Times of Grace
A soldier trudges wearily back to camp with his company, questioning the powers that sent him off to fight… a man who has just lost his job slumps in his stool on the bar, unsure about how he will feed his family while the bartender pours another drink… a farmer stares at her crop, the plants withering away from drought. Doubt, anger, pain, fear, emptiness, despair are all emotions that fill this recording. However, there is a more “positive” aspect to this record than their prior Through Silver in Blood . Spirituality and the Occult are pervading themes on this record; it is not merely an exercise in aggression. If comparisons need be made, I’d say Neurosis remind me of the Swans, with the spiritual aspect of the music, and the Wall of Sound effect on a few of the tracks, namely “End of the Harvest.”
This album features some unusual instrumentation for Neurosis, “Away” is done with viola, cello, piano, and actual singing(!), and “The Road to Sovereignity” sound like it was done with a orchestra ensemble. “Under the Surface” thunders on using powerful tribal percussion, while “The Last You’ll Know” grinds on in a Sabbath-esque way. The Steve Albini production endows this record with a more textural feel than before, there is a lot going on under the surface. If you were are Neurosis fan before, you’ll still be one after this album, and if not, it’ll certainly make a believer out of you.
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