Written by: AP on 01/04/2008 16:10:35

It is with shameful ignorance that I must admit I\'m not familiar with such revered classics as \"New Millennium Cyanide Christ\" and even less so with the Grammy-nominated \"Catch 33\". And to merit the objectivity of this review, I have chosen to remain in the bliss of ignorance whilst listening to Meshuggah\'s newest outing, \"obZen\". Nearly every time I discuss the phenomenon that is The Dillinger Escape Plan with someone, the name of this Swedish quintet tends to pop up and it now baffles me why it isn\'t Meshuggah that is hailed as the pioneers of mathcore.

Scrap whatever preconceptions you might have about what is heavy and prepare for the full blown assault that is \"obZen\" - such is the gut-wrenching density of the sound unleashed by the band\'s seven- and eight-string guitars. How it is possible to craft such ingenious riffs without ever passing the fifth fret is a mystery to me, and the fact that the album is entirely in discord is even more stupefying. Now forget everything experimental you\'ve ever heard and indulge yourself in time signatures that supersede human comprehension; a drumscape even Chris Pennie would have trouble executing; a rhythm section so chaotically beautiful it\'ll bring tears to your eyes. Then imagine the meanest, unforgiving growl possible and you\'ve got yourself the recipe of a masterpiece. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Meshuggah\'s \"obZen\".

Its beauty lies in the band\'s ability to somehow control the entropy that erupts from instruments seemingly each obeying their own timings. This leads to layers that battle each other for attention but at the same time complement each other\'s brilliance. But while there\'s little reason not to praise this album to the skies, it is not for the faint-of-hearts. It\'s not easy listening, and recognizing its musical genius takes time and devotion. On the other hand, if records like \"Apnea\" by The Psyke Project cater to your taste, the complexity of \"obZen\" will most certainly offer the next challenge on your musical adventure. And judging by the ingenuity of this album, I wouldn\'t be surprised if fans and critics alike hailed it as Meshuggah\'s best album to date.


Download: Combustion, Pineal Gland Optics, Dancers To A Discordant System

For the fans of: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon, The Psyke Project

Listen: Myspace

Buy: iTunes

Release date 10.03.2008

Nuclear Blast

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