Neurosis - The Eye Of Every Storm review
|Album:||The Eye Of Every Storm|
|Release date:||June 2004|
02. No River To Take Me Home
03. The Eye Of Every Storm
04. Left To Wander
06. A Season In The Sky
08. I Can See You
Although trying to generalize the output of this very accomplished band is a somewhat dangerous practice, I shall have a go anyway. The way I see it, Neurosis releases two kinds of albums. Albums like "Through Silver In Blood" as well as the EP "Sovereign" showcase the first side of the band - really dense, cluttered and sample-heavy music which completely overwhelms the listener. On the other hand, an album like "Times Of Grace" favors a more minimalistic and direct approach, pulverizing the listener with repetitive yet very emotional riffs and only occasionally including any sort of additional sound.
Another obvious generalization dealing with Neurosis that I will risk making is that since the afore-mentioned "Times Of Grace" (which is one of the heaviest and most extreme albums I have ever heard) they are generally going towards a much quieter, softer and more atmospheric sound. Indeed, already "Sovereign" included expanded sections where the band worked to achieve a particular, contemplative mood, rather than to beat the listener into the ground.
Now, let me explain exactly where this long and strange tirade of mine is leading. I wrote all of the above, to explain what, to me, was wrong with "A Sun That Never Sets", Neurosis' previous record. You see, although the band tried to create atmospheric music, the kind of record that they chose to accomplish this with was the first sort that I described in the beginning. Frankly, this did not work all that well. A cluttered and claustrophobic sound does not result in a record that was supposed to be fairly pleasant to listen to and worked only in a few rare occasions.
Luckily for us all Neurosis fans, the band does not make the same mistake twice. "The Eye Of Every Storm" is "A Sun That Never Sets" done right. They really go for a minimalistic atmosphere this time and it pays off. All of the songs on this album are long and move gracefully from one musical idea to another. These ideas are separated and do not fight with each other for attention, instead, they are allowed room to breathe and really make a mark. The function of the guitars changes slightly as they no longer play dissonant, abrasive and crushing riffs. Instead, they play much more rock-oriented sounds and often fall into truly beautiful melodic patterns. The title track is the best example of this as it grows from a subdued beginning featuring a quasi-goth keyboard line into a staggering finale. Nonetheless, each and every track on this album is good, making the whole record a cohesive whole.
The band's brutal and abrasive side only makes a sporadic appearance. Steve Von Till's characteristic shriek only appears once in the entire record, in the first track. Otherwise, the music is a lot more harmonious and only goes for the jugular when it really needs to, as if it was it's last resort (such as in "Bridges"). Nevertheless, these are mere echoes of the band's previous incarnation. This is ok. Do we really need to hear the Neurosis wall of sound once again? My guess is, if you are already a fan of this band, a little experimentation and evolution is a good thing for you anyway so you will appreciate what the band is doing here.
Finally, I have noticed one more thing about this album which can help me describe its sound to you. Although the music on "The Eye Of Every Storm" is still firmly in the realm of experimental noisecore, it should appeal not only to Neurosis fans but also to fans of doom metal. This is because the music on this record resembles doom metal quite often. Especially the drums remind me of this most emotional of all metal genres. I think doom metal fans will understand what Neurosis is trying to achieve here and for this reason, I would like to recommend this album also to them. Otherwise, if you are into experimental, ambitious and very original music - get this album as its one of the best things that appeared so far this year.
||Written on 30.06.2004 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.|
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