Neurosis      

Honor Found In Decay
Neurot Records
2012

I really like the style that Neurosis helped found and explore, but for some reason, as a band I have never been able to connect with their music.  But I approach the new album with an open mind and I leave somewhat disappointed and unfulfilled.  We All Rage In Gold starts with calm, clean guitar and builds to a smooth melodic riff.  And then Scott's vocals crash in to disrupt the groove I had settled in with the music.  There is something harsh and distasteful about his vocals to me.  They contrast too much with the music.  Enough on that and back to the song.  More softly treading guitars are obliterated by mammoth riffs that vibrate with primal energy.  Eerie, wailing sounds cry out from that cacophony of noise which leaves me haunted.  Spoken words and sparse guitar slither in the initial segment of At The Well.  A set of plodding beats and stumbling riffs are crossed by moaning steel guitar.  The overall feeling of the song is one of sorrow but you can discern a tiny thread of hope shining in the murky walls of sound.  At around the 7 minute mark there arrives such a pummeling wave of sound that you are swept under, however I feel like this part is awkward and forced.  It just doesn't sound like a natural place for it.  My Heart For Deliverance simmers in the distance, ominous keyboards floating like a storm on the horizon. Surging and cresting riffs collaborate with rolling tribal beats while grating vocals serve to dissolve any sort of unity that the music managed to achieve.  A fragile guitar and stark drums provide a moment of beautiful tranquility within the tapestry of the song.  Distorted and warped guitars create a sonic assault of psychedelic proportions on All Is Found...In Time.  A Sabbathy main riff is ushered in like a cloud of apocalyptic vengeance only to swoon into barren, yet sour guitar lines.  A driving, bombastic tone is set with the exploding drums and crushing riffs and then the cycle repeats.  A solitary guitar line caresses astral synth providing a gateway for transcendence.  The guitars thicken and the synths morph and become more animated while flurries of drums wash over you.  Sometimes the instruments sound separated from each other and I just don't get the emotional connection that I expect from this style.  And after hearing the new album from Amenra I can only wonder what could have been with this album.  It was inevitable that their progeny would crawl out from underneath them.