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Meshuggah
Nothing (special edition 2-disc set)

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2006
Reviewer: Al Kikuras
Rating: 2.5



I am sure this review will lead to me being stoned. Not in the Jeff Spicoli sense, mind you, but in the biblical/The Crucible sense.

I have a bunch of Meshuggah records. The only one I give a toss about is Chaosphere. The rest... they bore me. Sure, I can appreciate the musicianship. Marvel at the obtuse arrangements, how the musicians dissect rhythm and timing, and how the intensity never lets up. But aside from Chaosphere, I have found Meshuggah's output to be soulless. Not in the good way either. Like a perfectly executed painting of a brick wall, and Nothing just reinforces that for me further. You may be thinking it is difficult, if not impossible, to play music this jagged and chaotic and have soul intact... and I mean soul like Robert Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson, pick-your-name-old-blues guy Johnson soul, but just give Gorguts' Obscura a listen to see what I mean. As much, if not more, "out" than anything Meshuggah has done, but organic and emotional metal.

Sure, there are some good moments... like the opening riff to "Perpetual Black Second," that pops up throughout the tune, but for the most part, the songs are formulaic and just move from one to the next with very few moments where the hammer hits you straight in the middle of the forehead to wake you the fuck up. The monotone vocals don't help. Granted, the forumla is theirs... you hear Meshuggah, and know Meshuggah, but there is something to be said for stretching your own boundaries, even if they are already wide open, and Meshuggah aren't doing it.

Why is it that Chaosphere gets me so much then? I don't know. I guess the same reason that Dogman is the only King's X album I find myself listening to, despite having their whole discography and knowing it is all good. In both cases though (King's X and Meshuggah), the bands excel in the live arena. The material takes on a life that it loses on record, but those two albums are the only in their discography that really sink in and grab me.

Those of you that worship at the altar of Meshuggah will find the album and re-release to be very worthwhile. Not being intimately familiar with the original release, I can't say how much this re-mastering holds up. The video included in the bonus disc is very good. The live stuff is professionally shot and with great sound, and that organic element sorely missing from the record is firmly in place. Though they may lack the budget of most MTV pap, the videos are interesting, especially the low-fi "air band" New Millennium Cyanide Christ video shot in the back of a tour bus, and the hilarious Rational Gaze clip, both showing lighter sides of the band.
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: MESHUGGAH
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Catch 33Meshuggah
2005
Ken Pierce8/12/2005
Catch 33Meshuggah
2005
MetalKnight5/17/2005
NothingMeshuggah
2007
Al Kikuras1/23/2008


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: MESHUGGAH
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
The Violent Sleep Of ReasonMeshuggah
2016
David Loveless11/28/2016


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: MESHUGGAH
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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