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Neurosis

The Eye of Every Storm (Neurot Recordings)

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Bands come and go, but Neurosis will probably be forever. For the past nineteen years, the band has continually pushed both itself and its listeners in new musical directions, and the members' commitment to quality remains unquestioned -- they've probably taken some sort of blood oath to each other; their bond seems that familial.

With Neurosis' newest, The Eye of Every Storm, we once again find the band widening its sonic palette. Consider the twelve-minute title track, which has a lengthy passage containing only voice and synthesizer. In most bands' hands, such a situation would degenerate into some feckless soliloquy about heartbreak and longing. Not so with Neurosis: Singer/guitarist Steve Von Till's moan is nothing but bone-chilling as he examines the soul of man and its place in nature. The slow pulsation of the accompanying synth reverberates like a heart in the chest cavity. The energy gradually builds as Neurosis adds more and more layers while Von Till's narrative progresses. Finally, the song erupts into a perfectly measured fury, a leveling catharsis. The members of Neurosis are masters of control.

A lot of people don't realize how much muscle it takes to hold back the beast. They're quick to give up on or belittle bands for not just rocking right out, but a Neurosis listener knows that it takes dedication, persistence, love and an indomitable will to discover new or otherwise interesting sonic horizons. Each of the eight songs on The Eye of Every Storm drives home that message. Without question, Neurosis has long been the best metal band ever; and now, without hyperbole, Neurosis is a heavy contender for Best Band on the Planet.

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