Neurosis is a weird band.
They are from Oakland, California and play a sort of progressive sludge metal with something else. I suppose I can’t call it post-sludge because it’s not. It’s some sort of genre hybrid but of genres that don’t exist. The Genre Nazi is not pleased. There are some tribal sounding drum bits like Metal Archives says, but not enough to through tribal into the genre and there are some ambient sections but not enough to be part of the genre. Stupid M-A. There really isn’t a whole lot of background to be found on these guys so I’ll just get started.
The album begins with machine sounds. Something that is becoming increasingly unoriginal but because this album was made in ‘96, it’s OK. The title track, Through Silver in Blood
, has some of those tribal sounding drums and ambient guitar squeals and man, it is awesome. It’s battle music for a movie. It dies down a bit and changes but it is overall fairly repetitive. The super distorted sludge chords come in and you understand where the term came from. It is very hard to tell separate notes apart and only the sustained chords can be fully appreciated. The vocals are a sort of yell. A more old fashioned way of doing things. No death growls or barks or Gollum sounds, just yelling almost to a pitch. They are mixed low and blend with the music. It gets really cool when they are mixed lower but he yells louder and the guitars take over. It is a pretty cool song and an interesting sound. The song doesn’t really change a lot but it does just enough to keep it interesting.
begins in such a cool way. With a sample from a movie or a few movies it sounds like. It reminds me of Faaip De Oiad but less scary. Eye
is a good song but too long. Neurosis seems to get a good idea, and then only use that one for the whole song. It does the aggressive pounding riff with yelling into an ambient little hum a few time through the song but it’s one of those things that work better when only done once. Eye runs into Purify
which begins with a cool ambient hiss joined by a slow piano/guitar riff and other noises. The song picks up into heaviness but then drops back a few times. It is very cool. This song has the most changing and is probably my favorite. It has more than one idea laced in and does some really great stuff. It flows into Locust Star
which is another good one and the short time (5:48) helps it to not get boring. It begins with more ambient noise and a slow guitar riff but also with those demi-tribal drums. The squeals in the background are also very cool.
Strength of Fates
begins with some cool samples of what is I think birds and people talking but with so much reverb, delay and condensing that they lose clarity and just sound like noises. Again a slow guitar riff and ambience are in the beginning of this song as well as piano. There is a cool section with a super distorted guitar but it’s mixed really low so it becomes just sort of a filler noise. The vocals are also very good. This is a slow plodding sort of track that slowly builds. A very strange ballad I suppose. It doesn’t get to the loud distortion blasting until the last 2 minutes or so and it works very well.
Become the Ocean
begins with more ambience and samples. This time it’s a religion speech it sounds like. The theme of this album seems to be evolution or progress or something. It’s a cool idea but a little hard to understand. This is a very cool and short track. It leads into Aeon
which begins with a plinky little piano part that is slowly joined by soft drums and violin and eventually what sounds like a string quartet. It is a somewhat symphonic sounding piece (well, stringy but it has that atmosphere that symphonic metal gets). Then at 3 minutes the songs blows up. They seem to be yelling at each other (the vocalists). It’s a cool idea and fortunately doesn’t go on too long. The song has a cool mellowed out section in the middle that builds up into a black metal sounding spot with those tribal drums and synths and not a whole lot of guitar. It has this build but just as it’s about to explode, it goes back down. An audio parabola I suppose. It’s actually pretty cool and has a ton of tension because it never quite makes it. The song ends with strings and piano.
Enclosure in Flame
has a dissonant slightly distorted guitar starting it then it just sort of fills in. It never really gets a lot of speed and stays pretty repetitive. The opening part doesn’t really leave, they just add more on top or take some away and change what’s there. It’s a cool idea but 10:19 of the same riff starts to annoy me.
This album is good, but not great. It gets repetitive. The middle of the album is really the height, tracks 4-7 are the core. I’d recommend this album to most people but I’d also tell them not to listen to the whole thing at once. It’s just a little much.