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Neurosis - Given to the Rising CD (album) cover

GIVEN TO THE RISING

Neurosis

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.48 | 63 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Finally, my first satisfactory post-metal experience has arrived.

NEUROSIS' Given to the Rising is the first album in this genre that I can say I truly enjoy. I've had past experience with repetitive releases by ISIS, AGALLOCH, PELICAN, and even that post-like "avant-garde" thing that was KAYO DOT, and not one of them really got into me. With this disc, that has changed.

NEUROSIS' music is dark, very dark, ultra-dark, like a barren wasteland in the middle of nowhere (probably in the outskirts of hell) with little or no light and just dead creatures and vultures flying around. Such a heavy, gloomy atmosphere as this album conveys is hard to forget.

Much has been said about the recording. The drums are in-your-face and barely produced at all (they sound big, empty. Many people dislike the sound but I think it adds to the atmosphere; ultra- produced-slick drums a la DREAM THEATER or PORCUPINE TREE would've hurt the effect the music is trying to provoke: that of desolation, fatality, death. This is music meant to be under-produced. The rest of the instruments sound equally raw, but it's the drums that really stand out for their "boxiness".

The drum-playing has also been criticized. This is another case where I happen to disagree. Yes, it's no jazzy playing, it's not full of finesse or ghost notes or syncopations or anything. But it's very, very effective. The big, troll-like fills actually manage to do that, they fill the space and add to the depressive atmosphere.

I've read comments about the lack of experimentation in this album. I have to confess that I haven't heard more NEUROSIS, so maybe I'm missing on a lot. But if I compare this to other post-metal discs I've listened to, yes, there IS less experimentation, but there's also more song-writing, more coherent structures, more discernable patterns, more music. I much rather hear the simpler songs in this album that the "complex" noises in KAYO DOT, to name an example (I know, it's "avant-garde"... even worse in that case). I don't see in this album the same love for mind-numbing repetition that plagues most post-metal albums. I hear balance, equilibrium. I like it.

A very good album, I almost felt inclined to give it a 5. But I think this music can still grow and be better. Maybe NEUROSIS has already done that. So now it's a good time for me to check on their prior releases.

Recommended for: Post-metal fans, fans of dark, obscure, atmospheric, slow metal.

The T | 4/5 |

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