Meshuggah - Nothing review
|Release date:||August 2002|
02. Rational Gaze
03. Perpetual Black Second
04. Closed Eye Visuals
05. Glints Collide
06. Organic Shadows
07. Straws Pulled At Random
Disc II [DVD Re-released On October 31st, 2006]
Live At Download Festival
01. Straws Pulled At Random
02. In Death - Is Death
03. Future Breed Machine
+ Rational Gaze [video]
+ Shed [video]
+ New Millennium Cyanide Christ [video]
+ Rational Gaze [Mr. Kidman Delirium version]
It's been a long four-year wait since Meshuggah has graced us with some new studio material (I'm not including 2000's compilation album 'Rare Trax'). But lo and behold, 'Nothing' has finally arrived. It has to be said that Meshuggah albums are not an easy listen, and even if their peculiar brand of metal is your thing, it takes time and quite a few listens to really grasp what they're trying to portray on any of their given albums. Having said that, the one instantly noticeable thing about 'Nothing' is the speed (Or lack of). The introduction of their custom made eight string guitars has obviously influenced the more groove and mood orientated sound scapes this time around. The solitary riff of 'Stengah' opens proceedings before the amazing percussion of Tomas Haake's drum kit kicks in. From here it's the unusual time changes that dominate most of Messugah's songs that comes into play. Things speed up a little with 'Perpetual Black Second? and 'Glints Collide', while 'Closed Eye Visual' brings to mind, while only slightly, the most abrasive music Ministry has yet to make. There's also a James Murphy sounding solo towards the end that is at odds with the music playing behind it. It sounds odd, but works just the same.
Tool might be at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Meshuggah, but if Tool were to play extreme metal, they would come up with something close to 'Organic Shadows'. There's something again about the particular drum patterns that brings the comparison to mind. The most accessible track on the album comes in 'Spasm' with its mostly spoken word lyrics, while the Tool connection again features in 'Nebulous' (This time with the vocal timing in contrast with the backing music).
The monolith like instrumental 'Obsidian' draws the album to an end in an eerie way. Meshuggah not only defy boundaries, but also description and comparisons. Every album in their career has shown change and progression, and this one takes them one step further. I would recommend this to anyone with an open mind and a taste for the unusual, as its surprisingly original and non-compromising.
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| Doc Godin
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