Neurosis
Through Silver in Blood


5.0
classic

Review

by Brendan M. USER (35 Reviews)
April 19th, 2014 | 32 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Neurosis reach the peak of their heavy sound with what is possibly the most powerful album I’ve ever heard.

Chapter 5: When the Fallout Comes...

Right before this record, Enemy of the Sun had signaled an evolution into more dynamic music and larger focus on the album as a whole. Their sound also began to introduce more ambience and sampling to add the already haunting atmosphere which showed a sign of experience. Now, fast-forward two years to April 23, 1996, we have Through Silver in Blood. Just from the album cover, you know that this album is going to be heavy, thick, and frightening. The opening noise starts, and the album cover describes the feeling perfectly.

With this record, Neurosis have basically taken the sludge of Enemy of the Sun and the progressive elements of Souls at Zero and combined the two into an indescribable meld. Both atmospheres collide in the best way possible in order to make it sound like a cruel, freezing war. The dissonance is much more accentuated here, especially in the string sections. From the short noises that start the album, to the melodies in Purify, and in the cold, dark downward scale in the intro Aeon. Another interesting addition is the amount of extra percussion this time around, which was certainly hinted at on Enemy of the Sun. There is the long intro to the title track, the swirling patterns of songs such as Eye and Aeon, and the fills that lead into the pain of Enclosure in Flame. The instrumentation makes for a very interesting record and it sure makes it scarier.

Lyrically, this album is very difficult to interpret. Everything is very poetic and dark, but it’s even scarier since you don’t know what’s going on. Atmospherically, the album invokes the chaos of Souls and the dark forest of Enemy. Combined, I interpret it as a war, as I stated before. This album also needs to be listened to as a whole since every song fades into one another for a truly hypnotic experience. If you play it song by song, it will feel incomplete and only like a slice. The two ambient transitions Rehumanize and Become the Ocean are good examples of this, since they are placed perfectly between tracks and add a bit of a break while staying frightening.

The chaotic atmosphere is perfectly accentuated by Billy Anderson’s production with his smooth, hypnotic style of mixing. Although Neurosis’s later producer Steve Albini is my favorite engineer, I don’t think he would’ve quite worked here. The album has a very natural feel to it, but it’s so incredibly layered in so many places so one might be able to dispute that. For every song, there is a strong layer of percussion, a wall of guitars and noise, some extra spices such as ambience or strings, and vocals that are mixed at the perfect volume which is a bit lower than the instrumentation. There is some sort of magic to this mix that I’ve never quite heard before, with everything sounding so human yet inhuman at the same time. Every mix sounds perfect with nothing buried being too low and the perfect clash between noise and ambience.

Overall, this is Neurosis’s heaviest record by far in terms of emotion, layers, and noise. In my opinion, this is tied with The Eye of Every Storm for their greatest album, but they’re pretty much opposites on both sides of Neurosis’s sound. With Through Silver in Blood, Neurosis have taken the heavy side of their sound as far as it could possibly go and the results are this monstrous album which still has yet to be heavier than anything I’ve ever heard. They’ve perfected the flow, the dynamics, the instrumentation, and atmosphere of their sound here. I could go on and on why this record is so amazing, but truthfully, it’s up to the listener to decide what it means to them. By the time you’ve reached the end, you feel like you’ve witnessed something indescribable. If you’re looking for something that is incredibly heavy, but manages to stay smart and conscious of itself, this will probably be for you. This will probably seem too dark or long for casual listeners, but if you have a lot of patience and an open mind, you’ll probably enjoy this. This isn’t metal to headbang to, this is metal to be meditated upon. In conclusion, this is the peak of Neurosis’s heavy side and the first truly classic album they made.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
BMDrummer
April 19th 2014


7159 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I cannot tell you how hard it was to write this, so much listening and examining. This will be my last review for a few days probably, I'm going to take a little break but pick it back up quite soon.

Digging: Shellac - Dude Incredible

CaptainDooRight
April 19th 2014


29131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah breaks are gd. Don't do what I did and write 93 reviews back to back and never review again. It'll seriously take me at least another 48 years to recover.

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

ZombicidalMan
April 19th 2014


1801 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Pretty good review, man. Some of it is a little too informal which contrasts with the rest, but that's aight.

This album put me into a goddamn trance when I first heard it. I think it's also when Steve started bringing around a huge drum to bang on between guitar parts #genius

emester
April 19th 2014


3318 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

knew you were going to review this at some point in time. For me, the whole atmosphere this gives off is some of the most crushing stuff I've listened to in quite a while. While I do like The Eye of Every Storm better, this is still a fantastic album in its own right.

Digging: Aphex Twin - Syro

jtswope
April 19th 2014


2144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of the heaviest albums ever.

CaptainDooRight
April 19th 2014


29131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Grace is heavier

So is Rorcal - Helio

FadedSun
April 19th 2014


1269 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

There was only darkness everywhere. Darkness and water.

CaptainDooRight
April 19th 2014


29131 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Right the beginning of the earth.

Next riddle..

BMDrummer
April 19th 2014


7159 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Grace is heavy as a ton of bricks, but this is even heavier.

Relinquished
April 19th 2014


25054 Comments


lol cap

Relinquished
April 19th 2014


25054 Comments


not bad of a review but you need to ask yourself questions on the sentences that you write like:

"is this perhaps too vague?"
"is this missing any kind of info to fill this up?"
"does this even make fucking sense?"


climactic
April 19th 2014


18932 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

grace is not heavier

facupm
April 19th 2014


7672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album is goat

BMDrummer
April 19th 2014


7159 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

@Relinquished Ok, I thought about those and I felt good about the review.

VisionsFromTheDarkSide
April 19th 2014


1789 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good review man. Only thing I'd say is try and avoid making it too personal, such as "In my opinion, this is tied with The Eye of Every Storm for their greatest album..." Just takes the 'professional' edge off it a little.

Digging: Noah Gundersen - Ledges

Wizard
April 19th 2014


19403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Props, I will read in the morning!

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

HenchmanOfSanta
April 19th 2014


1866 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Title track is one of the heaviest things ever recorded.

BMDrummer
April 19th 2014


7159 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

So true, as well as Locust Star.

Wizard
April 20th 2014


19403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Neurosis had just released Enemy of the Sun, which showed more focused songwriting and larger emphasis on the album as a whole.

Sounds like an Asian trying to speak English.

And this isn't the only instance where I found poor grammar. I know it's easy to get your approval rating up by doing a 5/5 review for a universally loved album but I would really get this proofread and smooth out all the kinks, awkward sentences, etc.

What could they have done this time? You’ll find out.

I don't know how well this narrative type of reviews feels to most people but it's like I'm reading a Hawks review.

I will come back to this in a few days and reread.

Wizard
April 20th 2014


19403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Strength of Fates" is one of my fav. Neurosis songs ever.



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