Nothing (Meshuggah album)

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Studio album by Meshuggah
Released 6 August 2002 (2002-08-06)
Recorded 2002
Genre Extreme metal, progressive metal, avant-garde metal
Length 53:10
Label Nuclear Blast
Meshuggah chronology
Rare Trax

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.[1]

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. It was re-mastered for a new re-release with re-recorded guitars 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, 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
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Blabbermouth 7.5/10 stars[3]
Pitchfork Media 8.1/10[4]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[5]

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.

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


A re-recorded and remastered version of the album was released on October 31, 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.

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]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Stengah"   Haake Hagström, Haake 5:38
2. "Rational Gaze"   Haake Thordendal 5:04
3. "Perpetual Black Second"   Haake Hagström 4:39
4. "Closed Eye Visuals"   Haake Thordendal 7:25
5. "Glints Collide"   Haake Thordendal, Haake 4:55
6. "Organic Shadows"   Haake Hagström, Haake 5:08
7. "Straws Pulled at Random"   Haake Hagström 5:10
8. "Spasm"   Haake Thordendal, Haake 4:14
9. "Nebulous"   Hagström Hagström 6:33
10. "Obsidian"   (Instrumental) Meshuggah 4:20
Total length:
2006 re-release
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Stengah"   Haake Hagström, Haake 5:38
2. "Rational Gaze"   Haake Thordendal 5:26
3. "Perpetual Black Second"   Haake Hagström 4:39
4. "Closed Eye Visuals"   Haake Thordendal 7:25
5. "Glints Collide"   Haake Thordendal, Haake 4:56
6. "Organic Shadows"   Haake Hagström, Haake 5:20
7. "Straws Pulled at Random"   Haake Hagström 5:16
8. "Spasm"   Haake Thordendal, Haake 4:14
9. "Nebulous"   Hagström Hagström 7:06
10. "Obsidian"   (Instrumental) Meshuggah 8:33
Total length:
DVD track listing
No. Title Length
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 - Chart history". Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ Serba, John. "Nothing - Meshuggah". Allmusic. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ Cipolla, Alex. " CD Reviews - Nothing - Meshuggah". Blabbermouth. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ Violante, Isaiah (October 15, 2002). "Meshuggah - Nothing". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "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.