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Through Silver In Blood

Neurosis - Through Silver In Blood ©1996 Relapse
1. Through Silver In Blood
2. Rehumanize
3. Eye
4. Purify
5. Locust Star
6. Strength Of Fates
7. Become The Ocean
8. Aeon
9. Enclosure In Flame

Neurosis' insidiously intense Through Silver In Blood death/hardcore/industrial spread is quite unlike anything I've ever heard. It is highly improbable the members of Neurosis are plotting to brighten up your day. But then again, what great idiosynchratic art ever does? The slow crawling techy rhythms progress about as smoothly as '76 Chevy without a muffler as three separate vocals bark out dire lyrics, thoughtful and concise in a Wittgensteinian sort of way. The title track opener best encapsulates the entire record shifting wildly from stomping noisy hardcore to feedbacked tribal drumming, all of which is tainted and layered like a sprinkler on a watercolor canvas. And dare I speak its name? Melody is not run totally aground, within this machinery - "Purify" has an absolutely groundswelling organ-driven melodious buzz beneath a mid-paced driving metallic force that left me groping for the demerol. Creativity exists in all mediums and Neurosis are actively manifesting.

Review by Lee Steadham

Review date: 06/1999

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Times Of Grace

Neurosis - Times Of Grace ©1999 Relapse
1. Suspended In Light
2. The Doorway
3. Under The Surface
4. The Last You'll Know
5. Belief
6. Exist
7. End Of The Harvest
8. Descent
9. Away
10. Times Of Grace
11. The Road To Sovereignty

Times of Grace is by no means a pretty little CD you can put on and expect to be in a light mood throughout. Personifying everything ugly and corrosive in the universe, yet appropriately setting that harsh reality of the universe to a musical soundtrack, Neurosis has fully refined their bludgeoning approach into a highly effective and seductive dive into a world you always feared. Using a flow of music that resembles the ebbs and tides of the beach, the wash of music is constantly shifting throughout the album. This is simply not something you can play a track or two and go about your day. Times of Grace is a demanding listen and demands you sit through the whole thing without disturbance. The band's signature dense barrage of the past is still very intact, but there are many passages that allow for breathing room and greatly enhance the dynamics of the album. The key word truly is "dynamics" as this album displays a huge variety of them, all on the uglier side of the spectrum. And though you will hear plenty of clashing notes and sounds, there is always a sense of cohesion to the music throughout. The alter ego of the band, Tribes of Neurot, exists ever so peripherally throughout, giving the music a very slight edge in the ambient arena, though obviously the main sound is the powerful Neurosis signature attack. Each successive listen to Times of Grace has improved my appreciation of this band's music. Definitely recommended but don't expect to enjoy it for quite some time after getting it.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2000

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The Doorway [Single]

Neurosis - The Doorway Single ©1999 Relapse
1. The Doorway
2. Threshold

Featuring a track from the upcoming Times of Grace and an unreleased bonus track, this two song promo tape shows Neurosis is still not mellowing at one iota. Neurosis is truly one of the heaviest, most sonically oppressive bands in existence today, especially in the live setting. "The Doorway" is still that sludge driven, bottom heavy and shouted tense vocals sound that is Neurosis. The sheer heaviness of the song nearly blows out the low end of my speakers. The song goes through quite a few structure changes, even an occasional breakdown into guitar feedback and the slightly tribalistic drumming that is another Neurosis thing. "Threshold" starts out with an eerie spoken part before moving into more thundering tribalistic drumming and feedback/electronic sounds fading in and out. Weird weird track. Neurosis simply isn't for everyone but they are showing with these two songs that their creativity is still flowing and Times of Grace is going to be one monumentally destructive album.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1999

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A Sun That Never Sets

Neurosis - A Sun That Never Sets ©2001 Relapse
1. Erode
2. The Tide
3. From The Hill
4. A Sun That Never Sets
5. Falling Unknown
6. From Where Its Roots Run
7. Crawl Back In
8. Watchfire
9. Resound
10. Stones From The Sky

Like the first slivers of dawn light piercing the dark, A Sun That Never Sets, by Neurosis, strikes the half-asleep listener first with a soft, fluid transparency, postponing for later the dense, undulating torrents of emotion that await with the sun's rise above the horizon. Soon the listener fully awakens, blinded by the shimmering light and intangible energy of a fiery Beast arisen. For the Bay Area quintet, the sun motif seems too apt, their music likened to an undulating, potent, yet entirely self-contained Helios that continues to burn, even after fifteen years of musical devastation and creation.

For Neurosis evolution has always been the law, with each subsequent album presenting a fuller and more precise interpretation of their musical philosophy. This one is no exception. A massive, severe sound, vivid yet subtle use of dynamics, harsh, guttural screams - all trademark Neurosis - are present here, but the music isn't as absolutely overwhelming as in past releases. Indeed A Sun That Never Sets may be their most balanced and complex work yet; the breathtaking juxtaposition of grace and power, varying levels of beauty and ugliness explored on Times of Grace and Sovereign comes to fruition here. Steve Von Till even tries a hand at clean singing, giving the music even greater emotional color. His technique is a little (well, extremely) rough around the edges, but that may well be the point. Growls and heavy guitars are drawn on not to pound the listener into submission, but to contrast the more muted moments, orchestrating the maximum emotional impact.

Incorporating everything from chugging, sludgy guitars to noise ambience and string orchestration, their epic compositions are journeys with direction but apparently no destination. To appreciate it fully one mustn't listen to it little by little; like other Neurosis releases (Neuroses?), A Sun That Never Sets is a cohesive, organic whole that must be appreciated as such. The careful and calculated songwriting on "The Tide" suggests that no note is left without purpose, while patient, deliberate buildups and dramatic crescendos on songs like "Falling Unknown" rival even those of Godspeed You Black Emperor!. The climactic finale, "Stones From the Sky", is a tortuous voyage, its path illumined by a Theremin-like effect, that rises to a summit before decomposing into noise.

But, pretentious drivel aside, this album simply slays.

Review by Jeffrey Shyu

Review date: 08/2001

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