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Another Neurosis Classic - 98%

Nokturnal_Wrath, April 5th, 2014

I've been listening to Through Silver in Blood on and off for a good while now and have never gotten around to reviewing it. Strange, as this is easily one of Neurosis’ best releases and I’m here to tell you why I think this record is awesome.

Okay, so when compared to the precursor Enemy of the Sun, Through Silver in Blood is a massive step up. The production has been improved dramatically given the guitars are much thicker and more well-rounded edge. The song writing has become more immediate, with each track having a much stronger sense of urgency and purpose. This album has got a very natural feel to it despite the grimy industrial atmosphere. Songs feel organic, with each transition being a natural evolution and all of the songs coming together to form one cohesive package. Neurosis has always been good at consistency and this record shows why.

Musically, this is probably the most industrial influenced album by the band. There’s a definite Godflesh vibe running throughout, with the really thick and dismal melodies and the harshly yelled vocals. Thus this succeeds in giving the music a very heavy and abrasive edge. The pacing of the album remains slow to mid paced throughout, there are no sudden eruptions of frantic energy but rather the music succeeds in being thick, dense and dirge like in its hostile slowness. The guitars never play anything outwardly melodic but are instead used primarily for texture. The driving bass and militaristic, tribal drum patterns serve as solid backdrops to the endless wash of droning guitars and anguished vocals. It’s a great mix and one Neurosis pulls off like no other.

If you've heard later Neurosis albums then you may be shocked by what is on display here. There’s no folk influences, no post rock, but rather pure industrial tinged sludge metal. It’s rather simple and minimalistic as a whole, this is not pretty music, this is music created for the sole purpose of expressing the pure misery of existence. The influence of ambient is pretty clear through the long nature of the songs, with variation coming through only in subtle changes in playing style. Variation is something Neurosis has never strived for within the course of one album and they don’t need to. The band has created a winning formula through the use of extremely heavy riffs, tribal drumming and subtle electronics.

Similar to all Neurosis albums this is deep music that requires a lot of patience and an open mind to firmly adjust to. The band doesn't function on pop based hooks, but rather the creation of atmosphere through bludgeoning riffs. This is an album that needs to be experienced as a whole rather than listened to with a passive interest. The highly repetitious and abrasive nature of this album may be too much for most listeners, but I find a lot to enjoy in the stark representation of an industrial landscape. As strange as this might sound I’d say it’s probably the easiest, most accessible Neurosis album to listen to. Really, what’s harder to listen to, the bludgeoning riffs and unforgiving atmosphere of Through Silver in Blood or the lethargic rumbling of the bands later works? In fact, it’s probably a good album to start off with along with Given to the Rising, it perfectly embodies the sound of Neurosis but with a more determined sense of song writing. This is mandatory.