Meshuggah - "Nothing"

There's obviously been a ton of influential releases since "Nothing" kerplunked into metal land in 2002, but holy hell did this bad boy shift the scene. By the time you read this, every nu-hardcore and faux paux breakdown metal band with quality hair and solid merch is tangling away at a raunchy djent sound. What's left to the imagination is how many of those dudes in their mothers basements even know where the sound originated. "Stengah" was the first time anyone  heard anything so low played so slow. I'd say the biggest shock was the direction Meshuggah took with this album. New instruments, the introduction of the 8 string and of course Haake's African Sonor kit. But the sound the band embraced: slow, sluggish, groove loaded. It was a complete shift from anything resembling the band's prior work. I was introduced to Meshuggah with "Chaosphere" but shrugged them off as another Fear Factory with an accent. Listening to past releases now, I can see traces of "Nothing's" influence, although they were minimal traces of what they essentially would come to accomplish with "Obzen" and "Koloss." When I bought my copy of the album from Bill for $8, I had no idea it would change my life forever. As a drummer to know what's possible. As a producer to know how far the envelope can be pushed and what's possible with modern technology. But as a person, to know that there are people out there putting this type of work together and committing their life's work to such challenging projects made me feel so appreciative and also hopeful that more will soon come. The epic finish on "Starws Pulled at Random," the mind blowing silence in "Closed Eye Visuals," amongst obvious classics "Perpetual Black Second" and the holy "Rational Gaze" are all absolute gems of perfection. Unfortunately, djent has slightly polluted things and has strayed from its original format quite a bit and has sort of littered aggressive music in general. But for a little less than an hour, Meshuggah reinvented the wheel in a way that still stands unmatched 13 years later. Viola! The classics revisited are finally finished. New year, plenty of recently added.

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