Nothing Review

artist: Meshuggah date: 08/02/2006 category: compact discs
Meshuggah: Nothing
Released: Aug 6, 2002
Genre: Djent, Progressive Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
Number Of Tracks: 10
Nothing truly gives new meaning to the word heavy, redefining boundaries by pushing metal into the realms of abstract science.
 Sound: 9.8
 Lyrics: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Overall rating:
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reviews (4) 31 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Nothing Reviewed by: Mahntra, on august 02, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Meshuggah has a very unique and different sound. For you first time listeners, I'll let that sink in. Because wether or not you like meshuggah's style, it is not a question, they have originality. Name one other band on the planet that sounds like meshuggah. You can't. Now be warned, this album is not for those of you without patience. This album is far and away the heaviest piece of music I own, which probably puts it in the running for heaviest in history, and the chugging guitar riffs and odd time signatures make for a very interesting musical venture. I enjoyed following the drum parts, listening to tomas haake hammer away with mechine like percision, while the bone crushing guitars just fill all the available air left with deep, dark tones. This is like the calculus of math metal. And while you can't say enough about haake's drumming, the guitars do a fantastic job, not only in their tone but in the riffs as well. If you notice, throughout the cast majority of the album, hagstrm and thordendal don't use the stop/start riff changes. They never really fully just switch from one riff to the other, but rather insert subtle changes in the progressions and morph the riff into something different. Another interesting note: credit can be given to Meshuggah for being the first to utilize the 8 string guitar on Nothing.

But there are some who don't like the single stringed guitar riffs and strange timings, or just don't have the patience to wait and figure this album out. It takes a couple spins to really get this album, at first I was skeptical as well, but on a third or fourth run through of the songs, things reveal themselves to you and you understand the music of the album more fully. This album has gotten a lot of negative fan reviews elsewhere, most of them the kids who saw the band on headbangers ball and said "This would go great next to my Atreyu album", or whatever other marginally talented metalcore act you can think of. These people were sorely mistaken. I loved the sound of this album. This is the album they've been trying to make since DEI, with the crushing heaviness, the beautifully orchistrated rhythm section, and they certianly have pulled it off with Nothing. In my opinoin, it's the masterwork of meshuggah to date, no matter how many more 50 minute songs they put out. So if you're looking for a challenging, unique listen, this album is definatly for you. If you're looking for another band of the week, with a couple catchy hooks and an album full of 3 minute singles, then stay far, far away from this album. // 10

Lyrics: Compared to most metal acts in this day, Meshuggah's lyrics are a refreshing change from describing horrid bodily mutilation and loyalty to satan. Jens Kidman does a good job in writing more thought provoking lyrics, and his delivery and vocal style is incredible. Now he's not going to win any universal acclaim, because of the nature of his vocals, but it's unique in the intensity of his voice, that sets him apart from the bands like Nile, Decapitated, Disgorge, etc. The only reason I took off two points is because they let Tomas sing a tune on "Spasm", where it sounds like he's just talking through a synthisizer. And that's not good for anybody. // 8

Overall Impression: The overall impression on this album is astounding, really one of the best metal releases by one of it's more unique bands. Like I said before, it takes a few spins for the album to grow on you, but once it does you'll love it. While not as accessable as DEI, in my eyes, this is meshuggah's finest moment. // 10

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overall: 10
Nothing Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 22, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Meshuggah is by far the heaviest metal band in the world, and this CD proves this point 100%. Meshuggah are the first metal band to use 8 string guitars on a recording. This CD is a metalheads dream, brutal vocals, powerful guitar riffs, crushing drums. The guitar solos are highly jazz influenced as are the drums. Very original. Another difference is Meshuggah has no bassist, the guitars are so heavy they can't have one. // 10

Lyrics: Meshuggah's lyrical style is very different than any band from Sweden. Most Swedish bands are death or black metal and have harsh lyrics whereas Meshuggah bring a totally original sytle of writing to the table. Jens Kidman has one of the most brutal yells ever and can sing the offbeats like no one else. Tomas Haake's vocals on Spasm (track 8) are haunting and fitting to the songs incredibly low and heavy rhythm guitar work. // 10

Overall Impression: Personally I love this album and think most people who like metal should buy this album and musicians should listen to the guitars intricate work. Vocalists that do screaming vocals should listen to Jens brutal scream for inspiration. Overall I think this is both a turning point in Meshuggah's history and musics history. // 10

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overall: 10
Nothing Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 28, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Meshuggah released a ground breaking album back in 2002, Nothing. This was the first time any metal band or recording artist went to the edge and back more than once in so many ways. The first being their use of insanely low tunings (no they did not use 8 string guitars to record the original Nothing). The guitar tones on the Nothing Reissue are more crushing than the original and have a much more defined sound to them. You can hear notes that you couldn't hear originally. Some songs were extended (Obsidian and Nebulous) but only the rhythm guitars were re-recorded on all the tracks. The drums were over dubbed with sampled hits to replace the cymbals and snare. They still use the original beats just triggered samples over them. Meshuggah decided to re-release this cd, remixed, largely due to the fact they had to rush to record the original version of Nothing and they said they didn't like how it sounded. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics on all Meshuggah albums are great, but this album mainly dwells in odd topics. The lyrical content is incredibly original and well thought out thanks to Tomas Haake's crazed mind! Jens' vocals are always guttral and this time around is no exception. The lyrics fit the almost mechanical music so well it's scary. // 10

Overall Impression: The re-release of Nothing is a great addition to any Meshuggah fan's library, especially thanks to the bonus DVD that has 3 great songs(Straws Pulled At Random, In Death Melody from Catch 33 and Future Breed Machine) from 2005's Download Fest in England. The whole album is very impressive musically, especially rhythmically. Stand out songs would be Rational Gaze, Perpetual Black Second, Closed Eye Visuals, Straws Pulled at Random and Spasm. I love how original Meshuggah can be on ever release they have. Tomas Haake and Fredrik Thordendal are 2 of the greatest musicians to ever grace this Earth and it shows all too well in both the new and old versions of Nothing. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Nothing Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 03, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Meshuggah's sound is something of an indescribable jumble of things. Heavy riffs combine with slow-but-steady tempos and insane time signatures and rhythms to create a work of art that, if looked at in a visual form, would look something like the works of the great painter Picaso: to the naked eye (or ear in this case) it may look like a mass of nothing, but to someone with the brains enough to understand it, it's truly nothing less than a masterpiece. The songs all generally have the same tempo, not too fast, not too slow. This, I believe, is a weak point in the album. Lack of tempo change is something I look down upon in albums from any band: it's makes all of the songs sound the same. In this album, however, if you're a fan of Meshuggah's it shouldn't bother you. "Nothing" is a phenominal album. These five swedish musicians truly show you their skills. The guitars, providing most of the main rhythms, go completely insane. Although there isnt a massive amount of notes being played, a trait typical to Meshuggah songs, the band proves that you don't have to put your fingers all over the fretboard to be a skilled guitarist. The riffs are simple, but they're broken up into rhythms that are all over the time scale. They are quite easy to follow for the rhythmically trained ear. For someone who is just now getting into this type of music, however, good luck headbanging. Drumming is exceptional. Any drummer who can play double bass to the insane rhythms the guitars are playing while keeping a steady 4/4 beat on the crash cymbal while at the same time playing something totally random on the offbeat with the snare is one hell of a drummer in my eyes. Tomas Haake is a human drum machine. Enough said. As far as vocals goes, Jens Kidman is definitely a credit to this band. Is screaming range isnt amazing: he usually keeps his voice at a certain level. Maybe because he's been doing this for almost twenty years and he still has roughly the same voice he had when he started. Must be doing something right. Anyway while the sound of the vocals usually never changes (except in the song Spasm (track 9) where he talk-sings throughout the entirety of the song) you can still feel the intesity behind the singers voice. The songs are put together quite nicely. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are written rather well. Jens Kidman has quite the imagination. It has come to my attention, however, that this album may be a concept album. From beginning to end, the lyrics seem to refer to the processes of the body and mind. In the songs "Perpetual Black Second", the singer claims to admit to comminting a violent act, and guilt is beginning to set in. His mind keeps replaying his actions "in succession of millions", and he's regretting ever commiting this act. Guilt and regret are emotions of the mind. The song "Spasm" breaks down the intricasies of a seizure, while "Closed-Eye Visuals" explains the brains ability to dream. Although I haven't deciphered the meanings of all the songs, like "Glints Collide", which appears to be about the contradiction we all call life, or "Straws Pulled at Random" or any of the other songs on the album I have yet to understand. With three of these songs that are seemingly about the same thing, it gives me perfect reason to think this may be some sort of concept album, although the band wants the fans to believe what they wish. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, this is definitely one of Meshuggah's finest albums. In preparations for their newest offering "obZen", anyone who wants to find a reason to get into these amazing musicians, "Nothing" is you're reason. And although Meshuggah is definitely an aquired taste, getting used to them will be nothing but a benefit to you. // 9

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