Meshuggah are back! Well, not really. They just released “Nothing” again. So… Is it just another stupid re-release in digipack with a Japanese bonus track? No, this is a remastered version of “Nothing”. Well, to be honest, remastered version do suck most of the times. Let’s see what about this one!
First of all, we have new cover art and a bonus DVD. But let’s dig a little deeper. Basically, we have all the rhythm guitar re-recorded, some subtle changes in some tracks, like the end of “Closed Eye Visuals” and “Nebulous” was slowed down [Nebulous… Hmmm that sounds familiar somehow… Hm! Weird]. The drums were also tightened down and mixed from scratch [and I might add: a little over-compressed]. In the vocals we now have some delays here and there.
Is it good? Well… yes and no. Some tracks are great but… some tracks are way worst. In my humble “MESHUGGAH ARE GODS” opinion. Before the track-by-track comparison, two things stand right away: The rhythm guitars are brutal. When comparing, the old guitars sound like crap. The new ones are very tight, very clean and heavy. On the other hand, the drums sound more mechanical and “hidden” under all that grooviness, particularly the cymbals.
“Stengah”. This track sounds great on some parts. Much more heavy and clean that the previous version. But, there it is… The drums…… The original mix had the cymbals rocking all the way! I really enjoyed that. Hearing all the cymbals in that syncopated rhythms, that was fun. Now the cymbals are quiet down… But that’s not the worst in this track. Didn’t enjoyed very much the removal of the clean chords right before the verse. That creepy chords were great. Too bad…
“Rational Gaze”… Well… This track sounds good. Didn’t notice any changes on this one. Just that, it’s less groovy somehow. Can’t explain it. The guitars sound heavier and cleaner but… Less groovy. “Perpetual Black Second” did lose on the drums too. I loved that cymbals on the beginning. Now they are down there, under that monster guitar sound. It’s a pity. Delays were added on the vocals giving more power to the chorus.
“Closed Eye Visuals” it’s nice. Subtle change in the end with a re-recorded fill melody. The drum rolls sound worst [like in all other tracks…]. The beginning of “Glints Collide” lacks on the drums. That power groovy organic drums are now a synthetic compressed sound.
“Organic Shadows” it’s an OK track. Didn’t notice any big difference… “Straws Pulled at Random” is one of the best “new-sound” tracks. Very powerful indeed. The new guitars do squash like a bug the old ones. I do miss that china cymbal pounding all the way tough – right after the intro. In “Spasm” we have another big loss. Once again, the drums… of course. In the middle part there’s a drum solo kind of thing. Well, with the new drum mix it sounds very “plastic”. The old mix was way more organic.
“Nebulous” is the winner of the new mix. Why? Because it’s my nickname ^^ Now honestly, the new mix is great. It’s slower, heavier and punches you right on the stomach.
“Obsidian” is the final track and it was extended. Never listen to this track many times on the old version, at least on it’s full length, but I must confess that, after the 8 minute therapy, listening to “Stengah” again is very refreshing.
Final notes about the new “Nothing”: the guitars are great, the drums are… worst. Nevertheless, I like having both options. If I’m into some drum madness I’ll listen to “Nothing” v.1. If I’m into some crazy sick guitar groove insanity I’ll listen to “Nothing” v.2.
If this is your first contact with “Nothing” I recommend the new version. Way better sound and you’ll not miss that drum sound I was talking about. Ignorance is bliss.
Meshuggah – Straws Pulled at Random