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Pointless re-recording? Or a necessary update? - 64%

GuardAwakening, January 30th, 2013

Sometimes, you'll find re-recordings of albums that were at the time, validated of being a solid re-recorded effort (example: Stormblåst by Dimmu Borgir) or exceptionally awful and pointless re-recordings (example: Under the Sing of Hell by Gorgoroth) but above all; some albums take an alternate route in bearing the lines between officially and completely "re-recorded" or just reissued with some modifications. Nothing can be beared in as an example for the last critique I just made along with After the Burial's Berzerker album. The reissue of Berzerker by After the Burial was completely re-mastered and had actual drums used in placement of the previous triggered drums...

...However, in terms of Nothing by Meshuggah, we see a lot more complication here. Not only were the rhythm guitar tracks completely redone with updated amplifiers, but song lengths were altered, drums were completely redone and all-in-all it seems that the only thing really left untouched in the end of it all were the vocals, which were not re-recorded, but were given "extra dramatic effects." These complications almost bear the lines upon a total re-recording or just a reissue with modifications, but what most asks the question here is the quality between the two records. The original issue of Nothing and its re-recorded counterpart has always been of much discussion. But what concerns me the most is the disregardance of its re-issue simply because it's "different."

Nothing is probably the most recognized Meshuggah album and the band deciding to redo most of the tracks was on their complete decision as it is with bands deciding to re-record earlier songs onto later albums. While the production here is greater, and be it "cleaner" than that of the original record, some sacrifices were made to achieve this matter such as the dim and hollow programmed drums used on this version. Tomas Haake did great on the original version, but here the album sounds artificial because of computerized drums being used in response to his actual drumming on the original.

Too many of the songs also sound too unvaried, the original album's tunings that were somewhat different amongst each song's sound come off as exactly the same here merely only because reportedly Fredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hagström were so pleased with their new guitars and equipment that they wanted to do 2002 all over again. But again, I will admit that some shines persist such as the production, which basically serves as the biggest highlight here which is in-contrast to the production of the 2002 original.

All in all, I would highly recommend hearing the original version several times before even hearing a track on here. I won't say that this version is terrible; because it's not. The only thing I can recommend is listen to both versions thoroughly and make your own decision on which you enjoy the most and if this big modification/re-recording of the record was really as necessary as the members themselves saw it as.