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Obscure and Obscene - 90%

theox2789, April 1st, 2008

First of all, despite such a repetitive style, Meshuggah, for me, never seems to loose its magnetism. I think "Bleed" is a perfect example of this. it's this one rip-roaring repetition over 7:25, but I can't stop listening to it. I crave it.

I love how they've incorporated all of the elements that make them such a fantastic and original band, from the simplistic chug to the complicated math riff to the crushing slow doom chords and bouncing grooves, not to forget the spinning, revolving scale solos and the ambient acoustic interjections. This album has a much more varied sound compared to their previous releases. I also appreciate that they did not get caught up in their Catch-33 masterpiece sound. They know how to progress as a group and still retain their style.

It feels like each song on this album requires a different type of listening. For example, Bleed is a thrash-headbang scream-along as opposed to Pineal Gland Optics which has a loose descending progression to it. Each song creates a different atmosphere, a different world in which to explore the same sound. I feel like Meshuggah have stretched themselves on this release, although there's definitely room for progression. We all have yet to see Meshuggah truly take the reigns of their own genius and journey into the obscure and obscene corridors that they have more than enough potential to explore. I hope for their next release we hear more experimentation.

ObZen is a brilliant release to both dig into and to casually headbang to. People tend to be too critical of this band, but I suggest giving this one, if you don't feel like you understand it at first, a few spins before you bash it because these guys have some serious talent and creative genius.