Seldom does a band walk from within the darkness to evoke the kind of hell Neurosis brings.
The first time I heard Neurosis, I was not familiar with their brand of metallic onslaught. Sure, I was familiar with your classic thrash metal bands like Slayer and Metallica, hardcore mosh-metal-men like Earthcrisis, Vision Of Disorder, and Hatebreed, and of course knew about Tool's take on prog-minded alternative metal; but this wicked, oppressive beast known as Neurosis was something completely compelling and awe-inspiring. Nothing had prepared for that type of annihilation.
I'm not cool enough to have actually discovered them in the early 90s, because I was a fucking kid, y'know? It was probably early 1999 the first time I heard them, because it was the track “End Of The Harvest” from the lumbering behemoth Times Of Grace that oozed from the speakers via this weird digital music service that came through our cable system. I was a casual listener of the metal station, and it ended up turning me onto a lot of acts that I'd never heard of before then, like Deadguy and Bloodlet for example. I had never heard anything as insanely heavy as Neurosis though, and it wasn't just that they were outright heavy, it was very intelligent. It wasn't music made solely to head bang to — but I did it anyway, and I even fucking air guitared to it… Fuck you.
Neurosis had layers upon layers of sounds. Things were bouncing all over the place. Burnt and faded melodies swam through claustrophobia-inducing distortion. They had a psychedelic haze and demonic, tri-voiced screams that lunged from behind the wall of guitars. It was cinematic, it was earnest, it was strong, it was destructive. The sound soaked you in dark water and macerated your very being. The music felt like it cornered you and almost had the power to savagely attack you, and ultimately destroy you.
Over the years, Neurosis have released a metric ton of highly-influential, legendary records, even doing a collaboration with the equally inspiring Jarboe. They've inspired a staggering shit-ton bands to take that signature Neurosis-sound and run with it. Some of these bands, without naming any names, have fared better than others, while some have made laughing stocks of themselves. In all honesty though, Neurosis can't really be topped when it comes to this sound, because they pretty much created it. Anyone who says otherwise is kidding themselves. They are the godfathers of this hellish, ominous venom-soaked metallic attack.
Fuck the wannabes, who shit all over the past in order to snatch up all the cool poser points they can; I got no time for that. Definitely worth checking out are all the Neurosis-related projects, ranging from Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till's solo works to Tribes Of Neurot, A Storm Of Light, Blood And Time, and Shrinebuilder — which also features dudes from St. Vitus, Sleep, and Melvins, whhhaaatttt?!
Neurosis always kills it. Fuck The World.