NEUROSIS — Through Silver In Blood (review)

NEUROSIS — Through Silver In Blood album cover Album · 1996 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Phonebook Eater

“Through Silver In Blood” can easily be defined as the greatest Sludge Metal album ever released.

I’ve thought of Neurosis as a band of the critics, not of the public. This band seems to be praised to death by the first, but they tend to be overlooked by the latter, or simply not as appreciated. People who like any type of metal that is experimental in any way are pretty young, that weren’t around or were not aware of liking it back in 1996, so a lot of people listen to “Through Silver In Blood” only after discovering that they love the genre, so when they listen to this, they might think that there’s nothing new to it. But, in 1996, this was revolutionary, and today we find it a lot less so because of its major influence. Thus it’s historical importance for some might precede the music itself. But doing so would be a huge mistake.

Not everybody is comfortable with the existence of a genre such as “post-metal” ( I must admit I’m one of these), and rather define this as Sludge Metal, or even more precisely Atmospheric Sludge Metal. Lately I’ve seen this term use in a way that maybe wasn’t what I was expecting: bands like Blindead or Ghost Brigade, to name two, have a lot of cleanness to their sound and of course a lot of repetition. As far as Neurosis is concerned, Atmospheric Sludge Metal is everything but clean. As a matter of fact, this album is one of the most face-melting, ground shaking records ever recorded. The heavy, loud parts are full of layers, including some reverb, which very successfully make the sound huge. The tribal drums give a pretty effective apocalyptic feel too. “Through Silver In Blood” has a lot of differences from their previous efforts, it is a lot more progressive and mature in its nature, and the most well done yet. Only a few elements, like the vocal style, persist, but even these have changed a bit, it almost feels like it plays a second role to the music. But things are so much different now, it almost feels like this is a completely new band from the one that recorded “Enemy of The Sun” only three years earlier. The progressiveness in Neurosis’s masterpiece is highlighted with a genius use of sampling, unusual instrumentation (piano, bagpipes), strange metallic sounds and loops here and there, some nice, atmospheric moods that usually start a piece. From these moments, most of the times there is a phenomenon for which Neurosis is especially famous for: building, and climax. These songs start very slow, and have a beautiful crescendo that culminates with some of the most mind-blowing sound textures you’ll ever hear, to then ease down a little bit, and perhaps start another build up. A pattern that isn’t always respected (thank God), since each song is unique in its own way.

Listening to “Silver In Blood” can almost be considered a visceral experience, its like finding yourself in the middle of the ocean in the dark of night, the water is at first calm but it slowly starts to be more agitated, until a huge seaquake creates these enormous waves that go right at you, and your struggling to survive on your little raft. When you listen to this, everything around you seems to be melting, or that maybe an earthquake is taking place. There are many ways, as you can see, to describe this monster. The structure of the album is consistent, and the flow of the songs is just perfect.

The opening title track is a fantastic example of Neurosis new style, because of the layered sound, the samples, and the build-up. “Purify” is another long, perfect track, that has many parts, but all of them are majestically connected, the use of sampled loops here is perfect, and the surprising bagpipes at the end of the song give an unexpected touch of beauty. “Aeon” is another flawless Neurosis track, sounding, a bit different from the other two songs but still amazing. “Enclosure In Flame” is a very unusual way to finish an album; for ten minutes you listen carefully, thinking that the song will explode, but, even if it gets really close to doing so, there never really is a complete build up. “Strength Of Fates” has probably the most astonishing build up ever; from almost unperceivable sounds they arrive to a massive wall of sound, that kicks in at around seven minutes, and goes on for the remaining two minutes. The shorter songs are amazing as well; “Locust Star” has become a classic song for Sludge Metal”, and “Eye”, even though underrated, blows me away every time with its massively thick sound. Even the two interludes, that are basically puzzles of samples, are very well done, and their job perfectly.

I literally have no complaints about “Through Silver In Blood”. This is easily my favorite Sludge Metal record ever, and one of my favorite album of all time. If you’re into metal in general, this album is absolutely essential.
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Doomster wrote:
more than 2 years ago
"With jagged eyes of rain, lead us." Neurosis is amazing, and this is my fave of their albums. Best Atmosludge band up their with Dirge, in my opinion.
more than 2 years ago
no question about that!

Wilytank wrote:
more than 2 years ago
That's because it IS the best sludge metal album ever!


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