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NEUROSIS

Experimental/Post Metal • United States


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Neurosis biography
Formed in Oakland, California, USA in 1985

NEUROSIS is an American post metal/sludge metal band that was formed in the late 1980s. First starting off as a hardcore band, which is to be heard on the "Pain Of Mind" debut album, they gradually incorporated a more progressive approach in their compositions as the years passed by.

The music created by this California-based five piece is one of a kind. A typical aspect of their music is the experimentation with different musical styles. It seems that the band's main goal is to create depressing atmospheric metal, complete with raw, tortured-sounding vocals. Heavy metal pieces with dense riffing and impressive drumming are contrasted with sections that only exist of samples and slow and gentle instrumentation. All band members have a role of significant importance within the compositions, but it is the vocals that really make a difference.

Their music is widely considered to be so-called "sludge metal," a form of heavy metal that is regarded to be a fusion between doom metal and hardcore, but because of their experimentation with lengthy atmospheric pieces, they seem to have progressed beyond the boundaries of that genre.

Over the years the band gradually received the recognition they deserved and they were seen as an icon by quite a few bands that later would step in their shoes: bands such as for instance ISIS and PELICAN. There are quite a few people out there who happen to like all three bands and they call it "Neurisican," a combination of the three band names.

Although one might consider NEUROSIS to be an acquired taste, they are a unique band within the progressive metal scene. For those who are not yet familiar with the band I would recommend them to listen to the album "Eye Of Every Storm," which was released in 2004.

See also:
- Red Sparowes

Neurosis official website

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A Sun That Never SetsA Sun That Never Sets
Relapse 2005
Audio CD$12.98
$7.94 (used)
Through Silver in BloodThrough Silver in Blood
Relapse 2005
Audio CD$10.95
$5.08 (used)
Neurosis - A Sun That Never SetsNeurosis - A Sun That Never Sets
Multiple Formats
Relapse 2005
DVD$9.99
$7.86 (used)
Fires Within FiresFires Within Fires
Neurot Recordings 2016
Vinyl$23.99
$30.91 (used)
Times Of GraceTimes Of Grace
Relapse 2005
Audio CD$8.93
$6.32 (used)
Given to the RisingGiven to the Rising
Neurot Recordings 2007
Audio CD$10.75
$2.00 (used)
Word As LawWord As Law
Neurot Recordings 2017
Audio CD$9.30
$7.03 (used)
The Eye of Every Storm 2xLP ReissueThe Eye of Every Storm 2xLP Reissue
Relapse 2016
Vinyl$21.13
$30.93 (used)
Through Silver in Blood 2XLP ReissueThrough Silver in Blood 2XLP Reissue
Relapse 2015
Vinyl$29.98
$28.99 (used)
Time of Grace 2XLP ReissueTime of Grace 2XLP Reissue
Relapse 2015
Vinyl$29.98
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NEUROSIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

NEUROSIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.14 | 21 ratings
Pain Of Mind
1987
2.91 | 19 ratings
The Word As Law
1990
4.18 | 69 ratings
Souls At Zero
1992
3.77 | 44 ratings
Enemy Of The Sun
1993
4.28 | 168 ratings
Through Silver In Blood
1996
3.76 | 64 ratings
Times Of Grace
1999
4.01 | 78 ratings
A Sun That Never Sets
2001
3.40 | 21 ratings
Neurosis & Jarboe
2003
3.94 | 81 ratings
The Eye Of Every Storm
2004
3.52 | 76 ratings
Given To The Rising
2007
3.37 | 29 ratings
Honor Found In Decay
2012
3.31 | 13 ratings
Fires Within Fires
2016

NEUROSIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 6 ratings
Live at Roadburn 2007
2010

NEUROSIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NEUROSIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NEUROSIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Black
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo
1986
3.00 | 2 ratings
Aberration
1989
3.00 | 1 ratings
Empty
1990
2.05 | 2 ratings
Locust Star
1997
3.93 | 9 ratings
Sovereign
2000

NEUROSIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Word As Law by NEUROSIS album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.91 | 19 ratings

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The Word As Law
Neurosis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars It took three years for NEUROSIS to finally release their second album THE WORD AS LAW after a few personal changes but still with the triumvirate founders of Scott Kelly (guitar, vocals) and Dave Edwardson (bass) and Jason Roeder (drums). THE WORD AS LAW is a transition album of sort that while mostly stationed in the hardcore punk world as was their debut "Pain Of Mind," the band ramp up their experimental tendencies quite a bit. While only four musicians were present on the debut, there are five on this sophomore release. Steve Von Till replaces Chad Salter on guitar and Simon McIlroy joins the team to add keyboards, tapes and sampling effects and while the atmospheric focus is far from the bizarre world of their next album "Souls At Zero," it is a bit more obvious of the direction the band would meander albeit with 20/20 hindsight vision. THE WORD AS LAW takes the hardcore punk approach of the debut and steers it more into experimental post-hardcore territory with an emphasis on the instruments taking separate roles in the musical process.

While the guitar continues the monstrosity of punk riffing, the bass takes on a more active role with not only supplemental support but unique grooves that create distinct counterpoints to the main guitar driven rhythms. Likewise with the drum rolls of Roeder as he takes liberties to give a more jazzed up heavy metal approach to the percussion side of things instead of lazily adhering to the traditional punk approach. The track "Tomorrow's Reality" actually sounds more like the doomed sludge metal that the band would become famous for rather than the punk world they were quickly leaving behind. Although it has a rather punk feel in timbres, tones and tenaciousness, it has a nonchalant sludge effect in tempo and cranks up a diverse rotation of chord changes and a more quickened punk section that has a rather alternative metal approach in the bass and drums even bringing a little funk to the table.

"Common Inconsistencies" debuts their unique atmospheric style in the intro that takes feedback and effects and dips into a hardcore world of surrealism before getting cold feet and retreating back to the Fugazi style post-hardcore comfort zone. While the vocals on THE WORD AS LAW are very much in the angry shouted anarchy side of things, i can actually hear where Sikth got inspired by the short but unsweet "Insensitivity" which contains the blueprints for the frenetic vocal style that Sikth would make a career out of proving that NEUROSIS inspired in many ways even at this stage. The final track "Blisters" is perhaps the only thing close to the progressive experimental metal they would perfect in the future. This track is performed in mid tempo, has a steady flow but has some progressive time signatures although it also feels like a proto-impression of the post-metal they would have a hand in developing. Despite being somewhat unique, it is a little too jittery for what they're grasping for.

THE WORD AS LAW has come out in two significant forms. Firstly in its LP version that contains the eight original tracks but the 1991 CD release added a whole seven extra tracks that included four re-recorded tracks from "Pain Of Mind" which placed them in the more interesting transitional phase of the band's career and fit in with this album quite well. It also includes three extra tracks, one being a cover of Joy Division's "Day Of The Lords" and another sneak peek into their lesser known side project Tribes Of Neurot with a hidden untitled seventh track that features over ten minutes of ambient guitar feedback and multi-dimensional freakiness. Personally i think the edition with the bonus tracks is definitely the version to seek out. These tracks are in many ways better than the album itself but THE WORD AS LAW shows a significant improvement over the debut even if it pales in comparison to the awesomeness that follows. starting with the phenomenal "Souls At Zero."

3.5 rounded down

 Fires Within Fires by NEUROSIS album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.31 | 13 ratings

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Fires Within Fires
Neurosis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Fires Within Fires" is the 12th full-length studio album by US, California based sludge/post metal act Neurosis. The album was released through Neurot Recordings in September 2016. It's the successor to "Honor Found in Decay" from 2012.

Stylistically the material on "Fires Within Fires" features very few surprises if you're already familiar with the band's atmospheric sludge/post metal style. It's slow, doomy, and organic music featuring both deep register clean male vocals and harder edged hardcore shouting vocals. The song structures are adventurous and you never really know where a song is going before you reach the end and look back at an intriguing compositional structure. The whole thing is packed in an organic sounding production courtesy of Steve Albini. The sound production takes the meaning of organic maybe a bit too far though, as this sometimes sound like it was recorded live in someone's garage. I know some people love a stripped down and raw sound production like that, and under the right circumstances a sound production like that can work wonders. Here though I think it takes the power out of the music and even the most heavy and punchy parts of the album, lack energy and conviction.

To my ears Neurosis also seem to have lost a bit of their creative spirit on "Fires Within Fires"...and don't get me wrong here, because as mentioned above this is still very adventurous music, but it's like they've made this album before a few times, and I'd like to think of them as innovators who take chances and who challenge their audience. We don't really get much of that here. "Fires Within Fires" is Neurosis playing it completely safe and since they've also tuned down on their more aggressive side, the album does become a bit tedious if you're not in the right mood. However it still speaks volumes of their general qualities that one of Neurosis lesser albums still deserves a 3.5 star (70%) rating, and I'm probably just being a bit hard on them, but that's only because I expect so much from them considering their impressive back catalogue.

 Times Of Grace by NEUROSIS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.76 | 64 ratings

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Times Of Grace
Neurosis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Although it can be enhanced by listening in synch with the Tribes of Neurot album "Grace", even by itself Times of Grace is still an extremely solid followup to Through Silver In Blood which builds on the atmospheric sludge metal sound of that album impressively. The title track's titanic closing riffs melting away to reveal the plaintive brass instrumentation of album closer The Road to Sovereignty is a particular revelation. Between this and its predecessor, I would actually give this one the edge and say that it's the best release since the magnificent, genre-defining Souls At Zero. (Those especially keen to try the "Grace" experiment may want to bear in mind that a compilation of both albums was issued for your ease of buying.)
 Pain Of Mind by NEUROSIS album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.14 | 21 ratings

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Pain Of Mind
Neurosis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

2 stars It's always a pleasure to discover a band that hits your magic music spot and climbs to the top of your list in terms of quality, consistency and overall satisfaction in the diverse elements department. NEUROSIS is one of those bands for me that has amazed me time and time again with their unique take on the sludge metal elements of early Swans and progressively steered them in myriad directions. All the years i've been into this mostly post-metal sludge band from Oakland, CA i have only had the albums beginning with "Souls At Zero" on as my frame of reference. Somehow i just never seemed interested in the first two because they were described as hardcore punk and although i do indeed love various punk bands, i just never felt it a priority to infuse my senses in NEUROSIS' style of hardcore. Well, i finally got the debut PAIN OF MIND and after listening to it a few times, now i wanna burn down buildings for no reason and spit fire in people's faces and scream aaaargggghhhh!

Well, this debut is exactly as i expected. It is indeed hardcore punk in the vein of Discharge, Black Flag, Amebix, Die Kreuzen and all the other hardcore punckers who crave speed, distortion and most of all volume. Turn it up to 11 and then take it to 12 it seems. The album was originally released on Alchemy Records in 1987 and then picked up by Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles in 1994 and then finally moved over to the band's own Neurot Recordings in 2000, which is when it was finally re-released with a bonus disc and much easier to track down. While this sounds like a totally different band if you're accustomed to 90s NEUROSIS, it still has the main three members who have been on board for the band's entire run namely Scott Kelly (vocals, guitar), Dave Edwardson (bass) and Jason Roeder (drums).

The music is very much the typical hardcore and crust punk with elements of crossover thrash as heard in bands like Suicidal Tendencies, however even at this stage there are a few elements that hinted at the future path the band would undertake however it would have been impossible at the time to predict they they would blossom into anything of merit. One example is how track 2, "Self-Taught Inflection" has a repetitive slowed down melodic riff as an opener that is a tiny clue to the direction that the band would continue in starting with "Souls At Zero" but after a nice run it ultimately succumbs to the gravitational pull of the hardcore punk and crossover thrash elements that dominate PAIN OF MIND. Tracks like "Reasons To Hide" have mellow almost classic 80s metal intros with arpeggiated guitars but they too soon turn to hardcore punk but retain dual guitar assaults with one guitar grunging it up while the other performs more thrash type riffs but it too strays into punk territory with the rhythmic chugging assault and shouted lyrics.

The album retains its energetic delivery throughout the entire run and at times really does sound like Discharge when at its most pure punk moments but it's those little elements that differentiate them on the few tracks where they include them. As punk rockers they have the sound down pat and the energy level to match. All the punk boxes are checked appropriately and then double checked because that what punk rockers do i assume. Personally i'm glad i'm finally checking this one out but unlike some bands that lose the critics due to being overly experimental and turning out to be something i actually like a lot, PAIN OF MIND is basically a generic retreading of all the early 80s punkdom that came before. Whilst the smattering of unique ideas succeed in giving the band something to build off of for the future, they unfortunately are too few to give the album any true character of its own and ultimately sounds like any old punk band from that era albeit performed exquisitely. Ahh, NEUROSIS you have become one of my favorite experimental metal bands over the years but even you can't make me love this one! Even the bonus disc on the 2000 re- release with live performances and unreleased demos isn't enough to make this one essential by any means, however as a huge fan of the band, it is nice to have this one so very much a hardcore fan's type of album unless you just have to own every punk album ever released. 2.5 rounded down

 Times Of Grace by NEUROSIS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.76 | 64 ratings

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Times Of Grace
Neurosis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars After releasing their landmark "Through Silver In Blood," NEUROSIS was a much better known act after touring with Pantera and continuing their mind blowing pioneering efforts in the world of post metal and sludge. The temptation to create a sequel to "Silver" had to have been intense but once again NEUROSIS proved that you can continuously move on into new musical territories and create something new out of the old. Such is the case with their sixth full album TIMES OF GRACE. Although this is clearly endowed with much of the sludgery of the past, it is a clear attempt to mellow things down a bit. In fact all throughout the 90s NEUROSIS was also producing ambient music under the name Tribes Of Neurot, which included all the band members and other musicians not in NEUROSIS and the band had always added some of their ambient electronic wizardry to their metal releases but on this album they add even more and this album was actually designed to be heard side by side with the "Grace" album by their Tribes Of Neurot project.

TIMES OF GRACE delivers much more of a post-rock feel than a sludge assault and although there are still remnants of the frenetic tribal drumming on the "Under The Surface," we get a much calmer and simplified drumming style on this album reminding me more of bands like Isis or Pelican. The intro track "Suspended In Light" is a full-on ambient number and the electronic background soundscapes continue throughout the entire run. The guitars seem to me to sound more like grunge at times. By the time we get to some of the later tracks like "Away" it sounds like the album totally morphed into the post-rock world with little metal at all being heard. The slow recurring clean guitar sounds with the slow hypnotic drumming and mournful violins sound more like A Silver Mt Zion release than the NEUROSIS of yesteryear.

The result of this toning down meant that this album took longer to grow on me than the preceding ones that immediately blow the roof off the house. The rewards are more subtle and require patience. I have only started to warm up to this album lately. It has always been one of my lesser favorites of their outstanding output. One of the things i really love about NEUROSIS has been the frenetic drumming and pummeling sludgery so i had to learn how to appreciate this one on a whole different level. That i have learned how to do but despite warming up to this release i still like it less than most others. NEUROSIS have always been pioneers with their bold experimentation but here they don't seem to really add anything new to these particular sounds, they just mix it up a bit. That is fine and dandy and it really is good for what it is but they spoiled me and i was expecting more. Luckily this was just a rest stop on the musical highway and other than on the EP "Sovereign" they would move on to new musical pastures.

 Through Silver In Blood by NEUROSIS album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.28 | 168 ratings

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Through Silver In Blood
Neurosis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars NEUROSIS continues their steak of innovative metal music on their 5th studio album THROUGH SILVER IN BLOOD. They boldly continue their experimental path by upping some of their traits but also retain others. For example, they still use a little bit of the sampling utilized on the previous album but don't overdo it. Where they excel on this most popular album of their entire discography is in the delivery of the most intense sludgy metal riffs ever created with some intense tribal drumming patterns that are unlike anything metal at this point had incorporated into its mix. In fact some of the drumming reminds me of electronic music mostly associated with psytrance, psybient and other non-metal genres but NEUROSIS freely borrows here and there and successfully fuses it all with some of the most wicked sludge riffing ever! They also master the art of slow hypnotic atmospheric construction. Slow acoustic passages build up to intense aggressive punk-inspired shouted ragefests.

This is a perfectly balanced album that delivers all the right ingredients in the proper proportions. An epic affair if I do say. Although the main instruments include the usual metal suspects such as guitar, bass, keyboards and drums, there is also the occasional appearance of bagpipes, cello and violin. This is a post-metal masterpiece that flows brilliantly from beginning to end. Another one of those albums that rubbed me the right way upon first listen but consistently grows on me more every time I listen to it. Once again NEUROSIS doesn't rest on their laurels. They know exactly how to evolve from one album to the next taking risks by adding new elements but never deviating so far from their core sound as to totally alienate any dedicated followers. With a sound so successful I am thankful that they have chosen to retain a core sound as their template because it is a successful one that deserves a lot of room for exploration.

 Enemy Of The Sun by NEUROSIS album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.77 | 44 ratings

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Enemy Of The Sun
Neurosis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars NEUROSIS has become one of my favorite bands of all time. What I love about them is their ability to give every album its own personality and sound while keeping the basic doomy sludge metal sound that they are known for. On their 4th album ENEMY OF THE SUN they continue the post metal sludge that they invented on their previous album 'Souls At Zero' but they created a more atmospheric piece this time around relying heavily on introductory samples of different source material like news clips, ambient electronica or ethnic music. The result of all this is a more experimental sounding album that sounds a little less harsh than the previous and future releases.

The first track sounds like something that could be on the first Black Sabbath album as it is clearly more doom metal than sludge but after the first couple of tracks they start introducing more bizarre soundscapes to the mix and at times some of the ambient more trippy parts remind me of Krautrock. Although I love this album from beginning to end it is not as perfectly executed as 'Souls At Zero' mostly because of the fact that some of the ambient and tribal drumming outros outstay their welcome. Just when you think it feels like it should be ending it continues and keeps going. Although that keeps this from being another masterpiece it still is an excellent album that shouldn't be overlooked simply because it falls between two of their more popular releases.

 The Eye Of Every Storm by NEUROSIS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.94 | 81 ratings

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The Eye Of Every Storm
Neurosis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Aside from a collaboration with Jarboe, this is the first Neurosis album to have come out since A Sun That Never Sets, and the sludge metal had changed substantially since then with acts like Isis issuing incredible albums like Oceanic to challenge Neurosis for the subgenre's crown (and Cult of Luna were fast becoming strong challengers too). Here, Neurosis double down on the bleak direction set by the preceding work, though if Steve Von Till was responsible for "filters and textures" I can't help but wonder whether a different hand on the tiller might have been called for, since much of the album's textures feel kind of off to me to an extent I find distracting. (In particular, the vocals sound thin and weak to me.)
 Souls At Zero by NEUROSIS album cover Studio Album, 1992
4.18 | 69 ratings

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Souls At Zero
Neurosis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars This album starts out with a talking bowl accompanied by spoken words about starting out on a journey. Wow. They aren't kidding. This album is a sonic journey indeed.

I have not heard the first two albums by NEUROSIS so I can only speculate by reading reviews that they were fairly simple creatures that had not yet blossomed into what we hear on this masterpiece of metal music. I actually came across this album by listening to a college radio station that played "Stripped" and I was so extremely taken by the ingenuity of the track that I immediately went out and bought the album after learning who it was and by only recently being officially NEUROSIS-ized with the intoxicating THROUGH SILVER IN BLOOD.

NEUROSIS took a great leap of faith with this album. By incorporating the vocal influences of Swans, the industrial riffing of Godflesh and the progressive post-rock of Talk Talk with additional embellishments of progressive layerings including piano, violin, Gregorian chants and others into the mix, NEUROSIS simply created a well balanced musical masterpiece by putting all the pieces in the proper places. It is amazing how well this album flows from beginning to end and despite wanting to sample a little just to get a little more perspective before this review, so sucked in was I that I couldn't resist listening to the entire album again. It is so good that it has a gravitational pull that I cannot resist.

And now I must comment on the album cover. The band says that it was supposed to be a likeness from the movie "The Wicker Man" but since they couldn't get permission to use it they had to make a mysterious figure that evoked its image. For me this also reminds me of the Shrike's image from the cover of the fantastic sci-fi books from the Hyperion series but it also evokes a likeness to the Man himself at the Black Rock Desert, Nevada event Burning Man (which I have attended ? Woohoo!)

Not only is this album a masterpiece but a full-fledged turning point in music that combined post rock and metal and added progressive elements. One of the best albums of all time.

 The Eye Of Every Storm by NEUROSIS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.94 | 81 ratings

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The Eye Of Every Storm
Neurosis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by bonestorm

5 stars Neurosis is not a band that would come to mind if I were to name my top 10 or 20 artists going around. For the most part, I've found it difficult to get into most of their sizeable collection of works.

There's a notable exception with 2004's "The Eye of Every Storm". This is one of my favourite albums, and the best I heard in that year.

The album opens with "Burn", a track that begins with great percussion and tortured guitar over the top. The opening lyric sets the tone for the album. "You lie in the snow, cold but not dead". After a few minutes the track makes a transition to some wonderful atmospherics and whispered vocals. Scott Kelly is sublime in his vocal delivery on this album, and this section exemplifies it perfectly. As he warns "Don't let it steal your eyes" the music ramps up again for a great crescendo.

"No River to Take Me Home" continues in the same vein with a slow, melancholic guitar riff leading into the first of several passages in the song. As with the opening track there is a quiet section with whispered vocals used to great effect. The last few minutes comprise of another plodding, catchy guitar riff that trails off to silence.

Track 3 is the title track and it's a gem, full of briliant atmospherics and once again amazing vocal delivery. A hunted outcast hurtles into an oncoming tempest. Simply mesmerizing. Once again there are a number of passages in this song as the journey is played out. As things quieten at around 5 minutes, synths surge to the forefront. They are like the steadying heartbeat of the protagonist as he calms himself for what lies ahead. In the final passages we're told "Time brings them all home to the eye of every storm".

"Shelter" is a gorgeous instrumental that carries on the theme of the album perfectly.

Then we're presented with what I believe is the centrepiece of the album. "A Season in the Sky" begins with solemn guitars setting the mood. As I listen, I can almost feel the sand under my feet and the desert night sky above. Scott Kelly delivers the lyrics almost as spoken word for most of the track. I could quote the whole song, but will restrict myself to this: "I drifted silently to the desert and began to pray. I came to a pile of ashes and sifted through it looking for teeth." Wonderfully evocative, and when combined with that desolate guitar, simply amazing. When the rest of the band kicks in there's no respite from the heartwrenching mood that has been established. The distorted guitars are as heavy as lead and further crush the listener under the weight of this monstrous track.

This is an album about being lost and alone, cold and desolate, in an unforgiving wilderness with no way out. There's a stark beauty chiselled out of this hopelessness that is nothing short of breathtaking.

For those who love music that paints a picture inside the mind, and that transports one away to somewhere else, it doesn't get better than this.

Thanks to Tristan Mulders for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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