Groovy rumble of eight-string guitar, robotic barking, and this blunt calculated tempo variation – all Meshuggah signatures. Built on a musical skeleton forged from groove and death metal, obZen is akin to a cybernetic monster — mechanistic and precise. By constantly adopting math metal, jazz and progressive attributes, the band has always been pushing music into unimaginable territories. obZen is no exception.
Album is an excellent crossover from 90s to modern Meshuggah, basically more groove metal than djent. Needless to say, Jens Kidman’s vocals blend in as if it’s another discordant machine in this mechanistic orchestra. Odd rhythmic structures, Tomas Haake’s jazz like drumming, and down-tuned proggy leads – all simply inspire still reverence, not moshing.
Both for the artist and the listener, maximum creative bliss is at the margins. Meshuggah has been constantly placing themselves at those very structural margins of numerous demanding genres. Habitually creating novel classifications for what’s considered exceptional. obZen is yet another extraordinary dissonant chapter.
By Leposava from Melbourne, Australia (meshuggah) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons