None [#1]

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Four years passed between Meshuggah's 1991 debut, Contradictions Collapse, and their second full-length album, Destroy Erase Improve. During those four years, Meshuggah weren't idle; they performed plenty of live gigs, and they provided the EP None. In 1994, fans of Contradictions Collapse were hungry for more -- and while None wasn't the gourmet alterna-metal feast that Destroy Erase Improve turned out to be, it was an enjoyable, if imperfect, appetizer. Stylistically, the blistering selections "Ritual," "Sickening," "Gods of Rapture," and "Humiliative" were not a major departure from the material on Contradictions Collapse; Meshuggah still sounded like a pummeling blend of Slayer, Metallica, and Sepultura. None, like Contradictions Collapse, hinted at the greatness that was to come, although it fell short of that greatness. None isn't as experimental or as challenging as Destroy Erase Improve (which was Meshuggah's first truly superb album) or Chaosphere (another gem), but it is an exciting listen nonetheless. Headbangers who became Meshuggah enthusiasts after hearing Contradictions Collapse continued to be Meshuggah enthusiasts when Nuclear Blast released None in 1994 -- and that enthusiasm would only increase thanks to Destroy Erase Improve in 1995 and Chaosphere in 1998. It should be noted that when Nuclear Blast reissued Contradictions Collapse in the United States in 2008, four None songs were added as bonus tracks; that was a wise move on the part of Nuclear Blast, because even though None isn't among Meshuggah's essential releases, it is still a respectable footnote in their history.

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