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
3.5/5 ·
Phonebook Eater
7/10

"The Eye Of Every Storm" is a dissonantly melodic, meditative, and thought-provoking experience.

Recognized as one of the the greatest metal bands of the past twenty years, Neurosis didn’t have to prove much, but they once again proved that they’re the kings of Sludge Metal, with 2004’s “The Eye Of Every Storm”, eight years after “Through Silver In Blood”. This 2004 release is in my book the second part of the trilogy that concludes Neurosis’s career, the first part being “A Sun That Never Sets” and the last one “Given To The Rising”. There is a small release in the middle of the trilogy, but I tend to forget about it.

In 2001 the band had significantly changed direction in their sound, going for a more experimental approach, using more interesting sounds and samples and turning down the volume. “The Eye Of Every Storm” continues towards that path, using less strange sounds and focusing much more on the guitar textures, very frequently clean. Of course in both these albums Neurosis manage to get pretty darn heavy, but not as much as they did in the earlier days. Also, I couldn’t help noticing that on this more recent release they are less build-ups, and more atmosphere. Clean, undistorted atmosphere, it almost sounds like Post-rock most of the time. The vocals are less aggressive, but still have a rough delivery, sounding frankly like a sort of animal that is whispering in pain. I’m not crazy about this kind of singing, I rather hear Scott Kelly burst in rage like he did previously. The songwriting is good, and the structure of these songs seems a little sparse but very stretched out, almost like if the ideas were all floating around in a pretty long fragment of time, as if they were echoing endlessly in space, dissonantly.

Dark tones are pretty much dominant, thanks also to the samples, which are much less used but when they are they play a great role. There’s a good handful of repetition, which seems to overcome the climaxes, and in this way it still manages, once again, to be an Atmospheric Sludge Metal release for Neurosis. However this way the tracks always are at the same tone, without increasing it or decreasing it, which makes the listen a little flat at times. The distortion is very present and is inevitable to miss, as it has a more ambient use to it, so again we have another factor that makes “The Eye Of Every Storm” particularly influenced by Post-Rock.

But these songs are never boring. They always manage to be very fascinating sounding, even though after a while the album gets a little too long for this kind of music. Even some of the songs are a little too stretched out; the title track to me is decent but nothing more, and it goes on for what seems like forever. The other epic song “Bridges” is much more interesting and fascinating, with great sampling and electronics. There are songs, though, that build, “No River To Take Me Home” and even more in “Bridges In The Sky”, both very good tracks. The songs in the core of the album are good as well, they have certainly their moments. But the closer “I Can See You” is a dreadful song, the song that has the most emotion, that is probably the most mysterious as well.

This album may not be a good introduction to the band, but it is a great release for Sludge Metal, a definite must if you like this genre, and also an essential addiction to any Neurosis fan.
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