Friday, July 31, 2009

Meshuggah - Obzen

Ok so here goes my first review. All right so ever since i heard this kick ass band i couldnt stop myself from raving about this band to anyone who was within inches of my vocal range. But then when you listen to a band which exemplifies technical brilliance with twinge of grace you cant blame your self for it. This is their latest album so thought would do a review on it.

Meshuggah are, or should I say were, in the unfortunate position of having to write a follow up to an album, Catch 33, that was universally acclaimed, unfathomably complex and frankly, brilliant. Essentially one 47 minute track broken up, its groove, time changes, musicianship and atmosphere was nothing short of staggering. So how indeed do you manage to top or even move on from such a piece? Well ObZen is the answer. Starting off with, of all shocks, almost a straight forward thrash riff, Combustion shows that the band can still pull out simplicity when its effectiveness is required above obtuse rhythms. However this does not last long and here Meshuggah have always shone bright with their abilities. Their off-kilter chug and complex drumming patterns always create a mesmerising listening experience, and they are capable of making even the most difficult riffing appear easy. Bleed is a perfect example of such exemplary talents; the twisting labyrinthine riff balanced by atmospheric soloing and pinned down by an unbelievable drumming performance. But it is the title track’s opening that could sum up Meshuggah’s sound in a single riff: heavy, complex, almost machine like in its execution and yet still wonderfully organic with its subtle changes in timing that a machine could never achieve so assuredly. It is a devastating mix, and confirms Meshuggah at the top of innovators in their particular field (technical post-thrash anyone?). But to be honest, as difficult as it is to mosh to classics like The Exquisite Machinery of Torture, Shed or Stengah, Meshuggah can break down with the best of them (witness the middle crash of Lethargica). It adds another element to their sound, almost a new accessibility that Catch 33 lacked: almost its only flaw was the fact that it has to be listened to as a single piece. ObZen is an album that you could pick any track from and not fail to be impressed. The vocals are still a bit hit and miss to whether you like them or not, the unchanging roar can lack an edge occasionally but the music speaks for itself.

Just recently i came across this topic on a networking forum asking everyone to name bands they could never get to like, and some absurd bastards came up with Meshuggah and i just dont understand why??? This album should clearly show these guys the way to liking Meshuggah

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