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Neurosis Ranked

Genre: Early Neurosis Hardcore/Thrash Crossover[87-90], and Sludge Metal/Dark Ambient/Industrial/Progressive/Post Metal/Experimental[92-present]. In an effort to stand out from the rest of the Neurosis rankings I've included ratings, descriptions and two of their 4 EP's as well, since the other two EP's are just live/edit songs. Although I've heard plently of Neurosis throughout the years I decided to mentally focus on truly dissecting them more recently, in an unbiased way; whenever possible.
1Neurosis
Times of Grace


5 - This sixth LP brings a ton of good elements to the table. I
especially like the drone whether its ambient drone or distorted drone the overall
album itself gives a sense of drone while incorporating many delightful layers like
synths and tribal drumming. Neurosis' songwriting here is very mature and focus.
Although made up of 11 tracks the whole album flows together as one body as
sometimes
I don't even realize a new track has even started. But what's more important is this
albums manages to stay in the 'excellent' to amazing range throughout without
loosing
steam, despite its 'length'. The production is on point as well. I especially like
how when synth layers of violins come in the guitars take a slight lax so everything
can mesh. Dynamics, or man don't let me talk about dynamics... The dynamics here
are
phenominal. The shifts, whether going up or down, almost never lose any bit of
emotion. The infusion of electronic elements like spattering glitches are all
perfectly timed, not to mention the skit dialogues too. Up to this point in Neurosis'
catalogue it seems like they've never dedicated this much attention to their
song-writing and clearly everything, because of that, has come out successful.
Without a doubt this album was meant to be listened to in full from beginning to
end.
You can just listen to a track here or there and expect to get the most out of this
album. There really is no track that is better than the other, they're all just as
good as the next! The riffs structures here also take on new meaning. By this I
mean
the outlay of the riffs are strictly tailored to moods and lyrical lines which is
apparant throughout this album and that element itself is very rewarding as it
breathes depth to all moments, making everything pop out in enjoyment. Some of
the
harmonic/minimal melodic elements of Souls at Zero also bleed through perfectly
here.
Just about every enjoyable element from their past work has been effectively
integrated here with the exception of several new elements; like a marriage of old
and new conforming to a single being. Even the clean sung vocal moments are
perfect
and filled with emotion, fitting the established scenarios like gloves.
2Neurosis
Souls at Zero


4 - Their third LP shows Neurosis' biggest style shift, almost
entirely ditching the hardcore/thrash crossover style. You can hear their past
sound
leak in from time to time but with Souls at Zero Neurosis sounds like an entirely
different band. Fortunately the vocalist is style recognizable, and even further, the
music takes on more of an atmosperic/heavy/sludge/emotional feel and they
succeed
entirely at this endeavors here. In fact, with such a dense atmosphere its good to
hear the vocalist higher pitched style blend through so perfectly. Although their
previous LP 'The Word as Law' was more riff filled and technical it didn't hit the
emotional feel that 'Souls at Zero' does. The chord choices, progressive choices,
and
passage length choices are all superior here. The progressive styles from their
previous work is also taken further here. The title track off this clocks in at one
of their lengthiest tracks to date but because its so tasty with harmozing riffs it
feels shorter than it actually is; and this is a good sign of good song-writing. The
use of dynamics, which is one of my favorite elements in music, is in a differnt
league here. For instance, 'Flight' begins with a style that was more notable on
their previous LP but with some inventive style of higher octave string bends and
variations on sting tones and dynamic shifts that drop from blistering heights to a
level plain of folk'like goodness it is anything other than what they've done before;
a good testament to show how plethora's upon plethora's of riffs are pointless if
they're not effective. The spoken dialogue/skits are fantastic here and this rating
could be higher if the latter album half was as good as the first.
3Neurosis
The Eye of Every Storm


4 - Right from the beginning, for some reason, you can tell
this eighth is going to be much better than 'A Sun that Never Sets'. It starts off
strong, there's effective dynamics, there's new feels, and fitting clean vocals with
supporting backdrops that just work. TEOES is like cinematic journey and the music
is
graceful and even a little mysterious at times. The album art is a good reflection of
the music and production; which is clear,crisp, simple, yet effective. TEOES takes
its time but it develops well when it does. It doesn't lag, it just waits for the
most opportune moment to strike once all the proper elements are in place. There
are
moments in the title track that are solid but underwhelming and not up to
expectations, but this is quite rare actually. I like the dissonant approach to the
intro to 'Left to Wander' as you can here the drums going strong but far off in the
distance with drone synths overtaking it. A quite enjoyable element indeed. The
track
is actually thematic and it pulses up in down, jumping in and out of a common mode
but eventually as the track closes we are circled back to the dissonant drums and
dense atmosphere, with a touch of furtherance. TEOES takes on more of a
post-rock/sludge vibe than straight up sludge, and it works very well. This album
actually brings to mind how effective Neurosis have been in varying their albums.
Rarely do you find repeated songs, riffs, or albums. 'Shelter' is a great track, a
progression from their last albums attempt to bring mellow moments to life and this
track show the true art of dynamic power and minimalism. If it wasn't for long
drawn
out boring tracks like 'Bridges' this album could be so much more enjoyable. I
understand the tracks purpose but its not necessary. Fortunately, the closer is
excellent.
4Neurosis
Honor Found in Decay


4 - The most recent tenth LP release of Neurosis is quite a
good one and I really appreciate the styles that are used here. What makes this
good
is that not only do we have strong dynamics but the frequent use of harmozing
high
octave, drawn out notes over the typical sludge drone works very well and it give
the
listener a sense of journeying and exploration and peering; especially apparent in
'At the Well'. The following track ' My Heart for Deliverance' is a good track but it
does lag at times near its inception but it does pick up towards its latter half and
when it does there's some tasty string bends that fit so perfectly. At times I feel
like this album is like a classical symphony of minimal-grandeur expressions;
probably mainly to the fresh usage of higher octave strings in harmony. There's a
bit
of a sorrowful/melancholic tone throughout HFID and its such an endearing quality
of
this that is quite drawing for me. For instance, 'Casting of the Ages' is likened to
a feeling that I never wish to end, almost like the cravings of eternity. The
emotional weight of the lyrics here powerful too. And speaking on the topic of
lyrics, the maturity of them here are as great as ever and you can tell the topics
they touch on are unbiased, yet important and worthwhile. This is basically
excellent
and solid all around.
5Neurosis
The Word as Law


3.5 - Neurosis' second LP continues with their hardcore/thrash
crossover style and immediately from the first track you can hear they've already
progressed from their first LP with more of a progressive sound, bass-work that
stands out more, and even their riffs are more tasty and groovey. The energy and
attention to detail has become more apparent with this release. Some of the riffs
even effectively add some technical obscure elements from time to time which only
adds to the emotional effect of the music. The drums are also stronger with more
of
jazz-rock/thrash style then just straight of boring blast beats and normal flares.
'To What End' is one of my favorite tracks off this album mainly due to how hard
the
bass goes and the drumming intensity matches the bass perfectly as well. Also, the
tempo shifts on this song are just perfect. If all the tracks on this album were as
good as this one I would probably 4.5 this. Unfortunaly The Word as Law is mixed
with
some really excellent tracks and some that are only above average. Overall, it's
still a good improvement from their first LP. And again, as it was with their first
LP it seems fans underrated this album as well.
6Neurosis
Sovereign


3.5 - This is a definite worthwhile EP since the songs are actually
songs you won't find on any of their LP's, like some of the other EP's that are
pointless. The 4 tracks herein are tasty and although this was a precursor to 'A Sun
That Never Sets' its much better, much much better. It takes on similar
characteristics but the use of dynamics are actually used on this album making it
almost instantaneously superior. The blend of tribal/rock drumming on 'Flood' is so
tasty and addicting. Like this track contains some of the best tribal drumming I've
heard, not that its extremely technical but because its so effective. The closer
title track is equally as good and it contains some effective electronic integrations
over some extraodinary drums modes and patterns. The builds and full instrumental
compositions on this closer contain some of the finest emotions I've ever felt.
Again, certain emotions that I never wish to end. Definitely Neurosis' finest EP,
period.
7Neurosis
Through Silver in Blood


3.5 - What a great step forward from the weaker Enemy of
the Sun that preceded this. This fifth LP show a stronger focus on emotion which is
one of the main reasons its better than Enemy of the Sun. Also, there's a great
emphasis, again, in the area of intricate compositions. Why the average for this is a
4.4 is besides me because the album actually starts out rather weak compared to
Souls
at Zero. It takes time for the album to start kicking in. But it does eventually kick
in but the album never goes above 'great'. There's many 'excellent' elements like
the
dark-scottish ambience of 'Purify' and tribal beats and so forth but as a whole it
never hits the emotional level of Souls at Zero, it just doesn't. It's not till the
fifth track comes in where 'Locust Star' contains some excellent emotions and its
dynamic and its powerful and one of the best things about this album! In fact, the
latter half of this album is stronger than the first half. One of the most overrated
albums I've seen on this site! It's still great though, just not as amazing as people
make it out to be. 'Become the Ocean' is another stellar track off this album as
well.
8Neurosis
Given to the Rising


3 - Given to the Rising is a solid and good ninth LP and it
shows that Neurosis can still make good music after all these years. But 'good' is as
far as it goes because once again we have this odd passive feel that was apparent
in
some of Neurosis' weaker albums. Although quite simple, the droning moments on
'At
the End of the Road are quite tasty and I could easily see myself zoning out to that
track while working out or stretching perhaps. GTTR is mainly a drone album with
sludge infused into it which is just fine. The drone elements are actually quite good
but like I mentioned before it rarely goes above 'good'. When guitar riffs come in
they are nothing extraodinary, they're nothing spectacular. Its almost like eating
only the bottom layer of cake but why is the frosting and filling and upper layers
missing. The drumming and drone elements are probably the best elements of this
album. 'Distill' is one of the better tracks here and almost feels out of place
because it is that good. With all the drone its pointless to have extra fillers here
but unfornately filler ARE here but the closer track IS fortunately good and kind of
saves the album, making the latter half a little strong than the first.
9Neurosis
Enemy of the Sun


3 - This fourth LP is a little tricky because you'd think that
with Neurosis' past ongoing progressive of becoming better song-writers would
never
cease but with this release there's a bit of a step back. Here, they aim for a
heavier and sometimes even obscure approach and while the music is good it
doesn't
carry nearly the same emotional weight of say, Souls at Zero. Many times the
tracks
will progress with added layers but sometimes the music become too repetative and
lax
to have any 'impact'; see 'Lexicon' for example. Now in the case of the title track
the music is still good but the 2 minute intro of no music seems pointless despite
whatever their intention was. The music again is still good but it feels like its
stuggling to remain above average. The drumming is great as usual, though, and
the
addition and emphasis on tribal drumming is great, its just the strings supporting it
aren't as great. The lengthy songs on Souls at Zero were definitely warranted and
as
I mentioned in the description for it the songs didn't 'feel' as long because they
were so well put together and tasty but again with this release I couldn't help but
thinking several times throughout it, when is this song going to end. Again, the
tribal drumming is probably my favorite element off this album.
10Neurosis
Pain of Mind


3 - Naturally, it was quite interesting to see such a lower average
rating for Neurosis' first LP; so I had to investigate. Basically, to say the least,
I was surprised to hear hardcore/thrash crossover music on this. And actually the
intro to Wizard's review for this album accurately addressed my initial response for
this, which was wtf. I say this because I had no idea they originally played this
style of music. Now back to the quality of it: The music is actually pretty good and
solid. The vocals fit well and the music transitions well. In fact, I'm starting to
believe there's a possibility many Neurosis fans rated this low because it wasn't
like their more notable releases. Now this may not be as good as their latter
releases but its definitely above average. Many of the songs here are short and
straight to the point and for what this style is, the music is enjoyable. For those
that are really into the hardcore/thrash crossover phase I'd expect to see ratings
ranging from 3.5-4. Also, I must add, the production fits the music perfectly.
11Neurosis
Aberration


3 - a great precursor to the solid 'The Word as Law'. This EP acts as
a stepping stone getting the Neurosis fans ready for their progressive steps in
furthering their hardcore/thrash crossover style. It's only 3 tracks so don't expect
much and the songs themselves are rather short too but in terms of enjoyability its
as strong as their debut LP; maybe even slightly better due to the catch enjoyable
vibes. 'Nonsense' is probably the best track off this, man those drums and riffs.
This shows that whether Neurosis decided to stay with this crossover style or not
they would still be a force to be reckoned with. 'Pollution' is such a tasty obscure
song that I'd enourage all fans to check this as I think you'll be quite impressed at
how good it is.
12Neurosis
A Sun That Never Sets


2 - This seventh LP starts off pretty underwhelming
compared to their other material but when 'The Tide' comes in the emotions start
to
pick up and the connection is established but the track as a whole feels rather
passive. Even the following track is 'good' and even tasty but it never really goes
any further. This is due to a lack of effective dynamics. It's like driving on a dirt
dessert flat road with a dune buggy but there no dunes to have fun on; but while
the
buggy is still fun to drive, you know it could still be much better with dynamic
terrain. The clean sung vocals are no where near as good as the previous LP that
came
before this. They just hang out in space by themselves and just feel poorly placed;
there's not enough instrumental power behind them, backing them up. 'Falling
Unknown'
is comprised of boring riffs and so is its following track. This album actually feels
like Neurosis just made an album to make one, I don't know maybe their fans where
pressuring them. What a dissapointing drop from their amazing preceding LP, 'Time
of
Grace'. Overall, this is LP is more of a chore to listen to so how could I even say
its 'average'. It poor and weak and boring. Now, it has a few enjoyable elements
but
my cats natural purrs are more enjoyable, so...
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