2002's Nothing by the incomporable gods of Swedish technical groove metal Meshuggah was somewhat of a departure, as the band chose to move away slightly from the busier style of albums like Destroy Erase Improve and Chaosphere to a more riff laden, bottom heavy sound. Filled with thunderous 8-string guitars, rumbling bass, the insane drum work of Tomas Haake, and Jens Kidman's demonic hardcore styled screams, Nothing is nontheless more straightforward and less epic than previous releases, but still a highlight of their discography. The band chose to go back into the studio and remaster the album, re-recording some guitars and bass, and reissuing it complete with a bonus DVD of live footage from 2005 and some of their videos.
If you are already familar with Meshuggah and the album, then you of course are aware of the multitude of strong tracks here, like the pulverizing "Stengah" and death defying blasts of "Rational Gaze", each tune just bombastic in its sense of heavy grooves and in your face beefy riffs. The guitar solos of Fredrik Thordendal are shorter and less fusion based than in the past, but he still manages to unload some fiery bursts on the excellent "Glints Collide". Haake as always is the unsung hero of the band, his drum work just stunning amidst the stop/start riffs from Thordendal and Marten Hagstrom, the latter being one of the most underrated rhythm guitarists in all of metal. Other highlights for the Meshuggah newbie include the jackhammer rhythms of "Spasm" and the full-speed-ahead rumblings of "Straws Pulled At Random". Although the original release of Nothing sounded just fine, there seems to be a crispness here that wasn't evident originally, and I sense a little more beefiness to the bottom end on this version.
The bonus DVD alone is reason enough to pick this up, as you get footage of three live songs from their 2005 tour, filmed at the Download Festival in the UK in front of a rabid crowd, plus a few videos. Jens Kidman's hilarious take on "Rational Gaze" is seriously funny stuff-I won't give anything away, as you'll have to see it yourself for some solid chuckles. While we wait for a new Meshuggah album (which may be a little while) this is a must have remaster of one of their classic albums, complete with renewed sound, full lyrics, and a great little bonus DVD.
2. Rational Gaze
3. Perpetual Black Second
4. Closed Eye Visuals
5. Glints Collide
6. Organic Shadows
7. Straws Pulled At Random
Straws Pulled Random, In Death is Death, Future Breed Machine-Live at Download Festival, UK, 2005
New Millennium Cyanide Christ-video
Rational Gaze-video (Mr. Kidman Delerium version)