NEUROSIS
Atmospheric Sludge Metal / Hardcore and crust • United States

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Neurosis is an experimental sludge metal band, based in Oakland in California. Neurosis' sound draws from influences ranging from hardcore punk and doom metal to dark ambient and industrial music as well as incorporating elements of post-punk and folk music. The band is highly regarded as a pioneer of post- sludge metal.

In late 1985, Scott Kelly, Dave Edwardson and Jason Roeder (formerly members of Violent Coercion) founded the band as a hardcore punk outfit, borrowing from British crust punk like Amebix.

In 1986 Chad Salter was added on second guitar, and in 1990, Simon McIlroy joined the band as a synthesizer/sampler. There have only been a few changes in the lineup of Neurosis' musicians since band's inception. In 1989 guitarist/vocalist Chad Salter was replaced by Steve Von Till, and in 1995 Noah Landis, a childhood friend of Dave Edwardson, replaced Simon McIlroy as keyboardist.

With The Word as Law, Neurosis began
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Through Silver in BloodThrough Silver in Blood
Relapse 2005
Audio CD$10.67
$10.66 (used)
Fires Within FiresFires Within Fires
Neurot Recordings 2016
Audio CD$11.53
$8.99 (used)
Times Of GraceTimes Of Grace
Relapse 2005
Audio CD$9.99
$9.00 (used)
Neurosis - A Sun That Never SetsNeurosis - A Sun That Never Sets
Multiple Formats
Relapse 2005
DVD$13.99
$7.89 (used)
Honor Found in DecayHonor Found in Decay
Neurot Recordings 2012
Audio CD$8.14
$4.69 (used)
Through Silver in Blood 2XLP ReissueThrough Silver in Blood 2XLP Reissue
Relapse 2015
Vinyl$29.99
Souls at ZeroSouls at Zero
Extra tracks
Neurot Recordings 1999
Audio CD$11.97
$7.56 (used)
Given to the RisingGiven to the Rising
Neurot Recordings 2007
Audio CD$11.25
$3.11 (used)
The Eye of Every Storm 2xLP ReissueThe Eye of Every Storm 2xLP Reissue
Relapse 2016
Vinyl$24.47
$30.93 (used)
SovereignSovereign
Extra tracks · Remastered
Neurot Recordings 2011
Audio CD$10.03
$7.27 (used)
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NEUROSIS Discography

NEUROSIS albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 2.42 | 9 ratings
Pain Of Mind
Hardcore and crust 1987
.. Album Cover 3.51 | 7 ratings
The Word as Law
Hardcore and crust 1990
.. Album Cover 4.44 | 13 ratings
Souls at Zero
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 3.99 | 8 ratings
Enemy Of The Sun
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 4.17 | 42 ratings
Through Silver In Blood
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 4.25 | 27 ratings
Times Of Grace
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.21 | 14 ratings
A Sun That Never Sets
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 3.64 | 6 ratings
Neurosis & Jarboe
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 3.63 | 18 ratings
The Eye Of Every Storm
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 3.91 | 9 ratings
Given To The Rising
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 4.08 | 9 ratings
Honor Found In Decay
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 3.74 | 3 ratings
Fires Within Fires
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2016

NEUROSIS EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Aberration
Hardcore and crust 1989
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Empty
Hardcore and crust 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Discharged: From Home Front to War Front
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Locust Star
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In These Black Days Vol. 6
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 3.74 | 3 ratings
Sovereign
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2000

NEUROSIS live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Enemy Live NYC '94
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Short Wave Warfare
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Official Bootleg: Lyon France 11.02.99
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Official Bootleg: Stockholm Sweden 15.10.99
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Live At Roadburn 2007
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2010

NEUROSIS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo
Hardcore and crust 1986
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Locust Star
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Doorway
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Sun That Never Sets – Advance Radio Edits
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2001

NEUROSIS re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Souls At Zero / Enemy Of The Sun
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Times Of Grace / Grace
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Strength & Vision
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2016

NEUROSIS singles (3)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Empty
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1990
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Doorway / Under the Surface
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Times of Grace / The Last You'll Know - Advance Radio Edits #1
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1999

NEUROSIS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Sun That Never Sets / A Resonant Sun
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2002
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Given to the Rising - Documentary DVD
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2007

NEUROSIS Reviews

NEUROSIS The Word as Law

Album · 1990 · Hardcore and crust
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
It took three years for NEUROSIS to finally release their second album THE WORD AS LAW after a few personal changes but still with the triumvirate founders of Scott Kelly (guitar, vocals) and Dave Edwardson (bass) and Jason Roeder (drums). THE WORD AS LAW is a transition album of sort that while mostly stationed in the hardcore punk world as was their debut “Pain Of Mind,” the band ramp up their experimental tendencies quite a bit. While only four musicians were present on the debut, there are five on this sophomore release. Steve Von Till replaces Chad Salter on guitar and Simon McIlroy joins the team to add keyboards, tapes and sampling effects and while the atmospheric focus is far from the bizarre world of their next album “Souls At Zero,” it is a bit more obvious of the direction the band would meander albeit with 20/20 hindsight vision. THE WORD AS LAW takes the hardcore punk approach of the debut and steers it more into experimental post-hardcore territory with an emphasis on the instruments taking separate roles in the musical process.

While the guitar continues the monstrosity of punk riffing, the bass takes on a more active role with not only supplemental support but unique grooves that create distinct counterpoints to the main guitar driven rhythms. Likewise with the drum rolls of Roeder as he takes liberties to give a more jazzed up heavy metal approach to the percussion side of things instead of lazily adhering to the traditional punk approach. The track “Tomorrow’s Reality” actually sounds more like the doomed sludge metal that the band would become famous for rather than the punk world they were quickly leaving behind. Although it has a rather punk feel in timbres, tones and tenaciousness, it has a nonchalant sludge effect in tempo and cranks up a diverse rotation of chord changes and a more quickened punk section that has a rather alternative metal approach in the bass and drums even bringing a little funk to the table.

“Common Inconsistencies” debuts their unique atmospheric style in the intro that takes feedback and effects and dips into a hardcore world of surrealism before getting cold feet and retreating back to the Fugazi style post-hardcore comfort zone. While the vocals on THE WORD AS LAW are very much in the angry shouted anarchy side of things, i can actually hear where Sikth got inspired by the short but unsweet “Insensitivity” which contains the blueprints for the frenetic vocal style that Sikth would make a career out of proving that NEUROSIS inspired in many ways even at this stage. The final track “Blisters” is perhaps the only thing close to the progressive experimental metal they would perfect in the future. This track is performed in mid tempo, has a steady flow but has some progressive time signatures although it also feels like a proto-impression of the post-metal they would have a hand in developing. Despite being somewhat unique, it is a little too jittery for what they’re grasping for.

THE WORD AS LAW has come out in two significant forms. Firstly in its LP version that contains the eight original tracks but the 1991 CD release added a whole seven extra tracks that included four re-recorded tracks from “Pain Of Mind” which placed them in the more interesting transitional phase of the band’s career and fit in with this album quite well. It also includes three extra tracks, one being a cover of Joy Division’s “Day Of The Lords” and another sneak peek into their lesser known side project Tribes Of Neurot with a hidden untitled seventh track that features over ten minutes of ambient guitar feedback and multi-dimensional freakiness. Personally i think the edition with the bonus tracks is definitely the version to seek out. These tracks are in many ways better than the album itself but THE WORD AS LAW shows a significant improvement over the debut even if it pales in comparison to the awesomeness that follows. starting with the phenomenal “Souls At Zero.”

NEUROSIS Souls at Zero

Album · 1992 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Souls at Zero" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, California based sludge/post metal act Neurosis. The album was released through Alternative Tentacle Records in May 1992. It´s the successor to "The Word as Law" from 1990 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as Simon McIlroy (keyboards, tapes, samples) has joined Neurosis to make the band a five-piece on "Souls at Zero". Neurosis were formed in 1985 and initially played hardcore punk on their debut album "Pain of Mind (1988)". They continued playing hardcore punk on their sophomore album "The Word as Law (1990)", but on that album slower doomy elements began to appear, and it was obvious on that album that Neurosis were in a transitional process. No one at the time of course knew what they were transforming into, but that is revealed on "Souls at Zero".

Stylistically "Souls at Zero" still features hardcore punk elements, but it´s now only a part of the band´s sound and not the core of their music. The pace has been lowered considerably and while the music is often quite energetic and aggressive, the tempos are mostly slow-to mid-paced. One crushingly heavy riff after another, feed-back noises, samples and sound effect, and loads of adventurous rhythmic combinations are now some of the elements which make up the basis of the music. On top of that the shouting raw hardcore type vocals by Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till. The song structures are unconventional and occasionally even progressive in nature, and listening to the 10 track, 61:24 minutes long album is quite the musical journey.

For examples of the more experimental/progressive ideas found on the album take a listen to the subtle piano in the opening section of the title track, the violin and flute section on "Flight", the use of trumpet on "Sterile Vision", or "Stripped", which in addition to featuring crushingly heavy riffs and almost hypnotic tribal rhythms, also feature violin, orchestral keyboards, and a short medieval choir section. Interesting experimental/progressive features which ensure variation. The use of keyboards/sound effects/samples on many tracks also provide the material with a richer and more dynamic sound. The keyboards/sound effects/samples are not a dominant feature in the soundscape, but still an important part of creating the dark atmosphere of the music.

The album´s greatest strength, in addition to the strong musicianship and powerful and well sounding production, is how well Neurosis combine primal hardcore aggression with slow doomy riffs and rhythms, experimental/progressive ideas, and bleak atmospheric moments. It never sounds contrived. It just flows completely naturally and the many stylistic elements are used to great effect and they are used at the perfect moments throughout the album. Hour long album releases can sometimes be a bit of a chore to get through, and there are often filler material or tedious moments on releases that long, but "Souls at Zero" is one of the exceptions to that rule.

So upon conclusion "Souls at Zero" is a high quality release by Neurosis, which feels a bit like a new beginning for the band. It´s not like their first two releases aren´t worth listening to, but they pretty much sound like they were recorded by another band. "Souls at Zero" signals a new start and a new musical direction, but the journey had just begun, and Neurosis would evolve, and develop and add new ideas and elements to their heavy doomy core sound over the course of their subsequent releases. In that respect "Souls at Zero" is a relatively unique release in their discography. Not only because it´s the first release in their new heavy and experimental/progressive style, but also because it´s still immature and raw in many ways (or maybe stylistically "unfinished" is a better description), which is ultimately greatly charming. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

NEUROSIS Souls at Zero

Album · 1992 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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Necrotica
Did you feel the shifts? The shift in the tempo, the shift in the style or the shift in the vision of the punk-turned-doom act Neurosis?

Was the eerie Wicker Man-inspired album art a strong enough indication of the change? Or did we have to wait until we heard the content within?

The content within, I must state, is terrifying. Sludge and hellish distortion crush the ears like a trash compactor; the songs are longer, the compositions more complex, and seemingly inching toward the progressive or avant-garde;

"To Crawl Under One's Skin" sets a grim tone, its creepy intro sample a sinister indicator of the following horrors; and what follows? A brilliant mixture of post-metal, doom metal, post-hardcore, and sludge metal with enough menace in its tone to make a seasoned metal fan buckle.

Did you feel the shifts? Did you experience the sea change? Listen to the way the acoustic and electric guitars of the title track bicker and contrast with one another; an cold, tenuous relationship forming a dreary masterpiece of atmosphere as the bizarrely paced piano chromatics seal the deal.

Once in a while, the speed picks up and yet the tension never truly dissipates. The two chords that encompass most of "Flight" rely on instrumental textures and tortured vocals until the acoustic guitar beckons us back to the void.

The content within, I must admit, never ceases to be draining. The further you delve into it, the more it takes from you. Some quiet moments occur, such as the acoustic intro to "Stripped," but it never feels like a respite. The heavy moments plow through like a sledgehammer to the skull and the reflective moments are woeful and depressing.

But that's also the beauty.

Souls at Zero is something of an entrancing horror; much like Requiem for a Dream or Eternal Darkness; the vivid hell it portrays is intoxicating. And just one listen to outro "Empty," with its uneasy acoustic melodies and melancholic electric leads, and you'll feel both gutted and wanting to brave the whole journey again.

Do you feel the shifts? Did you hear the rise of a remarkable force towering over you? Have you heard the utterly disgusting majesty of 90s metal in its prime?

With Souls at Zero, you'll feel it.

NEUROSIS Fires Within Fires

Album · 2016 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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UMUR
"Fires Within Fires" is the 12th full-length studio album by US, California based sludge/post metal act Neurosis. The album was released through Neurot Recordings in September 2016. It´s the successor to "Honor Found in Decay" from 2012.

Stylistically the material on "Fires Within Fires" features very few surprises if you´re already familiar with the band´s atmospheric sludge/post metal style. It´s slow, doomy, and organic music featuring both deep register clean male vocals and harder edged hardcore shouting vocals. The song structures are adventurous and you never really know where a song is going before you reach the end and look back at an intriguing compositional structure. The whole thing is packed in an organic sounding production courtesy of Steve Albini. The sound production takes the meaning of organic maybe a bit too far though, as this sometimes sound like it was recorded live in someone´s garage. I know some people love a stripped down and raw sound production like that, and under the right circumstances a sound production like that can work wonders. Here though I think it takes the power out of the music and even the most heavy and punchy parts of the album, lack energy and conviction.

To my ears Neurosis also seem to have lost a bit of their creative spirit on "Fires Within Fires"...and don´t get me wrong here, because as mentioned above this is still very adventurous music, but it´s like they´ve made this album before a few times, and I´d like to think of them as innovators who take chances and who challenge their audience. We don´t really get much of that here. "Fires Within Fires" is Neurosis playing it completely safe and since they´ve also tuned down on their more aggressive side, the album does become a bit tedious if you´re not in the right mood. However it still speaks volumes of their general qualities that one of Neurosis lesser albums still deserves a 3.5 star (70%) rating, and I´m probably just being a bit hard on them, but that´s only because I expect so much from them considering their impressive back catalogue.

NEUROSIS Times Of Grace

Album · 1999 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Although it can be enhanced by listening in synch with the Tribes of Neurot album "Grace", even by itself Times of Grace is still an extremely solid followup to Through Silver In Blood which builds on the atmospheric sludge metal sound of that album impressively. The title track's titanic closing riffs melting away to reveal the plaintive brass instrumentation of album closer The Road to Sovereignty is a particular revelation. Between this and its predecessor, I would actually give this one the edge and say that it's the best release since the magnificent, genre-defining Souls At Zero. (Those especially keen to try the "Grace" experiment may want to bear in mind that a compilation of both albums was issued for your ease of buying.)

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