Nothing (Meshuggah album)

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Studio album by
Released6 August 2002[1]
GenreExtreme metal, progressive metal, avant-garde metal, djent[2]
LabelNuclear Blast
Meshuggah chronology
Rare Trax
Alternative cover
Remastered cover
Remastered cover

Nothing is the fourth album by Swedish metal band Meshuggah, originally released in 2002. The album entered the Billboard 200 chart at number 165, slightly higher than the band's following effort, Catch Thirtythree.[3]

A last-minute decision to join 2002's Ozzfest tour forced the band to mix the album in two days and to master it in one. As a result, the album had its guitars and drums re-recorded for a remastered re-release in 2006.

Musical style[edit]

The songs on this album consist of slower tempos and a heavy focus on groove instead of the thrash metal style of previous albums. This stylistic change led to mixed reviews from fans, though it received a warmer reception from mainstream critics than the band's previous efforts. Jazz fusion elements such as the interludes found in some songs on the band's Destroy Erase Improve album are still present in this release.

This is also the first album where guitarists Fredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hagström experiment with 8-string guitar tunings [4], though the album was recorded using detuned 7-string guitars, due to their custom Nevborn guitars not being ready.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[5]
Blabbermouth7.5/10 stars[6]
Pitchfork Media8.1/10[7]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[8]

The track "Rational Gaze" was promoted with three music videos. The first was a repetitive black-and-white sequence of pictures, and did not have much connection with the song structure; the second version, directed by Torbjörn Oyesvold, featured a blue-greenish environment with the band performing, heavy post-processed by blurry video filters; the third version, entitled "Mr. Kidman Delirium Version", was not an official video, but rather a handicam of Jens Kidman performing as his bandmates, with the help of different wigs. In January 2018, Loudwire named Nothing their favorite djent album.[2]

Nothing has sold over 95,000 copies in the US.


A re-recorded and remastered version of the album was released on 31 October 2006. The new version features the rhythm guitar tracks re-recorded with new guitars and amplifiers. When guitarists Hagström and Thordendal were endorsed by Ibanez with custom 8-string guitars, they were so pleased with the results that they decided to re-record their parts with the new instruments. The drums were also re-recorded by triggering the original drum hits using Drumkit from Hell Superior.[citation needed] The vocals were not re-recorded, but were given extra dramatic effects.

Aside from the re-recorded guitars and triggered drum samples, there are only two songs significantly modified from their original version. The tempo of "Nebulous" was lowered, and the length of "Obsidian" was nearly doubled with the ending fadeout removed.

The re-release also includes a DVD containing music videos and their Download Festival performance in 2005, as well as modified cover art.

Track listing[edit]

1."Stengah"HaakeHagström, Haake5:38
2."Rational Gaze"HaakeThordendal5:04
3."Perpetual Black Second"HaakeHagström4:39
4."Closed Eye Visuals"HaakeThordendal7:25
5."Glints Collide"HaakeThordendal, Haake4:55
6."Organic Shadows"HaakeHagström, Haake5:08
7."Straws Pulled at Random"HaakeHagström5:10
8."Spasm"HaakeThordendal, Haake4:14
Total length:57:52
DVD track listing (Remastered edition)
1."Straws Pulled at Random" (live at Download 2005) 
2."In Death—Is Death" (live at Download 2005) 
3."Future Breed Machine" (live at Download 2005) 
4."Rational Gaze" (music video) 
5."Shed" (music video) 
6."New Millennium Cyanide Christ" (music video) 
7."Rational Gaze" (Mr. Kidman Delirium version) 



  1. ^ MESHUGGAH Guitarist Speaks Out On OZZFEST 2002 Experience, retrieved November 9, 2017
  2. ^ a b "THE BEST METAL ALBUMS FROM 40 SUBGENRES". Loudwire. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  3. ^ "Meshuggah - Chart history". Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  4. ^ "Meshuggah Interview". Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  5. ^ Serba, John. "Nothing - Meshuggah". Allmusic. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  6. ^ Cipolla, Alex. " CD Reviews - Nothing - Meshuggah". Blabbermouth. Archived from the original on May 25, 2008. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  7. ^ Violante, Isaiah (October 15, 2002). "Meshuggah - Nothing". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  8. ^ Kot, Greg (September 12, 2002). "Meshuggah: Nothing : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  9. ^ "MESHUGGAH presented by". Marten Hagstrom says in this interview (at 3:18) that Tomas Haake designed, produced and mastered the artwork for the album Nothing.