction for me.

    Otherwise, the album is a bit more "listenable" than the other Meshuggah albums.
     
  15. thefalloftheheretic

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    Excellent album. Bleed, it's like Haake is a machine. Awesome album art too.
     
  16. DarkestDivide

    DarkestDivide New Metal Member

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    yeah, I think Meshuggah are very unique they had a very "Un-common" song, In my opinion and remember I said opinion.. Elastic was a very unique song on the album.
     
  17. Balphagor

    Balphagor Member

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    Meshuggah is awesome, nice review.
    Pravus and Pineal Gland Optics had pretty good riffs I thought, you didn't mention them though.
     
  18. EddieMisery

    EddieMisery New Metal Member

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    Definitely a good review, and this is definitely one of my favorite (and most listened) albums.
     
  19. mike_mc_metal

    mike_mc_metal New Metal Member

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    what an album!:OMG: still wanna see them live keep missing em tho :-/
    they remind me a bit of fell silent tesseract & no consequence from the UK, probably the only decent metal bands we got atm if u like meshuggah u shld check em out
     
  20. Guitarfreak5253

    Guitarfreak5253 New Metal Member

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    'I' changed the course of my life... in 21 minutes. ObZen definitely didn't dissappoint. Bleed is among my most recommended songs by them. Meshuggah is absolutely essential for those crappy days at work when you've only got 15 minutes in your car to blow off some steam. Considering the plethora of crappy new CD's by used-to-be good bands, ObZen has quickly become a gem in my collection. I swear the screaming is the best I've heard... ever.
     

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