Meshuggah “Obzen”, ahhh it just flows out so sweetly, well here we go, first of all i would like to say, kind of like a disclaimer that Meshuggah might be my all time favorite band, so please take that into consideration with the review to this piece of shit… wait… maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, i get this very strange vibe, just like with Tool‘s 10000 Days, that the hype did not help at all, well lets start from the beginning, Meshuggah hail from Sweden and play “normally” a form of metal i like to describe as math metal (just like there is math rock) even though i like to call it calc metal, but if you want a more precise category i would say progressive death/thrash metal (wikipedia decided to call this avant-garde metal or experimental metal, but well we all know wikipedia is apparently filled with a bunch of crack heads that think that editing a piece of text on a website makes it true, fuck them), and their new album is out and its called Obzen, we have previously reviewed their albums Nothing and Catch 33, so lets get into it, shall we.
Obzen, is a shambled of an album … its not a “this doesn’t make sense” in a good way, its a “what the hell were they thinking”, i always expect new stuff or weird stuff from them, very little is ever normal and as such i find it very refreshing and enticing, but even in all the madness there was always something coherent, something that made sense, they were like Matryoshka Dolls, were each layer was different but it all fitted perfectly and therefore it made sense… now this “album” (if i should call it that) is like me getting tracks from their different albums and making a best of, sure there would be great tracks but it would all sound like shit together.
Well, I wont be talking a great deal about each track, no point really, the first 2 tracks, “Combustion” and “Electric Red” have nothing in common with the rest of the album, they sound like refreshed thrash metal, while “Bleed” (the single by the way… remember what i said about the 10000 Days single…) has nothing to with the rest of the album, its a mind blowing track with Tomas Haake doing a freakish double bass drum work that makes me lack the words to described it, it all sounds like white sound from a television… i would buy the album just for that track … but this inconsistencies go further, also the over abuse of “commercial” sounding ruses like slowing down or stopping a song to build it up again… cause i counted… they used it 7 times (that i noticed) almost in every single track, you know at some point that they will pause for some micro shitty interlude, I’ve got no problem with that, but it has to make sense… but overusing it is like Linkin Park making micro intros for every single shitty track they put out (sorry just went and saw one of their live shows and they sucked a bit).
“Lethargica” is next and the name fits the song, its kinda an OK track, with no big highlights it kinda drags on, now the title track “Obzen” is another beast, much more innovative and a bit of a headbanger with a more stop-goish groove going on with loads of highlights… “This Spiteful Snake” is an intricate groovy track, but still lacking, it doesn’t seem to go anywhere and ultimately it just feels self indulgent (trying to fit every single thing into it), “Pineal Gland Optics” we get a straight back to back speedier groove, again great quality and musicianship but with nothing else to add, “Pravus” is pushing again the silliness, its interesting, but not that audible, its a mishmash of musical techniques than music, we finish with “Dancers To A Discordant System”, that starts pretty mind blowing heavy and groovy (why didn’t they do this on some of the other tracks is beyond me), but then it gets into a certain pattern and although pretty good, it wasn’t nothing to call back home.
I know, maybe i expect too much, but like every Meshuggah album it takes a certain amount of time to really start understanding the music or a album, so i took that time, but after the 100th listen, these things still bug me like hell, i was expecting a lot of different things, i was expecting “Bleed”, but no, i get this best of (when their EP I, was the right way to do a Best Of) and then you join things like the freakishly moronic cover art that looks shitty and reminds me of the endogenous Marilyn Manson of Mechanical Animals, were at least he went over the top with it (in a good way), while with Meshuggah its just silly.
Ahh i wont drag this too long, they said in a interview that this was the first time they really had the time to make a album, and not be in a hurry, well then i hope for the next one, they’ll have to make it over a weekend, for sure we would get a masterpiece, this is above all a disappointment and will rarely fit my Meshuggah everyday playlist, don’t get me wrong, all this ranting should be taken with a touch of salt, the production is pretty much on the mark, and there are some really cool tracks (“Bleed” is Beyond Awesome), but i do expect a lot from this band, and I’m sorry to say but this time it feels, they over promised and under delivered, and that to me is a shame.
Meshuggah – Bleed