It's no secret that Neurosis is a changeling. Masters of mixtures and daredevils of disparity, guitarists Steve Von Tills and Scott Kelly, bassist Dave Edwardson, percussionist Jason Roeder and keyboardist Noah Landis have fifteen years of genre-bending music to their credit. Drawing on hardcore, industrial, metal, ambient and folk music, Neurosis has consistently created a sound all its own. And with The Eye of Every Storm, the band has reached a new level of sophistication and complexity.
At its core, Storm is kraut rock, dripping with Hawkwind's sense of drama and Can's baroque sense of space. But, as one might expect from Neurosis, there's also an edge that reminds us that the group is still primarily interested in heavy music. It is psychedelic and progressive, droning and aggressive. The songs average over eight minutes, filled with looped guitars and samples, crisp drums, ominous organs, and gloomy vocals that suggest Michael Gira at his most morose. Steve Albini is back behind the sliders again, which gives the record a consistent character, while gargantuan orchestrations and gothic lyrics evoke the atmosphere of a particularly unsettled cemetery at night.
The pervasive mood is tortured and claustrophobic, making the record, for all its trippiness, a difficult listen. In the end, though, there's also a beauty and intricacy to this latest Neurosis incarnation that makes the whole struggle worthwhile.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.