Groovy rumble of eight-string guitar, robotic barking, and this blunt calculated tempo variation – all Meshuggah signatures are present here. 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 blend of 90s Meshuggah, basically more groove metal than djent. 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 inspire still reverence – not moshing.
Maximum creative bliss is at the margins, both for the artist and the listener. Meshuggah has been constantly placing themselves at those very structural margins of numerous demanding genres. Habitually creating novel classifications for what’s considered exceptional in metal. obZen is yet another extraordinary dissonant chapter.