NEUROSIS — The Eye Of Every Storm (review)

NEUROSIS — The Eye Of Every Storm album cover Album · 2004 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2.5/5 ·
Conor Fynes
'The Eye Of Every Storm' - Neurosis (5/10)

Widely held to be one of the cornerstones in the post-metal world, the reputation and legendary status of Neurosis is not in question here. Along with Isis, the band innovated a genre which has now legions of adherents behind it. As with many great bands though, the sound most often changes, or develops from album to album. Ideally, this sound either reivents the band's existing sound into something even more exciting, or changes things up completely, for better or worse. In Neurosis' case with 'The Eye Of Every Storm', the sound has certainly become more mature from their earlier work. However, while the essence of the band is here, Neurosis seems to lack the same intensity and excitement that initially drew me into the band.

Topping seventy minutes in length, one can expect Neurosis to be in this for the long haul; 'The Eye Of Every Storm' is a record that certainly tests the patience of the listener. The ideas are drawn out, and often there will be large breaks from the more metal leaning moments. In fact, the greater part of 'The Eye Of Every Storm' relies moreso on a sombre mellow sound that keeps the same introspective and brooding vibe, but conveys it in a very different light. More often than not, the sludgy guitar textures are exchanged for electronic atmospherics, or minimalistic instrumentation. For these long winded passages, the focus is almost entirely on the gravelly voice of Scott Kelly, of whom this almost feels like a solo album. Much of what 'The Eye Of Every Storm' has to offer revolves around Kelly's distinctive vocals, at times belting but- in the case of this album particularly- resorting to a very sombre croon. Granted that the man's voice is not for anyone, but the really deadpan and rough delivery throughout the most mellow parts does wear thin regardless.

Where Neurosis still strikes gold is with the heavier metal sections, but most of all, the lyrics. Based on what has already been said about Kelly's voice being the centrepiece of the album, the lyrics become that much more important. Although the music often borders on stagnation, there is the sense that this is the work of a weathered poet; rough emotion etches through almost every verse, and it makes 'The Eye Of Every Storm' a surprisingly contemplative effort from these experienced post-metallers. The 'metal' moments here are fairly few and far between, but given the mellowness of the rest of the music here, the dynamics do get more powerful than they would be otherwise, and Neurosis still has a penchant for tasty guitar textures intact.

A disappointing album in some respects, but a reaffirming one in others. All the same, Neurosis has no lack of ambition here, and although the music may not be as enjoyable to me as I was hoping it to, I can still hear the artistic passion in the work of this band.
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