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Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★☆
(16 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • I have been a fan of Meshuggah since the Contridictions Collapse and None era. And with every album they release I am always amazed. I loved the first release of Nothing, and the remake to me is better in so many ways.
    Jens Kidman opted for the Catch 33 style of voice and the 8-string guitars make a huge difference rather than the low tuning of the 7-string in the previous.
    They also opted for the Drum Kit From Hell programming which was also introduced on Catch-33. Rumor has it that the reason they remade this album was to give it the punch the 8-string guitars deliver. The original Nothing was the album to introduce the 8-string guitars but due to the reason of the guitars held up in manufacturing and label deadlines the original was recorded with low tuned 7-string guitars.

    Posted on February 5, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I purchased this reissue/re-recording and took the CD and put it in my disc changer along with the original version of “Nothing,” and hit random-play, so I could compare the sound of the two versions. Initially (and for the most part I still feel), my impression was that the guitars do sound a lot better … but the bottom end (drums and bass) have been toned down a bit in the mix on this new version. Sometimes I think the new mix improves the song, but for other tracks I like the orginal mix better. It’s almost as if the new mix is clearer, with the re-recorded guitars more clearly defined. But sometimes, I prefer the older, slightly muddier guitar sound, because it makes the groove even trickier to follow.

    At the end of the day, I can’t exactly argue with the thinking of lead guitarist extraordinaire Fredrick Thordendal, who was apparently the band member most responsible for the decision to re-record the guitars. But I’m not sure I’ll ever decide once and for all which version is best.

    On the other hand, the DVD is a great buy for any Meshuggah fan. Yes, some of the live footage borders on seizure-inducing with the rapid edits, but this is Meshuggah after all. The crazy fast paced video suits the crazy music. The performances are all top-notch; not that this band would ever deliver anything but. The music videos are actually not that interesting, but worth having; of course the video for “New Millenium Cyanide Christ” remains the greatest “air-band” video ever.

    So if you think of this as a good DVD with a cool new mix of a great album, then I’m sure you’ll be more than satisfied with your purchase.

    Posted on February 5, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Being a huge fan of the original release of Nothing, I was a bit skeptical of these new remix of the album. Packaging it with a DVD and a hologram card made me even more skeptical. To some extent, this was well founded.

    Obviously, it’s the same record, but not really. There were a TON of subteleties added by the effect of having a really low-tuned, floppy set of 7 stringed guitars when making the record, as opposed to 8 strings designed for the F tuning…honestly, it sounded a lot more evil, wicked, and harsh. This harshness, and synthetic guitar sound really stood the album apart from the banal nu-metal coming out around that time. The whole sound was new, different, and disturbing to listen to. The muddiness, floppiness, and sludge just made it more interesting to listen to, if not more discernable.

    With the reissue, the guitars are crisp, clear, and have a lost all of those subtleties. In their defense, the new version sounds HUGE, much heavier and denser, but not darker. You can hear the notes and transitions a lot better, but some of the mistakes and flops are lost, which made the album very chaotic. Two major points is the second riff in “Stengah”, which has none of the little atmospheric twangs, and the transition from clean to heavy in “Obsidian” is sudden, without that great little feedback to pull you into the Hell about to be unleashed.

    The vocals are vastly improved. Hellish. Jens sounds like a daemon. Although I’m a fan of DFH and use it extensively, the sampled drums don’t sound all that great. The snare is too sharp, without resonance. The cymbals are a little too low, and too compressed. If you lower the cymbals in the mix, it makes the guitars seem bigger, but lowers the heaviness of the whole sound.

    This record is really designed for two people…ravenous Meshuggah fans who will buy anything, and people fascinated with audio production. I’m a little from column A, mostly column B (I hope, anyway). If you’re into audio, you’ll appreciate some of the techniques and differences, but this reissue was pretty much a letdown. The original Nothing is just more dynamic, sludgier, heavier, more menacing. It’s great to hear these two interpretations side by side, and I’m not urging you not to buy this, but be wary unless you have the extra $20 laying around.

    Posted on February 5, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Okay, this IS my very first Meshuggah CD, so keep that in mind as you read this review. I am blown away by this band. Hearing this CD has become a LISTENING EXPERIENCE for me. 4 days and 12 plays since my purchase, this is the best metal I’ve heard in YEARS. I’m looking forward to more Meshuggah CD’s in the future, but as far as this release of Nothing goes, here are some highlights for me:

    1) The most obvious thing is experiencing the deepest and heaviest rhythm guitar sounds I’ve ever heard. The bottom end is so intense, I had to stretch my hearing a bit. 8-string guitars??? HELL yeah!

    2) Very tasteful guitar solos. I’m a guitar player, and a big fan of Allan Holdsworth’s playing. His influence on Fredrik’s leads is apparent here. Very warm tone, with an unusually wise note choice. I’m particularly impressed with how well the leads compliment the ultra-low-end doom-crunch.

    3) Great musicianship. The overall feel of Meshuggah is a very organic thing. Not really machine-like, like some metal bands I’ve heard. The odd-meter and jumpy rhythmic accents in the songs really show their skill as a BAND. These guys are extremely tight.

    4) Solid, consistent metal vocals throughout the album with thought-provoking lyrics.

    I’m having a blast discovering Meshuggah. I’d particularly recommend this album to metal guitarists, and to any music fan who is open to something extreme and sophisticated. Good stuff.

    Posted on February 5, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Honestly, I was completely against this re-recording at first, that was until I my curiosity got the best of me. Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. I now understand why Meshuggah went to the trouble re-recording the guitars and re-mixing the album. Clarity. Clarity is the key to this re-recording and I say that because for the first time (without headphones) all of the dissonant intervals come out so much cleaner as they were intended to be heard. In fact, there’s more clarity in all of the rhythms and the drums seem to be a little more distant which is not a bad change. There are several areas where the guitars use different punctuation/accents to shorten/lengthen notes or phrasing. This is a GREAT IMPROVEMENT on an already great album!!!!

    Posted on February 5, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now