Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Meshuggah - ObZen

Meshuggah - ObZen
January 24, 2008, 12:54:18 AM
It's like newer Slayer executing Pestilence "Spheres" with less of the radically fun instrumentation, but Jeff Hanneman has been replaced by the guitarist from Fugazi, and someone from a nu-metal band oversaw pre-production.

Loud two-note riffs bang out rhythms one degree more complicated than Pantera. Songs are still of the verse-prechorus-chorus-bridge-verse-fadeout variety. Heavy bass nails those two notes while one guitarist plays minor key harmony. It sounds like a machine eating the people of a city wailing for more bread and circuses.

In other words, it's their second album updated for 2008, if we consider the descent into grunge- and hard-rock influenced nu-metal "progress."

This is unlistenable for me, but I can see why some would like it, on their way to finding something better. Its sense of rhythm is dead on hook heavy. The vocals are staccato cadenced against the drums. It sounds like protest music, very angry.

They could build on it a lot more. More instrumentals like Pestilence, more actual tempo breaks and changes. Can't we stick some Metallica into this? They're clearly good musicians but they've dedicated themselves to an aesthetic more than playing musically interesting stuff. I guess the Opeth kids aren't buying it.

Re: Meshuggah - ObZen
January 24, 2008, 01:35:43 AM
Thordendal should stay on his own and produce another solo project. Sol Niger Within was a great exploration into ambient Jazz/Metal, and it was better than anything he has yet done with Meshuggah.

Re: Meshuggah - ObZen
January 24, 2008, 04:17:44 PM
I bought Nothing many years ago and enjoyed it at the time but, once I discovered heavy, chaotic music that was MUCH more aesthetically-pleasing and written with a more effective style of composition, I found Meshuggah an empty and soulless machine, gyrating violently in a multitude of directions at once, for the sole reason of trying to keep the listener's fading attention...

A.I.D.S.-ridden, faeces-smearing product for low attention-spanned monkeys.

Music That Succeeds Where This Fails:

Gorguts - Obscura
Godflesh - Streetcleaner
Final - First Millionth Of A Second
Immolation - Close To A World Below

Re: Meshuggah - ObZen
January 25, 2008, 05:32:03 AM
Quote
I found Meshuggah an empty and soulless machine, gyrating violently in a multitude of directions at once, for the sole reason of trying to keep the listener's fading attention...


One might be able to construe it as such.

I find this has some (limited) value in trying to do something with the temporal dimension of music which is outside the norm. Metal is in a glut right now when it comes to melody - it can't use it to express anything without relying on old, worn out melodic progressions. Turning to rhythm and presenting it differently instead of is a step in the right direction, though as onan pointed out, more could be done and the aesthetic value is almost nil.

Re: Meshuggah - ObZen
January 25, 2008, 03:29:20 PM
i like Meshuggah's early efforts, up to "Chaosphere". that album was largely very same-y. one constant tempo, for pretty much the whole time. it had one or two ok songs, but was pretty unremarkable. "Destroy Erase Improve" is what i consider to be their best.

after "Chaosphere", they degenerated into sludgy, angst ridden, nu-metal "experimentation", of which held about as much interest for me as getting my hand shoved into a trash compactor.

however, hearing tracks from this new album rekindled my interest a bit, perhaps i will check it out.

Re: Meshuggah - ObZen
January 25, 2008, 05:16:59 PM
What of Catch 33? The lyrical themes of overcoming the ego I thought might be of some interest to our community given the interest in zen and related philosophies. The riffs are well crafted but yes, it does have the fault of maintaining more or less one aesthetic mood throughout the whole album.

chb

Re: Meshuggah - ObZen
January 26, 2008, 11:50:03 AM
Catch 33 was different from their other material as it focused more on creating a certain kind of atmosphere and less on individual riffs. The more minimal approach actually wasn't such a bad idea and they actually managed to create some kind ambience with their trademark Meshuggah riffs.

Destroy Erase Improve was one of my gateways into heavier music. I liked it quite a lot when I got it, but as I found superior music, I became tired of it and I rarely listen to it nowadays. These two albums are about all I can handle from Meshuggah.

I don't really feel like wasting my time with their new album, I'll rather spend my time on more interesting things.

Re: Meshuggah - ObZen
January 26, 2008, 01:16:35 PM
Quote
urning to rhythm and presenting it differently instead of is a step in the right direction, though as onan pointed out, more could be done and the aesthetic value is almost nil.


I agree a new direction needs to be taken, but I think it's more a case of what composes metal "melody" now: four-note harmonic minor riffs.

Turning to rhythm is what every generation does, trying to reinvent itself.

Someone will come along and instead of tearing down, will re-assess internally, and then add to the current and get it back on course.

Or maybe not.

Re: Meshuggah - ObZen
January 26, 2008, 03:33:06 PM
Quote
Gorguts - Obscura
Godflesh - Streetcleaner
Final - First Millionth Of A Second
Immolation - Close To A World Below


We've gotta also ask how important style is. Music is just music. The real question is complexity and with it, coherence of design. Does the song flow? Does it make sense? Does it express something more than itself?

Re: Meshuggah - ObZen
January 26, 2008, 05:31:26 PM
Quote

I agree a new direction needs to be taken, but I think it's more a case of what composes metal "melody" now: four-note harmonic minor riffs.

Turning to rhythm is what every generation does, trying to reinvent itself.

Someone will come along and instead of tearing down, will re-assess internally, and then add to the current and get it back on course.

Or maybe not.



These aren't disconnected concepts though: melody is just as much the rhythmic architecture as it is the tonal component, and the hallmark of mediocre music is very often its refusal to break with rhythmic expectation.  That's why Opeth is always internally predictable regardless of how many surface 'innovations' are included in the music.  I see nothing wrong with starting with the rhythmic framework as a tool for re-evaluating and recreating metal, so long as it doesn't deteriorate into music where structure is formed entirely from rhythm.

Re: Meshuggah - ObZen
January 26, 2008, 06:30:38 PM
Rhythm and melody are the warp and weft of musical tapestry. To lend preponderance to one over the other leads to the disintegration of the Art.


Re: Meshuggah - ObZen
February 10, 2008, 03:30:56 PM
Quote
Rhythm and melody are the warp and weft of musical tapestry. To lend preponderance to one over the other leads to the disintegration of the Art.


Melodyless death metal was what killed the genre, and moved people on to black metal. If you're wondering what type of music I am talking about, think of Cannibal Corpse, Skinless, Broken Hope, Internal Bleeding, and all the Suffocation clones.

Now raw black metal (rhythm only) and melodic heavy metal black metal (shitty pentatonic melody only) are ruining black metal... or ruined it, driving people to emo.

Re: Meshuggah - ObZen
February 12, 2008, 01:31:06 PM
i do have to say, i enjoyed this album much more than their other post - "Chaosphere" work. that being said, it does feel empty.

but to be honest, the idea of Meshuggah being a cold, lifeless, soulless machine is probably the kind of atmosphere they were going for in the first place.

Re: Meshuggah - ObZen
July 06, 2008, 09:22:45 AM
Catch 33 is an achievement for modern atonal structuralist metal.  Unlike their past albums, which served only as precursors to their developing style, they capture a feeling of immensity along with interesting geometric riff patterns that parallel, or perhaps more accurately, symbolize the complex structure and immensity of existence.  They journey through the human experience of trying to reconcile with the nature of reality; oscillating through unawareness, confusion, anger, anxiety, nihilism, calm, intrigue, and resolve.  All the while, articulating through the sounds of modern mechanization that seem to grind against the personality of the musicís impetus.  In this way, the modern world (their atonal-mechanical-rhythmic-distortion-ness), being unnatural, wears on the soul behind the music causing it to become dissident and search for a better, more natural alternative.  But, finding no such place, the feeling remains that of inexorable inevitability and unnatural intuition.  The listener feels pushed ever onward by some immense force and plagued by some indescribable ambient caution or urgency or anxiety.  Something is wrong, but what?  Altogether, this album articulates a parallel to being a dissident in the modern world.  Beautiful.