Neurosis
Times of Grace


3.5
great

Review

by GleamInRanks USER (16 Reviews)
April 9th, 2007 | 814 replies | 46,739 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A solid release for the titans of post-metal. The ambience is great. This album is a bridge between the heavier Through Silver in Blood and the mellower The Eye of Every Storm.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

What did Oakland ever do to the members of this band. Part sludge, progressive,post-metal, doom and to an extent drone, Neurosis' sound is a very interesting one. Many listeners wouldn't be able to fathom all of the layers that are present. A lightyear away from there rather boring hardcore past, Neurosis has had what is probably the largest influence on the sound of modern post-metal with bands like Isis being forefront. Often incorporating mounds of ambience and samples, Noah Landis plays an integral part in the band, much like Frank Delgado of the Deftones, which makes the songs more intriguing. The distinctive tribal drumming used throughout is what makes Neurosis distinguishable from other similar bands. Times of Grace, though not as great nor as dark as Through Silver in Blood, is still a solid release from the band.

The introduction to the album entitled "Suspended in Light" is filled with eerie samples, high pitched feedback and what almost sounds like sonar. There is a passage of spoken words, but I am not able to understand them. The intro soon fades out and becomes "The Doorway". This song utilizes a chugging guitar riff, a style of playing that a major characteristic of post-metal. The vocals in this song are relentless in their delivery. Scott Kelly delivers most of the bands vocals and his voice is very raw and coarse. Kelly and Von Till make good use of the remarkably low tuning of the guitars, playing some of the most brooding guitar sounds I have heard.

Fast tempo tribal drumming is used in combination with the dual vocals of Kelly and Von Till to set the mood of "Under the Surface". A repeated guitar line that is heavy on the bass sounds fantastic even though it is not up to speed with the rest of the band. A break from the chaos has a very uneasy feeling to it. The ambient section doesn't last long before the entire band comes back, full-force and heavier than before. The repeated lines of "Your shell is hollow/ Your shell is hollow/ So am I/ The rest will follow/ The rest will follow/ So will I" sound perfect accompanying the music. I believe that "Under the Surface" is the standout track of the album, because of the anger that is delivered through the music and lyrics.

The initial tempo of "The Last You'll Know" is comparable to the previous tracks., but this dies down rather quickly. The samples are the focal point of this track. Many different samples, including one that sounds like a jet engine, are used simultaneously along with an organ which makes this track a welcome change of pace. The track repeats this pattern a couple of times, making the track feel very boring with the exhausting repetition. "Belief" has a very ominous attitude, with the ambient samples and the simple drumming. The vocals contribute to this with their resemblance to the "robot" sounding vocals you might find in Cynic, an influential death metal band. After the pointless filler track of "Exist", Neurosis deliver another excellent track, "End of the Harvest". Laid back in its approach, builds and builds adding thick distortion to heighten the tension. This is the first track that has the features the bassist's vocals, which sound like grunts. The song explodes into a choppy guitar section which rhythmically changes from quarter notes to eighth notes simulating an army's march.

"Descent" features my personal favorite instrument, the bagpipe. There isn't much to the song, it is only acts as a bridge between "End of the Harvest" and "Away". Being the longest track on the album, it is exceedingly easy to become very bored. Easily the most mellow track on the entire album, "Away" uses a very slow guitar line to accent the melancholic vocals that are on much of the track. At around the six minute mark, distortion is added and distant yelling can be heard, making the track excessively depressing. The unusually high pitch voice of Kelly along with the menacing bass make the title track have a very doomy sound. The excessive bending of guitar notes adds to the suspense, but the band doesn't capitalize on the suspense. Instead they fade the song out. I would say that "Times in Grace" is the most disappointing song on the album. There could have been an amazing climax to the song and the album. No pay-off is provided to the listener and "The Road To Sovereignty" doesn't provide one either as it is just another ambient track.

With a band like Neurosis, every song is going to be strenuous. If you don't listen closely, you may miss out on the subtle sections of the album that make it so unnerving and worthwhile. This album and A Sun that Never Sets is Neurosis' progression from the insanely dark, Through Silver in Blood to the more mellow The Eye of Every Storm. The large amount of ambient tracks can be bothersome and the repetition is the same. If you can come to a point where these characteristics don't bother you or if you are already a fan of Neurosis/sludge/doom/post-metal then Times of Grace can be a great album to listen to. The guitars are heavy, the tribal drumming sounds great, and the atmosphere is scary, that is Neurosis in a nutshell.

Recommended Songs
"The Doorway"
"Under the Surface"
"End of the Harvest"



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user ratings (663)
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4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Brendan M. (4.5)
Neurosis delve even deeper into the symphonic element of their sound whilst keeping the heavy riffs,...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Brain Dead
April 9th 2007



1150 Comments


I can't believe this is the first review for this album, Neurosis are criminally underrated on Sputnik. Shame on you all.

GleamInRanks
April 9th 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Amen to that

Thor
April 9th 2007



10178 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I've been meaning to check this out. On Mastodon's DVD, Troy Sanders said that without this album, there would be no Mastodon. Sounds pretty sweet!

Confessed2005
April 9th 2007



3314 Comments


Neurosis are a superb band and I cannot wait to see them play at Hellfest this June.

I really want to check this out now, good review.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2007



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

In the top 4 Neurosis albums. Such a good album.

RunAmokRampant
April 9th 2007



228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I was going to review this album as I've had this album for like 3 years but never got around to doing it. I couldn't have penned it any better except that 'boring' and 'exhausting' are words that are overly used in this brand of music.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
April 9th 2007



4926 Comments


I'm listening to "A Sun That Never Sets" right now. Only Neurosis album I have.

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

GleamInRanks
April 9th 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

to RunAmok: how about "strenuous"

AlienEater
April 10th 2007



716 Comments


Neurosis rule

Wizard
April 10th 2007



19239 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent review. You described this album to the point where I think you can read my mind. I have been on the biggest Neurosis bender lately and Im impatiently waiting for The Eye of Every Storm to come into HMV. I might actually write my first review on that album. Cheers!

Digging: Cloak of Altering - Plague Beasts

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2007



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The Eye of Every Storm is the best Neurosis album. Newest might be a contender tho.

Two-Headed Boy
April 10th 2007



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent band. I can't wait til their new album.

JAD
April 10th 2007



200 Comments


I really need to hear some Neurosis, nice review.

GleamInRanks
April 10th 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow, thanks for the response

JAD, The eye of every storm would be the best place to start

What is the 'voting' I see at the top of some reviews for?This Message Edited On 04.13.07

Intransit
June 18th 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hey, can anyone hook me up with this? I've been hearing about how good it is all over, and I feel like I really need it.

GleamInRanks
June 18th 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, by AIM or email or whatever?

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 18th 2007



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

already covered it

Intransit
June 24th 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I know I'm in the minority, but this is the best Neurosis album, bar none. The newest album is close though.

Dried Muffin Remnants
December 25th 2007



297 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Intransit, you're not the only one... this album is brilliant, classic, and maybe the best metal album ever.

LifeInABox
December 25th 2007



3708 Comments


He's not special. Most people who are deep into Neurosis claim this to be their favorite.



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