Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Review: Neurosis - Honor Found in Decay

 I think of the way in which my personal taste in music has constantly evolved over such a quick period of time with so little experience at the same time. And when I think of the way it is now, I'm a little disgusted with myself that Neurosis aren't the first ever band that I fell in love with. Imagine a band that takes techniques of every kind of dirty style of rock music you love and blast it together. There's shades of hardcore punk, doom metal, industrial metal and experimental art rock in all their stellar releases of the past and every experimental metal band that has come out since will happily cite them as an influence, particularly when you consider the most dramatic phrase recently used about them "No Neurosis = No Mastodon". And of course in the usual case of a long going underground metal band, they can still release works that far outshine the bands that have overtaken them. And so we examine tenth album Honor Found in Decay. One of the most stunning crafts in heavy music heard for a while.

 In all the music Neurosis manage to craft they do it in a way that simply bleeds emotion and beauty, no matter how grim it may sound. And as the album opens with the shimmering sound of glowering synthesizers on We All Rage in Gold it's clear that the band don't want their listeners to feel comfortable. They want listeners on edge, never knowing what's going to come around the corner and they manage it so well as riffs and basslines from Steve Von Till and Dave Edwardson build into a massive set of sprawling riffs that create a mammoth sized melody with the massive emotion of crying giants. The sheer amount of grandeur that picks up the wonder of the doom filled riffage gives the song an extra spaciousness and intensity that you can invade as it invades you.

 The intense guitar work of this pair and moderately iconic frontman Scott Kelly really serve as the driving force behind the album. The spidery guitar on My Heart for Deliverance manages to be purely hypnotic before blasting into a horrific burst of godly distortion that shows the true nature of the band as it rolls out in a much more triumphant form that serves as tear-rendering-ly uplifting. Meanwhile All is Found... In Time instantly rushes out in an intense bombing of guitar-led chaotic depravity before coming down to a greater show of uplifting grace.

 However, no matte how heavy and adrenaline packed the guitars can get, it still doesn't manage to be the most intense moment of the album. I'm not sure if I've ever felt the way I do when listening to Scott Kelly singing. Against the moments free of monolithic riffs, Kelly's weathered vocals are the most convincing vocals that carry the sound that the bleakest of blues musicians wished to carry out. And on Bleeding the Pigs, it feels like there is no gap between the listener of Kelly, as vocals seem to haunt you directly and make you feel like you are being dragged into Hell in an all too realistic way. By the time the song reaches it's follow up on Casting of the Ages the vocals are a much more welcoming features and become very beautiful in a hopeless no tomorrow sort of way. It becomes the kind of performance that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It becomes comforting.

 Even if this is your first Neurosis album, Honor Found in Decay is a breathtaking album listening experience that will give you a full experience of the band and will leave your jaw wide open. It's filled with some of the group's darkest crafts in crafting mammoth melodies made up of doom riffage, industrial synthesizers and all sorts of intimate backdrops that gives each listen a different result. It's one of the most sincere heartfelt albums from a band that have never been anything short of serious and have made it one of their prime goals to craft something unique that pushes at the boundaries of metal. And without a doubt this is it. This is the work that proves that dirty rock music can be made truly beautiful and just extremely real. And it's work that have come from a group of underground heroes.

Neurosis' Honor Found in Decay is out now via Neurot Records. 

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