Meshuggah - obZen

©Nuclear Blast Records


  1. Combustion (4:11)
  2. Electric Red (5:53)
  3. Bleed (7:19)
  4. Lethargica (5:49)
  5. obZen (4:26)
  6. This Spiteful Snake (4:54)
  7. Pineal Gland Optics (5:14)
  8. Pravis (5:12)
  9. Dancers To A Discordant System (09:36)

No one can argue that fact that Meshuggah have the status of Metal Gods. They can do whatever they want with little negative fan outlook. Could that be the case with their latest release ‘obZen’?  Hells yes! However the band are innovators on their own and they can really get away with anything.

"obZen" features that trademark Meshuggah sound, full of brain rattling drumming and time signatures.  The drumming is absolutely spectacular (particularly on Bleed) matched with more thicker/technical guitar and bass than ever. On top of that the vocal screams are absolutely obliterating! Most focus on guitar is placed on complex rhythms which is fine but sadly sacrifices any sort of melodic/harmonic riffs and especially solos.

The band have never sounded better, reaching a new peak that time and time again comes with no surprise. If you ever wondered what chaos converted to music sounds like, this is it. Unfortunately, with chaos comes consequence and it shows. Sometimes the complexity of the performance gets in the way of the music itself. This can be very distracting. It’s obvious to expect what Meshuggah are aiming for however it makes it a bit difficult to completely enjoy and most importantly head bang to.  Another thing that dampens the album is the lack of variety. Even upon first listen (clocking in at over 50 minutes) the sound can get a bit repetitive and the heavy overuse of fade-outs demonstrates a lazy song writing approach. Considering what this band can dish out, this is a bit of a let down.

Meshuggah have one of heaviest sounds in metal to date which they continue to surpass with each remarkable release. Although progression is slow it is still progression. These guys are leaders and if you care to challenge this statement then I suggest you take it up with the heaps of successful bands that have these guys listed as a major source of inspiration. "obZen" is worth getting your mitts on if you're looking for an album geared towards performance more so than accessibility. For those of you who are die hard Meshuggah fans, this album will certainly not disappoint.


**Special thanks to Skitz for his contribution to this review


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