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What the Hell Happened - 5%

Znarglaxe, December 25th, 2002

I am a fan of extreme metal. I like brutality. I also like ability to play. I picked this album up for the customary $14.99 at Best Buy, and took it home hoping to hear something truly mind boggling. What i got was, yes, skull crushing...but skullcrushing in a sense of "what the hell did i just buy." Pondering why i would ever have picked this album up.

Since purchasing this album, I have come to the resonable conclusion thatMeshuggah is likely the epitome of overdramatiscized talent sniffing More at, the bastion for people who want to listen to things they think contain talent, and only for that reason. This album literally bored me to tears. This technicality i have heard so much about seemed to pull this album into a vast monotonous chug, which assaulted my very serotonin levels and nearly put me to sleep.

How a band could ever pull such an abomination off, and not be labeled nu metal is beyond me. Complex timings? Skullcrushing Breakdowns? Fusion??! I have heard/seen all such descriptions of Meshuggah based ENTIRELY on this album, and unlike the previous reviewer, i have yet to see something noteworthy about this (or any other meshuggah albums for that matter.).

These complex timings my ears and eyes are so fond of being informed about, virtually do not exist on this album. I point to songs such as "Corridor of Chameleons" and "New Millenium Cyanide Christ" and a few other tracks that are not even worth mentioning. These complex timings seem to only exist to their fans attempting to create a reason to like this band. I hear nothing but basic pattern drumming that all bands have done at one time or another, with the occasional change which for any other band would be considered a "fuck up" in playing.

Skullcrushing breakdowns? A term i have only heard in description of this album, And i wonder if i am sure of what a breakdown is, as my skull has yet to be crushed, and i am left with a sense of "Coal chamber mixed with pantera, bred with static x" on this (and all) of their releases. If any fan of this band can point out a "skullcrushing breakdown" to me, E mail me at Znarglaxe@aol.com with the exact point in the song and what song it is in.

Finally, the Fusion question. I am still in the dark as to what kind of fusion is happening on this (or any of their) album(s). I fail to sense anything more than sacrificing dynamics for "technicality". Is it Jazz? there is literally no jazz fusion. Nothing even remotely jazzlike comes up in this album. Is it techno? Since when do we infuse a genre with impeccable dynamics, and credibility with a genre of vast monotony? I see no fusion here of any positive kind.

Overall, my rating of this album obvisouly reflects my view on the band as well. Chaosphere (The battle standard of Meshuggah fans, it would seem) has shown to me, that Metal truly can delude itself with ideas of false talent, and monotonous "chug" riffing.

One parting question to Meshuggah fans: Is unvarying sound, sacrificing dynamics, and making it "technical" a true source of talent? Or is it merely a desire to be original? Good day.