Neurosis can be seen as the godfathers of the whole postcore movement. Almost every band within the genre owes something to them. Originally the band started out as a hardcore/punk outfit, but they gradually shifted their style towards doom metal, noise core and avant-garde. In their wake they created a whole new breed of bands, collectively known as the postcore movement. Enemy Of The Sun (1996), Times Of Grace (1999) and A Sun That Never Sets (2001) are seen as landmark albums. In 2007 the band released Given To The Rising, their current record. Let’s take a closer look.
The album starts with the brooding title track, which is full of heavy guitars, psychedelic effects, alternated with some softer string section parts. This is a brilliant introduction to the musical scale and sense of adventure of Given To The Rising. Fear And Sickness is build around a repeating guitar riff. This creates a hypnotic effect. The noise influences do the rest. To The Wind pretty much continues the same pattern.
At The End Of The Road is another brilliant example of what can be achieved with massive guitar walls, industrial sounds and Steven Von Till’s tortured vocals. Water Is Not Enough and Distill (Watching The Swarm) follow the same path. After a short soundscape in the form of Nine, the album’s grand finale takes shape under the guise of Origin. Again it’s vintage Neurosis with tribal styled drums and hypnotic soundscapes that slowly build towards a massive climax. It’s their uncanny ability to tinker with atmosphere, dynamics and textures that makes Given To The Rising such a brilliant and unique album.
Given To The Rising has a raw and fuzzy production. It enhances the doom like atmosphere with a bare bones seventies vibe. This really gives the album lots of character.
With Given To The Rising Von Till and Co solidify their status as one of the leaders within the postcore/metal movement. This is experimental music at its very best.
Written by Raymond Westland