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If there was one band I'd describe as 'difficult', it'd be Neurosis. It's not just their music- there's a lot of funeral doom out there that's much harder to listen to.. But it's the lyrics, the imagery, the huge amount of side projects.. Basically, it's impossible to understand exactly what Neurosis mean, what they represent, what they espouse etc etc.. I was hoping this DVD would help explain some of the mysteries of Neurosis, but it makes me more confused.
Basically, this DVD consists of a 70 minute long video clip set to A Sun that Never Sets. There's a few shots of Neurosis playing (which is nice, because for ages I've had no idea who's who) which is all interspersed with some really confusing (some may say "abstract") pieces, most of which change from song to song. When I say 'really confusing' I really mean that.
Don't think it will be that weird? Here's one good example: In 'Crawl Back In', a dude comes out of fetal position and hit his chest every few seconds for about a minute. Then, we see him standing in front of a person who's been tied up in a big, body-sized bag (which probably has some very deep symbolism). The dude proceeds to cut the ropes tying this guy up, and obviously it's something very traumatic for him. Eventually, he cuts all the ropes, and we know see that the bag is covered in blood. Turns out the guy inside the bag is also covered in blood, and he proceeds to kill/hug the other guy, who then lies down, dies and gets covered in sand. As you can tell, it's really weird, and the other's aren't that less weird.. You've got Falling Unknown's perplexing mix of shapes, some sort of fire and some other stuff (it's real weird), the rebirth from desert sand that in From the Hill, (which is real weird) and just general weirdness all round. Damn, every video is just freaking weird.
It's a shame about the videos, because the songs are really good. This album is the start of the 'mellow' Neurosis stuff, and there's some great tunes here. Falling Unknown is real epic and has a huge, post-rocky ending, The Tide is melancholic, quite folky with some excellent riffing around the end, and the Title track is slow, a bit Sabbath-sounding and has an excellent ancient vibe. From the Hill has some real grating vocals, but after a while you'll get used to it and be digging the slow, steady grind. Another sweet song is Watchfire, which is also very slow and mournful. For those more familiar with older Neurosis, it's basically Through Silver in Blood slowed down and made a lot less dense, with more clean vocals. It's a real good album, basically. It's a shame the video footage is so damn weird.
It's hard for me to like this, but it's also hard for me to hate it. Basically every Neurosis album I've ever bought, I've hated it for a while before suddenly understanding the point of it. Still, despite quite a few watches, I do not understand. I don't understand it at all! It's a well executed video, sure, and chances are it is the most meaningful thing EVER RELEASED, but I can't get my head around it. If I based the rating purely on enjoyment, this would only get a 30 or so (because the music is good.) But, because there's probably a fair bit I don't get, and because Neurosis hardly ever put out anything bad, I'm giving this a 50. Just be warned: IT IS REALLY WEIRD. Perhaps you should just buy the album instead.