Sunday, 30 November 2014

Meshuggah - The Obsidian Trek (Album Review)


Album Type: Live DVD/Blu-Ray/CD
Date Released: 29/9/2014
Label: Nuclear Blast

“The Ophidian Trek” track listing:

1. Swarmer (1:58)
2. Swarm (5:22)
3. Combustion (4:21)
4. Rational Gaze (5:03)
5. Obzen (5:20)
6. Lethargica (6:04)
7. Do Not Look Down (4:56)
8. The Hurt (5:45)
9. I am Colossus (4:48)
10. Bleed (7:20)
11. Demiurge (5:18)
12. New Millennium Cyanide Christ (5:08)
13. Dancers To A Discordant System (10:14)
14. Mind's Mirrors - In Death - Is Life - In Death - Is Death (14:10)
15. The Last Vigil (4:09)

Meshuggah is:

Jens Kidman I vocals
Mårten Hagström | guitar
Dick Lövgren | bass
Fredrik Thordendal I guitar
Tomas Haake | drums

Review:

Meshuggah. One of the most influential bands in heavy music releases their second live album/concert dvd/blu-ray combination. Whenever you throw on a live album the only real important question is, does it capture the feel of the band live? The answer here is a resounding yes, having seen Meshuggah personally several times, their unique blend of polyrhythmic wizardry portrays a fury live that I've never seen equalled. This album successfully captures the intensity of the live performance and Jens Kidman's voice sounds almost better then recorded in a studio. The manic Thordendal solos really shine throughout the album, as well being a soloist who never shied away from deviating from the studio versions; his live soloing is as exceptional as his song writing.

The recording quality is pretty insane for a live album, indeed if you put this on not knowing it was live you would assume it was recorded in a studio. It literally sounds that good. This is just another example of Meshuggah pushing the benchmark of what is expected, other bands take note of the quality of this release.

A nice sampling of different stages of Meshuggah's career, “Ophidian Trek” does skew towards the more recent releases being somewhat ‘Koloss’ and ‘ObZen’ heavy. Including fan favorites “Rational Gaze,” “New Millennium Cyanide Christ,” and the stellar trio “Mind's Mirrors – In Death – Is Life – In Death – Is Death”, the glaring omission on this their second live release is “Future Breed Machine”.  It bit of a bummer for fans that haven't seen Meshuggah live, because it was not included on the previous live release “Alive” either.  It really is an exceptionally fun song live and I can only hope they include more from “Catch-33” as well, on future live releases.  That being said the highlights of this album are difficult to pinpoint but I'd say "Lethargica" and the Catch-33 Medley stand a bit above the rest, the bridge section of "Lethargica" is a little bit different here and sounds really good.   

Continuing their now tradition of being the band everyone else is trying to catch up with “Ophidian Trek” is a great capture of where Meshuggah is in their journey. It accurately chronicles one of the greatest metal bands of all-time at the peak of their art and is a fitting substitute for fans who have been unable to see them live. As we depart the madness of Meshuggah I am left with one unanswered question. What makes a trek ophidian?

Words By: Chris Tedor


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