Meshuggah - Nothing review


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Band: Meshuggah
Album: Nothing
Release date: August 2002

Disc I
01. Stengah
02. Rational Gaze
03. Perpetual Black Second
04. Closed Eye Visuals
05. Glints Collide
06. Organic Shadows
07. Straws Pulled At Random
08. Spasm
09. Nebulous
10. Obsidian

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.

Written by Justin | 22.09.2003


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 152 users
12.04.2007 - 03:16
Doc G.
Full Grown Hoser
great album, the wierd and sometimes backwards seeming rythms are hard to get used to, but once you get used to them its a thouroughly enjoyable album. The drums are definitly a high point.
"I got a lot of really good ideas, problem is, most of them suck."
- George Carlin
29.06.2009 - 21:09
My best albums of all time, it feels like machine is being integrated into my body and of me becoming a bionic track Stengah,Rational Gaze,Straws Pulled At Random:banger2:
03.08.2009 - 23:58
This band never ceases to amaze me...
22.09.2011 - 07:15
Great album. There are some real gems in this piece of work. If you're a drummer and you want to work on polyrhythms, this is your album. 'Straws Pulled at Random' is nothing short of a gift from the future - showing us all how to play powerfully, intrestingly and beautifuly (as much as 8-strings of distortion will allow, that is). 'Rational Gaze' is the definition of Meshuggah. 'Nebulous' pushes the envelope of sloshing slowness whilst still maintaining it's raw power.
I've heard some folks gripe about the slower tempo of the album, but i'd argue that it's the sloshing, slower speeds that really mezmerize and take the listener to another place.

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