Friday, March 21, 2008

Meshuggah - "obZen" CD

Continuing their evolution into one of hardcore metal's smartest and most imitated bands, Sweden's innovative Meshuggah here takes a sort of sidestep, yet still remain light years ahead of their contemporaries. Their last effort, 2005's amazing 'Catch Thirty Three', was a massive-scale, multi-movement prog-metal assault, with complex changes, wicked tunings, and throat-shredding vocals by Jens Kidman. 'Obzen' sort of keeps it close, eschewing the long-form pieces for more 'song-oriented' waters, but sounding much the same. Their almost mechanical crush-grind is tempered by stop-on-a-dime transitions and riffs that slice like a Ginsu. 'Bleed' is a personal favorite, with furious breakneck speed thrash that would make (2008 tour mates) Ministry proud. 'Obzen' eats other supposed 'hardcore' or death metal acts for breakfast. I am in awe of these guys. Highest praise indeed. (Nuclear Blast America)

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