Neurosis

The Eye of Every Storm

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Neurosis have toned their bruising metal image down to more of an enjoyable, atmospheric musical journey. Although still containing punishing riffs on occasion, the group is intent on creating slow and melodic pieces of work, especially on the lengthy and melancholic title track. Clocking in at close to 12 minutes, the song opens with a methodical guitar and drum beat before its tempo ebbs and flows in a vein of possible progressive rock-meets-heavy metal à la Anathema. It's sonically scene-setting as lead singer Steve VonTill gives hushed vocals in the middle portion before letting loose near its coda. Another benefit is the throng of tension from start to finish. "Burn" veers from this format as VonTill tends to wail in a nu metal format. "Shelter" contains more a folk-ish, prog-driven Pink Floyd hue with mixed results. This mood is also explored later during "A Season in the Sky" which opens like a Southern metal homage to "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails. Perhaps the highlight is "Bridges," which melds both soft and hard into a swirling crashing of styles for nearly 12 minutes. Neurosis conveys a purpose with each note, rarely seen among metal bands, whether light or brutally dark and heavy as this song evolves. However, other tunes are more urgent and almost Gothic, especially on the Wall of Sound coming from the intro on "Left to Wander." "The light has gone out today," the lyric goes as the song crawls along. VonTill and fellow guitarist Scott Kelly get into a thick slab of riffs prodding along brilliantly. Closing the record is the somber "I Can See You," another acoustic-driven song that, unfortunately, doesn't live up to previous tracks despite gaining momentum. An album whose title describes it perfectly -- calmness surrounded by gorgeous yet brooding moments.

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