Review Summary: Stripping away most of their ambience, Neurosis use heavy riffs as their weapon once again.Chapter 9: Back to Origins
Neurosis have been one of the most consistent metal bands of the past two decades. They seem to endlessly dive into different elements of their sound, whether it be ambience, orchestral elements, heavy riffing, or desolate folk music. While they seem to have done just about everything they can, they consistently prove that the path is far from the end. Over the past two decades, Neurosis have yet to release a dud, which is interesting considering the amount of diversity in their discography. With Given to the Rising
though, Neurosis take a bit of a U-turn and craft one of their most traditionally heavy albums in quite a while. Although, instead of being repetitive in their evolution, they’ve crafted one of their most barebones albums yet.
This time, they’ve opted to dive a bit deeper into their riffs than anything else, with a large Black Sabbath influence that hasn’t quite been felt on this scale. Given to the Rising
is probably Neurosis’s most sludge-influenced record to date, with an emphasis on massive riffs that haven’t been in their sound for a while. While this emphasis on guitar is fresh on this record, they still use a lot of their synths and textures of previous releases. The riffs seem to be more of the focus, but almost every single record they made in the past is somewhere to be found in here. Whether it be the droning nature of The Eye of Every Storm
, the dense wall of sound on Through Silver in Blood
, or the percussive elements of Enemy of the Sun
, this album has it all. So musically, Neurosis have once again offered something new.
Have you ever seen a cover that describes the music almost perfectly" This is another great element of Given to the Rising
, it’s ability to conjure images of desolate mountain ranges. The evolution of structure seems to portray the long climbs to the top, the droning represents the anxiety when one is alone in the dark forest, and the breaks portray the resting moments. Neurosis’s largest strength has always been to mesmerize the listener, and this album is no different. Although, this element does not make for an accessible album. If you are not in an attentive mood, this album simply will not resonate at all. If you’ve been a follower of Neurosis for a while though, you should come to expect this kind of thing. Simply put, this record requires patience and multiple listens to understand it.
All in all, Given to the Rising
is a very strong album that will proudly sit in the Neurosis catalog. With a larger emphasis on the density of their sound, they have once again proven to be one of the most essential metal bands of this generation. While this release will alienate casual music listeners as usual, those willing to put in the time and effort will probably accept this as a great album worthy of your time. They’ve kept the dark atmosphere again, but it’s done in a different way this time. As one final word, Neurosis have gone down yet another new path and have made one of their densest albums to date.