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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Meshuggah website  Meshuggah - Nothing [Nuclear Blast - 2002]

It’s been a while since Chaosphere was released. The only live-signs were a collection of oddities and the 2002 tour of the US, with the infamous Ozzfest. The audience is growing fast for Meshuggah, gaining many young fans.

The youngsters migh be surprised the ‘new’ direction of Nothing which welcomes melody back in Meshuggah’s sound. The melodic element sorely missed on its predecessor Chaosphere, which turned out a bit one-dimensional in its constant aggressiveness. Nothing has much more dynamics and ranges from atmospheric parts to very aggressive, punchy music. Generally speaking the sound is more open and there’s a lot more breathing space.

Part of the change in sound is a direct consequence of the introduction of guitars with 8 strings. The thick strings make certain things, like fast chugging riffs, very difficult. This explains the ‘open’-ness of Nothing, the riffs are more (very) heavy thuds and punches, often with slides. The inclusion of some textural elements like in Closed Eye Visuals and melodic guitarsolo’s make Nothing’s sound more akin to Destroy Erase Improve than Chaosphere.

Even though I’m quite familiar with Meshuggah (since 1991, to be precise), this album had to sink in a little: after a few spins it started to work. After the first 3 mid-tempo tracks the ‘spark’ enters: Closed Eye Visuals includes all the vital elements that I missed on the previous album. Melody, texture, aggression, this mixture was what made me a Meshuggah-fan in the first place. The 8 strings make the material on Nothing quite monstrous, especially the extremely heavy track Nebulous. One of my absolute favourites is Spasm, which reminds me of Sublevels on Destroy Erase Improve and it also includes a great guitarsolo.

Preparing for the interview and this review I played Chaosphere again and I have to say that I like it more now, than when it came out. But still, the more diverse sound of Nothing suits me better, so it definitely is a progression. Maybe not as good as Destroy Erase Improve but still very good.

One minor inconvenience: as a Mac-user I can’t see the enhanced part of the CD, which is silly in these times of multi-platform possibilities. There aren’t too many formats anymore that aren’t cross-platform these days, y’know?

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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