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GIVEN TO THE RISING

Neurosis

Experimental/Post Metal


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5 stars Absolute Masterpiece.

Neurosis have returned from 2004's disappointing The Eye of Every Storm, with an undeniably epic and absolutely flooring release. Surpassing even Through Silver In Blood, Given to the Rising is a startling amalgam of everything Neurosis has become famous for over the years: Intense "Walls of Sound", tribal drumming, apocalyptic landscapes and shifts, and some of the most crushing music ever recorded.

The album starts off on its highest note with what may be the best song Neurosis has ever done, the title track, Given to the Rising. After a riff-charged salvo, Scott Kelly screams "We Stand Encircled by Wing and Fire" and the track absolutely takes off. Alternating from the most pulse-pounding guitar crush to awe-inspiringly beautiful almost post-rock sections, this track is clearly the strongest on the album and a joy to listen to.

"Fear and Sickness" starts off with classic Neurosis drone and breaks off into chaotic guitars over stunning tribal rhythms before devolving into frightening distorted noise. A great track.

" To the Wind" is one of the strongest tracks on the album. The intro is undeniably post- rock inspired, I thought at first that I was listening to Yndi Halda or EITS. The lush intro gives way to crushing riffs and Kelly's trademark vocals. After another ambient interlude, the track finishes out with frightening power.

"At the End of the Road" is ultimately the one let-down on the album. Five minutes of strange guitar noises and creepy textures gets quite tiresome, and the violent end isn't enough to save this song.

"Shadow" is the first of two short, monologue driven tracks on the album and provides a nice contrast if frightening. The monologue deals with typical Neurosis topics of isolation and bleak imagery. For reference, I would say GY!BE's "The Dead Flag Blues" has a monologue quite similar.

"Hidden Faces" is another excellent track with excellent guitar work and stellar drumming.

"Water is Not Enough" is still a good song, but clearly not on par with the rest of the album. The riffs are just too repetitive and simplistic.

"Distill (Watching the Storm" is an absolutely bleak and crushing track. Apocalyptic guitars, tortured screams, resounding drums, this is classic Neurosis. Think "Through Silver In Blood". The most punishig track on the album.

"Nine" is another short track, that feels quite out of place. Unlike "Shadow", the track is not a monologue all the way through, but instead consists of squeeling guitars that nearly sound like tea-kettles going off which gives way into a monologue. Ultimately, the sounds are quite annoying and the track just feels out of place and unecessary.

"Origin" closes out the album in an unbelievable fashion. Lovely, swirling guitars and peaceful soundscapes surround the vocals. 9 minutes of stunning beauty is suddenly torn asunder as Kelly screams "I SHATTER" and the track shifts into epic straining guitar as the song reaches its climax. A perfect end to a earth-shattering album.

Bravo Neurosis, Bravo.

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Send comments to lightbulb_son (BETA) | Report this review (#116740)
Posted Thursday, March 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars As much as I love heavy, dark music I found this one a tough one to get into. This is one creepy, atmospheric and intense record.The vocals really reminded me of the way Eddie Vedder screams on some of the songs on the "Vs." record. This guys vocals are deeper though.

"Given To The Rising" opens with a dark, heavy and doom-like soundscape.The vocalist screams out the words. 1 1/2 minutes in the sound mellows out with reserved vocals, but it doesn't last for long. This contrast continues.The tempo speeds up 7 minutes in with some good guitar. Great section. "Fear And Sickness" takes a minute to get going and the direction we're going is sludgey, heavy and slow. The drums pound steadily. "To The Wind" has a fantastic 2 minute intro, as the guitar is picked slowly in the Post-Rock style. It comes back later. We get some creepy spoken words 4 1/2 minutes that eventually sound like a death rattle as he gurgles "To the wind". "At The End Of The Road" has little going on for 3 minutes as we get a creepy, atmospheric mood. Then the vocalist moans out the words. The song finally kicks in at the 5 minute mark as he spits out the words in anger. "Shadow" starts again slowly for a minute and a minute after that we are kicking !

"Hidden Faces" is my favourite. It opens with guitar feedback and sounds and then drums come in. It gets heavy 2 minutes in, as this is one of the best sections instrumentally. By the time "Water Is Not Enough" comes along the vocals are getting a little tiresome. There is a welcomed instrumental interlude with lots of atmosphere.The drums and bass sound great 5 minutes in. It has a spooky ending. "Distill (Watching The Swarm)" has a slower pace until 1 1/2 minutes in we have a real rocker on our hands.3 1/2 mintes in we're crawling along. Not anymore ! We get a long calm passage until he cries out "Distill !". "Nine" has a similar beginning (lots of atmosphere and no melody) as a lot of the songs, but this time it continues through the whole tune. "Origin" features slowly pounding drums that are joined by spoken words 3 minutes in.Guitar comes in about a minute later. Drums stop 8 minutes in as we can only hear guitar until 9 minutes in he screams "I shatter !" as the whole band joins in.

I can see why some would give this a five star rating, but for me 3.5 stars is just right.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#135009)
Posted Sunday, August 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A return to form for the Godfathers of Post-Metal. I'm not going to go into too much detail here, but Neurosis move on from 2004's disappointing 'The Eye of Every Storm'. The guitar is heavy, the bass is pounding, the drums are crushing, and the vocals range from clean to tortured. Neurosis' career can be summed up here, the album contains every style they've ever done. Their post-hardcore roots and pounding heaviness are present, yet so is their drone style, however, with increasing influence from the post-rock genre. It all comes together rather nicely for the most part, but on some parts you just wish to be over. For the rest of the album, however, Neurosis do what they do best...in one word: heavy. Recommended for fans of all post-metal and sludge music, or anyone who's willing to dive into something that's jaw droppingly intense.

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Send comments to jikai55 (BETA) | Report this review (#135133)
Posted Monday, August 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Dim
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Well, now that I have another Neurosis album to compare this one to, I think it's time I reviewed this one. I was pretty excited to pop it in 4 months ago, ready for my first encounter with post metal behind City of echoes. I was disappointed. I thought the recording quality sucked, the drumming sucked, and the line after line of barely eeking out a syllable sucked. Now that I have become very well rounded and am very knowledgeable in the field of post metal... I still don't like it. I like the recording quality now, I like the primitive yet completely filling drum beats, but the vocals, all the songs are the same 4 line grunts that still lack appeal.

The experimental quality in through silver in blood is gone, though the same bombastic Tool-Esq power chords are to climax the song, there is no more feel of rage, or a sense of doom among the album. More poetic that TSIB, it concentrates heavily on the lyrics, and less on creating a mood, or setting a tone. If the lyrics weren't line after line grunted the way they are that would be fine, bu t I just cant stand it. Whats more, along with the increase of vocals, there is shorter songs, and the few longer songs are still JUST dominated by singing, except the opener, which I do enjoy much. After a few unsatisfied listens, I began to pick out the music underneath the singing, it melts together quite nice. Neurosis, the post metal band well known for there hardcore traits disguised them very nicely in the music of the album, mostly just drop D, muddy power chords and lots of crazy experimental drum beats, and it works.

Even after picking out some of the more listenable parts, getting all the way through this album is a chore for me. I'm not the biggest Neurosis fan, but apparently I'm not getting something that a lot of people are, and that's okay, it's just a matter of tolerance. I for one have very little for lots of grunting and little music. I will continue to invest time and money in this band for my liking in TSIB, and what I've been told, Given to the rising is a huge change from any other neurosis album. 2 stars.

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Send comments to Dim (BETA) | Report this review (#157198)
Posted Sunday, December 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to The T (BETA) | Report this review (#158362)
Posted Friday, January 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Neurosis are the perfect example of, "if you're gonna do a genre which means noise and drone are concerned, do it right." And they did it right. To be honest, there are some arty farty metalheads who can't play instruments and decide that, "Oh, I'll make noise, that's kind of like music." But Neurosis, having been together for over 2 decades.

Sludge as a genre can also be quite tedious as well. To be honest there are some great bands who can make great heavy orientated drone music, like Kyuss & Iron Monkey. But, especially with people attempting to do what was done 15 years ago, it seems like the genre is losing out.

This being my only Neurosis album, I found it hard to grasp with the first few listens, but as I have dwelled within a deeper love of more extreme and avant garde types of music, this album has grown on me. The album is a bit long (70 minutes of slow sludge), but to be honest, this was a good album. They songs had me keenly intrested throughout and I seemed to not get bored, even by random noise.

1. Given To The Rising - The title track, and a great upbeat intro to the album. I love the riff, it's so chatastrophic. The middle section also has some intresting mellotron sections and noise. The end is quite amazing as well.

2. Fear & Sickness - A very doom laden track with great rhythym experimentation. I love the white noise and distortion at the end, very cool.

3. To The Wind - Definetelly a highlight on the album. Love the Cult Of Luna intro and the suprise link into the rocking riff. The spoken passage is also very eerie and effective. Great lyrics and amazing vocals from Scott.

4. At The End Of The Road - Probabbly the most avante garde song on the album. With a simple Native American like drum beat with spoken words with reverb. The lyrics are great as well.

5. Shadow - Very eerie and effective with some great noise and drone.

6. Hidden Faces - I love the repeated word passage throghout. One of the more shorter songs on this album.

7. Water Is Not Enough - I love the riff in this song, it's so dark and disturbing . The weird howls at the end are also very cool.

8. Distill (Watching The Swarm) - The intro is pretty dark and cool. The middle section reminds me of Bossk. The suspended organ part is also very cool, very scary and atmospheric. The ending is pretty cool as well.

9. 9 - Basically Shadow.

10. Origin - I like the intro, very dark with a nice rhythym pattern. I like how interesting spoken word with clean guitar is. The instrumental section is a bit long and boring to be honest. The song gets intresting when the vocals come back again though. Nice faded ending.

CONCLUSION: It's hard for me to say. I'm not the biggest Neurosis fan, so I don't know what this album is like compared to their other albums. All in all, it's a pretty kick ass album. Buy it - In a Clare Sweeney style fashion.

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Send comments to arcane-beautiful (BETA) | Report this review (#259641)
Posted Wednesday, January 06, 2010 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Given to the Rising is the 10th full-length studio album by US, California based experimental/ post metal act Neurosis. Iīve been reviewing Neurosis albums from an end over the last couple of years and as a consequence become quite the fan of their dark heavy post metal style. The last three releases by the band A Sun That Never Sets (2001), Neurosis & Jarboe (2003) and The Eye Of Every Storm (2004) have seen the band flirting more and more with post rock elements and clean vocals and allthough all three albums are greatly enjoyable in their own right I have to admit that I miss the relentless aggression of the bandīs mid- to late nineties albums. Especially the caustic vocal delivery on Through Silver in Blood (1996) and Times of Grace (1999). Well...times change.

Given to the Rising isnīt a further move into softer post rock territories and a big hell yeah for that. Rather itīs somewhat a return to more aggressive styled raw vocals and heavy riffs. Take it with a grain of salt though as Given to the Rising doesnīt reach the hights of neither Through Silver in Blood nor Times of Grace when it comes to aggression or heavy delivery. The style on Given to the Rising is more a mix of the older aggressive side of the bandīs sound and the more recent softer side too. Make no mistake though a Neurosis album is always an extremely heavy and bleak affair. Crushingly heavy guitar riffs, Scott Kellyīs angry vocals, the atmosphere creating sounds by Noah Landis and the excellent rythm section of drummer Jason Roeder and bassist Dave Edwardson. All the parts are there for another great album by Neurosis. As it turns out not all is well but most of the tracks on the album are of high quality. I could have done without the first 4 minutes of ambience in At the End of the Road and Origin also seems to go on forever without much going on but tracks like the title track that opens the album and To the Wind are prime examples of how great Neurosis are when they pull out their best cards.

The production is dark and organic. Very well produced.

Given to the Rising is a good release by Neurosis but I canīt help to notice that the band seem to have run out of creativity and new ideas and while I could listen to many albums yet that sounds like this one without getting tired of Neurosis, I still think itīs time for them to seriously re-think how they want their music to sound on the next release. Given to the Rising lack the creative and innovative spirit of earlier releases and thatīs a real shame. Stagnation is sometimes worse than taking chances that might turn out bad. Taking chances at least means that youīre still a creative force to be reckoned with and not a sleeping dinosaur. Still a 3.5 star rating is deserved.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#268319)
Posted Thursday, February 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 6/10

"Given To The Rising" is the table of contents of Neurosis's career.

Finally we reach to the end to Neurosis's career so far, "Given To The Rising", the final chapter of the final trilogy. I had pretty high expectations for this, even though I was noticing it didn't get such great feedback. I gave it a few spins, and I was unfortunately a little disappointed by it, it did not have the good qualities I expected it to have.

Post Metal is a label I never liked, I always found good alternatives. But with "The Eye Of Every Storm" and even more with this one, this choice is harder to maintain. It's, sure, the usual Atmospheric Sludge Metal, but it's hard to not fall also into Post-Rock territory in some of these songs. While in the last couple of albums the band has got much more experimental and open towards Post-Rock textures, "Given To The Rising" is much heavier than those releases, more aggressive, more distorted. It has many beastly moments that are gigantic sounding. The building is much more frequent than in "The Eye Of Every Storm", which leads to one word; nostalgia. I'm guessing that Neurosis wanted to make with this album the "Through Silver In Blood" of the 00's, but the result is not at all as good. The experimentation here is brave, the sounds the band uses to fill in the music is very fascinating and cool, and that's one of the best elements this album has going for. It's obviously a pretty ambitious album, even more than the previous effort, but everything here feels so tired and forced, it's like Neurosis are using the same exact formulas they usually use on every album before this.

Maybe this is the time when Neurosis is the past, and the bands that feel influenced by them are the future. It would be kind of nice for this to be their last album, I feel like it's a sort of summary of everything the band has done: ambience, heavy distortion, raging vocals, repetition, build ups, strange samples, Post-rock, Sludge Metal, Progressive. Imagine the band's career as a book; the previous albums are chapters, "Given To The Rising" is the table of contents.

But enough of the bad talk: there are many moments here that are truly worth the time, like "Hidden Faces", great hook and good structure, "Water Is Not Enough", a heavy, strange song. Good moments are present also in the title track, another heavy song, the more experimental "Distill", and the final epic "Origin", eleven towering minutes that are very well put together.

A decent album overall, even though it does lack of a few essential elements such as originality. But it has enjoyable moments that a Neurosis fan like me would gladly listen to.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#550187)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2011 | Review Permalink

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