1. Stengah
  2. Rational Gaze
  3. Perpetual Black Second
  4. Closed Eye Visuals
  5. Glints Collide
  6. Organic Shadows
  7. Straws Pulled At Random
  8. Spasm
  9. Nebulous
  10. Obsidian
Jens Kidman - vocals
Marten Hagström - guitar
Fredrik Thordendal - guitar
Gustav Hielm - bass
Tomas Haake - drums, voice

MESHUGGAH: "Nothing"          meshuggah         

review by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____   

Abrasive, downtuned, angry, rather slow but broken, monotone and, sometimes, chaotic too, but really heavy.

Reliable sources have published that Metallica's Kirk Hammet should have said "...every motherfucker at Ozzfest kept on telling us how kick-ass they (Meshuggah) were. When we heard it, we were shocked to find out how similar it was to our new material...........I love Meshuggah" . So best wishes to Kirk Hammet and to Metallica's new material. And as  far it concerns Meshuggah's Nothing,  i personally can proclaim "when i heard it i was shocked to find out how similar "it" was to noisy pieces of something" . 

Nevertheless there are in "Nothing" some features that should be appreciated.

 Firstly of all, the virtuoso ability and the talent of Meshuggah in playing instruments is out of doubt, in particular Thordendal’s and Hagström’s  custom-made, so famous eight  string guitars introduced in this album can push out a sound that is more than powerful and deep, being able to go lower, and only few can play such beasts of guitars. Secondly there is so much aggressiveness in this album that everybody who literally likes killer, extreme, rough,  biting down-tuned sounds (example: opener Stengah or Rational Gaze) will consider Nothing a kind of  Bible of metal. Kidman's growl is incredible and the production is extremely good. And surely there is nothing commercial inside for the joy of their fans, if we don't want to presume that sometimes being so theatrical not commercial could mean actually being more commercial than ever. Absolutely mighty are the staccatos and the riffs, while drums have short sounds really ideal for a metal attack. The whole sound is reflecting the result picture of what a cold technology could cause.

So why i come to such a negative conclusion? 

The will to seem ultra-underground is, in my opinion, hiding a lack of melody. I don't love a kind of exasperated proceeding in a metal that includes doom, thrash/fusion influences corrupted enough by crossover elements of every sub-genres, though inspired by apocalyptic visions of the future. There are some good passages from time to time  (Straws pulled at random) that could be compared to a pale idea of melody , that are unfortunately wasted in a general forced exhausting roughness that truly spoils the musicianship and those rare valuable moments of art. Nothing is not mediocre but really  too angular though slower than the previous works, and, at the end of the merciless listening, there is really no  single track that could offer something less intricate but more persuading in comparison to what already heard by Meshuggah. And if this album is in general an expected Meshuggah signature,  less frenetic than before, i should add that it seems to me  also a rather monochromatic signature , and that many tracks show a too repetitive schema (for example Stengah). Anyway, for me, Nothing is not an enjoyable album, cause there is no  harmonious concept in the songs , being the riffs more linear than accordic, hardly you can find a consequential structure. In few words, the tracks are not songs like those ones we are used to  define and perceive as songs ,  but basically  very extreme, super angry, abrasive,   monotone loops (for example Perpetual Black Second or Obsidian interrupted sometimes by some experimentations, hardly to define if  psycho -or -jazz oriented (Closed Eye Visuals , Glints collide, Organic Shadows, Nebulous). Glints collide, in particular, is a track i cannot help to define chaotic and terrifying.  Spasm showcases a rather different way to propose vocals, Nebulous proposes an impressive, obsessive ,so slowly drawn  but heavy  outro, that you could feel what it means to be invested by a panzer or to be pulled by a strange machine. But i  have another conception of Metal , that even when extreme, should be Music, consisting of definite parts and not only by broken pieces of it. Meshuggah's fans define all this as incredible innovative progression, telling also that Meshuggah are true pioneers and however far ahead of our time. It could be true, but unfortunately we are still living in the just begun 21th century, so i will keep jealously this album for the grandchildren of my grandchildren In the meanwhile if you like Nothing and you want to play at full volume, pay attention to the classical neighbors; who could become really enraged or could go very "crazy" like the word Meshuggah seems to mean.

rating: 5/10 

dalia di giacomo    

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