Neurosis - _Honor Found in Decay_
(Neurot Recordings, 2012)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (9 out of 10)
There are so many bands that you can listen to any time of day, on any day of the week, any week of the year. Your senses receive their work without much preparation for it and almost anywhere. Some of these bands could very well have released a handful of your favorite albums. But I would be willing to bet that for every metalhead in this world, there are a few bands whose work demands a heightened state of attention to be fully absorbed in the right way. In my humble view, the finest example of that is Neurosis.

I can't think of a metal band that puts out such emotionally dense metal that would, if the circumstances were just right, elevate one to a higher state of consciousness. I speak of my own experience with some of their earlier works when listened to between the imposing yet beautiful Red Sea Mountains and the rising sun from across the sea. Somehow the complexity of the music seems to harmonize with nature, which makes me loathe life in the big city even more. Such an engrossing listening experience has once again been created by the masters in the form of _Honor Found in Decay_ with cascading doomy psychedelics and high attention span requirements.

This hour long beast comes five years after the highly regarded _Given to the Rising_, and that really tells you how much time and effort these gentlemen have dedicated to _Honor Found in Decay_. Lyrically, it's another inquiry into the self, where you can almost feel that Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till are reading every inquisitive and curious mind around the world. They've always written very personal lyrics that I would imagine are very challenging to write, because they force you to ask yourself some difficult questions. Some of the lyrics are quite contemplative, like the poetic spoken word section on "My Heart for Deliverance" and the outstanding "The Casting of the Ages", while some are very direct and almost disturbing, like "We All Rage in Gold" and the rather violent "Bleeding the Pigs".

On the musical front, _Honor Found in Decay_ sees Neurosis at the top of their game as usual. Ten and eleven minute tracks flow seamlessly from one section to another without the slightest hint of awkwardness. That serene yet somber transition in the middle of "At the Well" is one of many moments of elevation by sound, as it subtly sets you up for a most intense build-up at the end that is just mind-blowing. Jason Roeder's drumming versatility allows him to complement sections with varying degrees of intensity with full effect. The mellow segments on "My Heart for Deliverance" gives him some extra space, while the brooding build-up on "Bleeding the Pigs" has some of the finest tribal drumming he's come up with.

I had the CD in the car one night and somehow all the surroundings submitted to the album's flow. The temperature was gradually dipping and the desolate streets of Cairo's eastern suburbs created a perfect background to the music. I arrived at home with still two tracks to go, but I didn't move a muscle until "Raise the Dawn" rolled to an end; this is how gripping _Honor Found in Decay_ is. I'd recommend you find yourself a nearby location among nature with the best possible view. Don't take any kind of intoxicant with you. Just sit down and listen to this. It is exceptional stuff.


(article published 28/4/2013)

4/18/1996 A Bromley Neurosis: Neurotics Never Know
7/27/2007 J Smit 10 Neurosis - Given to the Rising
12/13/2004 J Smit 9.5 Neurosis - The Eye of Every Storm
8/12/2001 A McKay 7.5 Neurosis - A Sun That Never Sets
10/12/1999 A Bromley 9 Neurosis - Times of Grace
4/18/1996 G Filicetti 6 Neurosis - Through Silver in Blood
10/11/1996 A Wasylyk Neurosis / Bloodlet / Tree Corroding Your Cranium
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