We follow the Earth, the Earth follows the Stars...
Despite having released ten records of which at least three have become timeless classics of post/sludge metal, the Oaklanders don't rest on their laurels. Honor Found in Decay is yet another step forward in their sustained evolution and I'm telling you, it's good. It's not, mind you, a matter of stylistic progress anymore, at least not in the sense we've got used to. These men don't intend to break the ground anymore, nor are they willing to exhibit the fiery aggression known from their early albums. Still, in my book Honor Found in Decay stands out as the most inspirational Neurosis record since Times of Grace.
Noah Landis. This man is a boiling pot of inspiration and originality, never failing to add a unique layer to a theme or, when needed, take the lead. His synths and samples have always been the gray eminence of Neurosis, the defining element of every album since Through Silver in Blood. Don't get me wrong, though, the band is like a clockwork: take one cog out and it doesn't work. They've been together for almost 20 years and it shows; the incredible bond between them is not just noticeable in Honor Found in Decay, it animates the entire thing. Neurosis is one of those very few bands that can turn a bucket of raw sludge into a blissful, poetic, almost cleansing experience. And they really nailed it this time round. Honor Found in Decay is a heavy, lyrical, Kyuss-tinged sludge metal album, abounding with both tonal and atonal themes that work wonderfully together. When it comes to harmony and disharmony, it is one of their most bipolar records, but the reason it works so well is that there's a consistent artistic vision that keeps the whole thing focused throughout. It certainly is the first Neurosis release to have the old elements and the new ones (mostly the singer-songwriter solo output by von Till and Kelly) work so well together.
Honor Found in Decay is like a night ride through a southern desert, like a poem whispered by flickering shadows dancing around a bonfire. It's unrelenting yet calming; crushingly heavy yet soul-stirring; brooding and soulful but not devoid of hope. While it is not by any means as bold as The Eye of Every Storm was, it sounds much fresher than Given to the Rising ever has. I can safely say that Honor Found in Decay is the most mature and genuine effort by Neurosis in a long, long time. A contemplative, spiritual, understated, poetic, hypnotizing album. And yes, definitely recommended.
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