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It's a mystery to me why I listened to this album in the first place. Well actually a friend of mine had got the CD and was in all praises for it, so I decided to give it a try. I had never heard Meshuggah before and so it was a sort of experiment for me. Well Obzen is your standard malcore, groove metal band with all the standard elements plus some new more. Meshuggah want to show that they are a talented bunch which succesfully makes thrashy prog. metal, with odd time signatures, intensity, and atmosphere. But this requires actual songwriting and composition talent which these guys lack seriously. In the wend they are just another nu metal, malcore band who pretend to be metal doing this modern shit.
Interms of performances, the rhythm guitar is nothing more than power chords. It seems that the rhythm guitarist knows nothing more than groovy riffs and triplets. The lead work isn't that spectacular either. The drum work ....well, doesn't he know that there exist an instrument called the bass drum. All he uses is the snare drum in poly-rhythms which is actually vomit inducing. The vocals are your standard malcore, tuffguy shouting vocals. The vocalist is just terrible trying to prove how aggressive he is, but having negligible power in his voice. Hell I'll prefer James Hetfield over him so mediocre are the vocals.
Well among the individual songs, Combustion opens with a bang, blasting a repetitive yet fast riff. The song itself is blazing fast, but as Meshuggah is a prog-thrash band, so they must put some odd time signatures. So in come one without any relation to what came before it what will follow. Most of the songs tend to follow the same pattern. They try to be aggressive, they try to be proggish, and in the end they end up getting nowhere. The interludes and breaks used are just random, withut any relation to coherent songwriting. The songs don't pick up well after an interlude and itr seems too forced out. The riffs are tolerabel when they are fast, but are just mediocre when they get midpaced. Bleed is one of the most boring songs containing some of the mosty boring riffs ever constructed. Jon Schaffer here we are! And people actually claim this to be a masterpiece of thrash metal? Do silly triplets repeated over the lengths of a song layered with shouting tuff guy vocals make thrash metal? Then put in an obligatory interlude a la Opeth, and this is claimed to be a modern masterpiece by all those losers who listen to Korn but hate tro admit it. Yeah progressive and complex music is OK, but isn't coherence in songwriting something important? Constructing incoherent and unstructured songs is any day easy, you just have to put an interlude anywhere in the song, ignoring the tone and mood of the music ( yeah you can also put a piano solo in a death metal song )and you are claimed to be visionary and intelligent musicians. Metallica, Master Of Puppets, need I say more? Now listen to This Spiteful Snake and tell me if it is a thrash metal song? Listen to the final song if there is a single great idea present in it?
Even the terrible Pantera were better than this, they managed to sound catchy and coherent. And the poor listener sits through 58 minutes of agony expecting some moments of coherence as the band puts out one abomination after other. 'Catchiness' and 'intelligent composition', these words aren't present in the band's vocabulary. But aren't there many bands like Atheist, Mekong Delta which make proggish thrash metal music with intelligent songwriting and amazing intensity? If you like Korn, Slipknot then it's another matter, if you like abominations like Pantera. you will like this, if Machine Head is your idea of a great band, then no problem for you, but the others please stay miles away from this filthy piece of shit.