Neurosis
Enemy of the Sun


4.0
excellent

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (81 Reviews)
September 20th, 2008 | 460 replies | 26,112 views


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The fury of Neurosis comes together in what could be considered one of the first true post-metal records.

11 of 11 thought this review was well written

As far as Neurosis have come during the last 15 years of their career, a close examination of their first two albums (Pain of Mind (1988) and The Word as Law (1990)) will reveal a primitive proto thrash/ punk band who were beginning to realize that their Bay Area thrash scene was dissolving rapidly. A redirection of sound was a must at this point. With a sound change and an understanding of their music scene crumbling underneath their feet, Neurosis began to take their music into other directions that had never been explored before. 1992’s Souls at Zero found Neurosis meddling with less direct blows to the head and crushingly longer arrangements, transforming their sound into a lurking monster that is fully understood on Enemy of the Sun. While Souls at Zero may have been the first step in a brilliant move by the band, Enemy of the Sun found Neurosis trekking down the same path with a more focused end result.

Its becomes apparent what the listener is in for when the first bass lines of ‘Lost’ plod along at a sluggish pace, leading into ominous power chords/ harmonics, and finally breaking into a mammoth swing of sped up riffs that could shake the bowels of God himself. Moments of disturbing melody are shaped during the calmer sections of this song, finally leading into an outro that follows suit to the intro and fastening the song together into a neat little package; all in a span of nine minutes and forty one seconds. Tired yet? As simplistic a formula as this sounds (sarcasm), this song alone can be exhausting enough for any listener without a penchant for long, mid-to-slow tempo post metal tunes. Alternatively, this can be a rewarding challenge for anyone brave enough to endure a sludge fest that constantly moulds itself inside-out and back again into an ever inquisitive piece of enigmatic brain food. This is pretty much the unconventional blueprint for the album as a whole.

After a strange building intro, consisting of an East Indian woman singing (weird, I know), ‘Raze the Stray’ shows off the bands love of earth shattering, three chord strikes that sound like a one-two punch to the face. Despite these weird add-ins of culture and noise (check out the song ‘Lexicon’ for an interesting description of what it would sound like listening to heavy metal underwater), Neurosis uses these attributes towards some peculiar and great moments on the disc. ‘Enemy of the Sun’ begins in this fashion with a weird echo vocal effect that leads into one of their traditional monolithic, bouncy riffs, but is followed up by a noteworthy tom-tom swirling, bass ridden bridge that climaxes with a bang. All in all, the majority of this disc will certainly hold your attention if you’re a fan of strange post metal experimentation, especially the final song clocking in at nearly sixteen minutes consisting of a drum-line like tom-tom jam session. This is a commendable feat for the band, considering they utilized the drumming talents from four of the five band members (not including their sampler/ keyboardist) as well as five other studio drummers that collaborate into a build of tom-tom pounding tribal music (complete with didgeridoos) that spiral into hypnotic sections of chanting, slow rhythm changes, and absolutely thumping passages of pure tribal warfare. Despite the songs length and tendencies to be a-bit-too-much, it stands as one of the better closures to any Neurosis album.

Main vocalists and songwriters Steve Von Till and Scott Kelly are a bizarre pairing so to speak. As creatively perplexing as their music already is, the duo writes in an almost spiritual kind of way while matching their vocals to his notes in a very fitting manner. Kelly’s commanding yells and low growls are well suited to the heavier sections of the songs while Von Till’s cleans are very gravely, sounding like he’s desperately looking for some form of meaning. In any case on this album, his lyrics are bizarre and seem to be left open-ended for infinite listener interpretations. A sample of lyrics taken from the song ‘Enemy of the Sun’ demonstrates this:

Torn of this lands disgrace/ Too hungry to contain a future/ The sun bathes my wounds with a veil of rage/ It’s rays dyed with the blood of our disrespect/ Suffering for the wisdom long forgotten/ The sound of bloodletting echoes on the wind/ The suicide of drought for a faith destroyed/ We starve with pride and glass in our throats

Besides some bizarre lyrics and extremely weird, musical integrity presented here, Neurosis have undoubtedly proven themselves as the kings of sludgy post metal. Not only with Enemy of the Sun were they setting themselves apart from anything that had been done in metal before, they were also setting the bar high for a horde of bands to follow in the new millennium. The fury of Neurosis comes together into a grand fashion, of what could be considered one of the first true post-metal records. This is an absolute essential for anyone who is curious about where post metal began its slow start (no pun intended) and why post metal has gained so much popularity over the years (well, sort of).



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user ratings (396)
Chart.
4
excellent
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Neurosis take a more focused approach on Enemy of the Sun than Souls at Zero with a thick wall of sl...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
September 20th 2008



18785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So this took me a while, about two weeks (longest review to write for me). This album was so hard to describe and put into words. Whatever though, I hope you all enjoy. An immense album from one of the greatest heavy metal bands, Period! Too much new stuff on the front page, time for some old school!

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

bastard
September 20th 2008



3435 Comments


Awesome review wizzy, the details tell me exactly what I should expect from this.

Wizard
September 20th 2008



18785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was afraid I failed at that..........well, I'm actually anticipating a beating from the staff since some of them hold these guys in high regard. But thanks alot man.

SnackaryBinx
September 20th 2008



2309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was thinking of doing a Neurosis review, but they take a serious amount of work.

Wizard
September 20th 2008



18785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Your telling me. They come across as simplistic but my god, are they ever a hard band to get into sometimes. You should do your review still. I'm curious to other peoples take on this band.

Tyler
Emeritus
September 20th 2008



7924 Comments


I actually don't have this I know, I know. But I've been spinning a lot of Neurosis lately (Through Silver in Blood especially but some Eye of Every Storm for good measure) so I'll have to give it a listen. God knows it's about bloody time.

Your telling me.

What about his "telling me"?This Message Edited On 09.20.08

SnackaryBinx
September 20th 2008



2309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was listening to them alot last week after I got Given to the Rising (which kicks ass). I was planning on doing a new review for Souls at Zero, but lord, I can't put it into words.


Wizard
September 20th 2008



18785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm surprised you don't have this, or on that matter, have you even heard this Coke? It's definitely a good look into how they came up with Through Silver in Blood.

I was just saying 'telling me' because they take alot of work to formulate a good idea of who they are.

SnackaryBinx
September 20th 2008



2309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll have to check this out, although I am generally a bigger
fan of The Eye of Every Storm

also, isn't Godflesh post-metal, if so, they have the first
post-metal album. Atleast I think they're post-metal.This Message Edited On 09.20.08

Wizard
September 20th 2008



18785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thats my favourite by them ! That album just sucks my life away for 65 mins and doesn't let go.

SnackaryBinx
September 20th 2008



2309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh god tell me about it. It's my favorite by them too.

joshuatree
Emeritus
September 20th 2008



3743 Comments


best neurosis is through silver and blood, never heard this though

Wizard
September 20th 2008



18785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You are my new favourite user hahahaha! I think I should go back and re-write my old review for that. I'm in a different place now then when I started listening to them about 2 years ago. Some bands move a few people, Neurosis move entire ways of thinking about music!

SnackaryBinx
September 20th 2008



2309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yay, I'm someone's favorite user!

and holy hell, I have a lot of comments, was not expecting that.

but yea, I still have to check this and Times of Grace out. I'm too busy listening to GY!BE at the moment though.

rasputin
September 20th 2008



14504 Comments


Fantastic review wizard, yours are always easy to read and well informed.

Wizard
September 20th 2008



18785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you check out Times of Grace, please hunt down the Tribes of Neurot album Grace to compliment that album. Playing the two simultaneously is one of the greatest music experiences of my life. No joke. I've spent countless hours in front of my computer, syncing the albums together, and being stuck in a trance. Seriously cerebral stuff!

Fantastic review wizard, yours are always easy to read and well informed.

The same back to you too. I really like how concise your reviews have become as well. Time to get me into some DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! These guys 'you could say' have doom elements.This Message Edited On 09.20.08

SnackaryBinx
September 20th 2008



2309 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't feel like opening 2 iTunes though. But I'm a tool and
cave into peer pressure easily, I'll do it.

I also noticed that Tribes of Neurot isn't even on this site. If
I didn't feel like shit so much I'd add them.

Neurosis does have quite a few doom elements in their music,
mostly the really slow tempos.This Message Edited On 09.20.08

Wizard
September 20th 2008



18785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have Itunes on one computer open and Windows media opened on my dads computer next to me. It's worth it dude!

I'm adding Tribes of Neurot right now.

Neurosis does have quite a few doom elements in their music,
mostly the really slow tempos.

There ya go rasputin. Someone agrees with my unconfident labeling hahaha.
This Message Edited On 09.20.08

Angmar
September 20th 2008



2689 Comments


also, isn't Godflesh post-metal, if so, they have the first
post-metal album. Atleast I think they're post-metal.


Godflesh are pretty much industrial but their style definitely influenced the "post-metal" sound.

rasputin
September 20th 2008



14504 Comments


The same back to you too. I really like how concise your reviews have become as well. Time to get me into some DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! These guys 'you could say' have doom elements.

Yeah I've been trying to get them straight to the point, but still informative, I still feel I have a lot to improve. I'm posting a review for the new Funeral album tomorrow, keep an eye out for it. ANd yeah, I've always had it in the back of my mind to check these guys out, but never have. Would this be a good place to start?



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