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One of the most unique releases of the 90s - 99%

anonymousrationality, March 17th, 2012

When I was first introduced to Neurosis by way of a sampler in 1995, my taste was centered around Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Death, Slayer, etc. and so my ears were in no way ready for what turned out to be a truly unique sound that so far only Neurosis has really mastered. "Through Silver In Blood" is an angry release that has combustible energy but is presented in a format that sets it apart from any other release that may have at their core that same sense of anger. Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till's screams coupled with Dave Edwardson's growls are again (forgive me for belaboring the term) a truly unique sound but on this release (especially tracks such as "Through Silver In Blood" and "Locust Star") they carry with them this very intense primal fury that conveys more aggression than many half-hearted death growls I have heard in my time.

Not unlike Opeth (how's that for an odd comparison? But stay with me) Neurosis is a band with which you need to be open minded and often patient and this is evidenced in several places on this album. The first full 2 minutes of the album is built upon this tribal like drum pattern that is surrounded by short previews of the upcoming guitar work and ambient soundscapes. An interesting thing to note is that after the full band kicks in - vocals and all - the drumming pattern while different than the opening rhythms is still using exclusively drums (no cymbals) save for a crash here or there. It is not until the 5:30 mark in that track that we even hear the hi-hat being used. While that may seem to be a small detail just browse through your collection - listen to how rarely you hear any drummer lay off the cymbals and focus on just the drums for an extended time (let alone over five minutes). The ending of the first track is another harbinger of things to expect on the album. There is a droning repetitive section that feels and sounds far more like some incantation than a verse. I know how boring it must seem to say they play the same two chords with a constant tribal drumming pattern and the same lyrics repeated over and over for over four minutes (!) but somehow it works - it just puts you into a trance. When Neurosis gets repetitive (or as some may view, self-indulgent), it seems somehow pure and transcendental.

That really brings me to the impression I got of the entire album. Songs like the title track and "Eye" drive with a steady aggression while songs like "Locust Star" have this intense melancholy couched in them and then there are songs that challenge the listener like the album closer "Enclosure in Flame". Among these tracks are these momentary diversions ("Rehumanize" and "Become the Ocean") comprised of ambient noise/soundscapes and manipulated samples that help propel the album to this other plane. This isn't some typical metal album about hell or death or torture or anything so commonplace or banal. I can't even begin to suggest what the unifying idea is behind the album. The lyrics, the motives, the samples, the feel overall make this a completely subjective experience - you will take from this album what you want to take from it.

The one thing I would think any fan of this band would tell you is that Neurosis operates on a different level than most. They aren't shredders with killer leads. They don't grind. They don't have headbanging breakdowns, familiar choruses, or a main theme. You can hear it in the music especially on this release, they really want to convey something and stimulate the mind not just get your head moving. They want to get your head thinking. "Through Silver In Blood" is one of those albums you need to experience not listen to. Start the album from the beginning and listen straight through, lay on your bed with the lights off, and let the music take you somewhere else.