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Through Silver in Blood - 100%

Daemonium_CC, September 3rd, 2015
Written based on this version: 1996, CD, Relapse Records

Where to begin..

This is one of the most important albums I have ever heard in my life. There, I said it. There's no easy way of saying that, but it's true. I'm not going to lie and say that I instantly got what this band were about when I first heard them in 1996. I didn't have a clue what I was listening to because it was so different from anything else I had ever heard before, and it was much more mature than I was at that age. I was only sixteen. Nothing can prepare you for this at age sixteen.

Yet I kept coming back to it. There's just something about Neurosis that keeps you coming back for more. And it's not exactly radio friendly hooks, either. The songs are long and hard to listen to. Especially with this album, I was later to discover, that you can't just really say "Oh I like Purify, that has some good beats in it, I'll just throw that on then listen to something else"

No. This album pretty much demands you to listen to it from start to finish, how it was intended. Not only that, but this just simply transcends music as a whole. It's so much more than that. When I stopped forcing myself to see it as "an album" and more like a work of art, a landscape, a painting, nature itself.. then it all made sense. I was sixteen when I first heard this. I was pushing thirty when it started to make sense to me, ,,,and the crushing doom fell on my shoulders with the weight of a thousand moons. The realization of what I was listening to, and what it made me feel, is so hard to describe. And the best part is that it can still make me feel the same way even after all these years.

"Through silver in blood
We stand judged not
By eyes of flesh"

Every time I hear that it feels like someone is dragging nails across my spine - steel on bone. The title track sets the tone for the rest of the album, but not the emotions. Listen to this on headphones and let the music wash you away. It will take you through all sorts of thoughts and feelings. A journey you're likely weren't prepared for.

"Purify" is one of the most special things I have ever heard. When I usually review albums I talk about production values, musicality, etc but none of that even applies here. It's just not important. I will say though, that when the guitars kick in on "Purify", it really is an uncomfortable experience, in one of the best ways possible. If there's one track I keep coming back to on this album, without being able to help myself, it's this and "Locust Star." Ah, "Locust Star", the song that got me into this band in the first place. I'm sure everyone has heard it by now. There's yet to be another song with such a terribly enormous, frightening ending as this one, save maybe "Stones From the Sky", another song by yes, Neurosis.

This is a concept album, so like I said earlier, should be listened to as such. Actually, must be listened to as such. Some people have gotten into detail about what it's exactly about here, and they are correct, but I would prefer everyone to listen to the album and come up with their own versions, their own visions, of what it's all about.

And that's the main thing here. Even though Neurosis use a huge wall of sound approach, what they are doing is essentially painting with music. Huge, sonic landscapes, as far as the eye can see, as far as the ear can hear. The lyrics complement the music flawlessly, and the most important thing here is that everything not only serves the songs, but serves the entire album. You can tell that either Neurosis set off with a very clear idea of what they wanted to achieve on this record, both musically and visually, or I get the funny feeling that honestly, they didn't do much, and just let the music channel itself through each and every member. So pure is the music, and the experience, to be found here that one really can't sit down and plan this sort of thing. It just poured out of them - all the filth, anger, frustration, hopelessness, hunger, blindness and blood - it just poured out of them.

The album ends on a terribly bleak note. That is another way of saying that it ends exactly the way it was supposed to.