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While I've been inundated with updates on Blabbermouth about Maynard Keenan releasing a DVD about his wine producing exploits, one of the other major players of cutting edge prog metal , Meshuggah, were putting together something that actually got me excited - a live DVD and CD, with footage taken from the bands first ever world tour supporting the sublime "Obzen" album.
Some fans may be puzzled at the omission of any "Destroy Erase Improve" tracks, but its refreshing to see a band not rest on its laurels and try and move on from past glories (anyone else think Metallica have rinsed playing Seek and Destroy live?). Meshuggah on-stage apperance is fitting for the music that they play - Fred and Mårten with their unreal 8-string guitars, Jens with his skull positively pulsating as he torturously unleashes his vocals, and the entire band dressed in an uncompromising monochromic black.
The music is faultlessly tight - not a single beat is missed and those insane stacatto polyrhythms retain all their wierdness perfectly. Although to be honest, you cant help thinking whilst listening to it that you'd rather be hearing the better-sounding studio versions of the songs, since Meshuggah are not the band to jam and alter stuff majorly live (with the exception of Fred, who does some amazing improvs for solos).
Highlights include the massive slab of lushness that is "Rational Gaze", Haakes extra-bewildering drumming on "The Mouth Licking What You've Bled", and Fred's solo on the outro to "Straws Pulled at Random", which still ranks as one of the most beautiful pieces of music that i've had the pleasure of hearing.If you're lacking in the funds you'd be better off buying the re-release of Nothing, since it has a bonus DVD with amazing footage from Download 2005 on it, and you get an unbelievable album included too obviously.