What Amebix's "Sonic Mass" was to 2011 this album will be for 2012. If you've followed either band, then you understand these musicians have broken the confines of what they started out as in order to become something incredibly unique; they have evolved along with their mastery of song, never selling out, just letting their creativity lead them to the boundaries of musical expression which can no longer be defined by a genre...they have become a genre unto themselves.
I had the extreme honor of listening to the latest from Neurosis and it is indeed even more astounding than I imagined it to be! There is a deep sense of defiant melancholy throughout, as is to be expected from the Doom-like style of this band, yet it does not bear heavily on the listener, on contraire, it instantaneously sweeps you up into a undulating stream of haunting chords and echoes which irrevocably rips open the lock of your mind's eye. Conceptually, it is one of the most profound pieces of music I've listened to in recent years; it is impossible to listen to "At The Well" and not feel emotionally affected by it.
From the opening track "We All Rage In Gold" I found myself rhythmically swaying back and forth, almost as if I was moving into a deep, trance-like state from the mood which the album immediately set; it was a feeling perhaps one may experience while participating in a tribal ritual where music is the vehicle to elevate the spirit to another plane of consciousness. Perhaps this sounds a bit contrived, but I swear to you that it isn't. If you have followed Neurosis from their early roots, you will understand how this band has continually expanded into the farthest realms of experimentation, an experimentation which always seems to be the correct path for them as a band and for us as the listeners...they, as is the case with your favorite vintage, mature and grow more sophisticated as the years slip by. As we were forced to wait five years since their last album, the incredible "Given To The Rising", we are now rewarded with an album which declares that the Neurosis style has been perfected (at least up to this point)....as was the case with the aforementioned "Sonic Mass" from Amebix.
Neurosis is a band which is musically complex, perhaps not so one may argue if you were to simply take each individual instrument as it is played, but when combined in such a way, you find that, as is the case with all great bands, their talent is incontrovertible to an extent that even non fans would have to accept the validity in a statement hailing them as geniuses.
The album delivers all across the board, each song is astounding. Besides those which I have already mentioned the other tracks are; "My Heart For Deliverance", "Bleeding The Pigs", my favorite "Casting Of The Ages", "All Is Found...In Time" and "Raise The Dawn" are all masterpieces!
Don't you just love it when you are starved of music from one of your favorite bands and then are given a smorgasbord of the tastiest tunes one could ever gorge themselves on? Well, feast your ears on this, 'cause if you've been deprived far too long of Neurosis, the album will be released in only a couple more weeks! I wish I could be there when you hear the first notes just so I could see the astonishment light up your eyes...I promise you that this is definitely one of those albums which you will have to invite all your friends over to listen to...when was the last time you did that?