NEUROSIS is a band that I’d never given much attention. Their name is not one that goes unmentioned or unheard – in fact, when talking of bands that shaped the modern Metal landscape it is unavoidable – and I was well aware they were largely responsible for a lot of what I loved about the band MASTODON. However, never being much into Sludge, I had never given them much of my time, besides a few failed attempts at “Given to the Rising”, so that’s about as far as it went. Something though drew me to the band’s latest release, “Honor Found in Decay”, and whatever it was, I’m glad that it did. For “Honor Found in Decay” will now forever go down in my personal history as a monumental album in my musical experience and the broadening of my horizons. And so, it is thus that I cannot offer and objective evaluation of the album, or any qualified assessment where it sits in comparison to past works and/or that of competitors, only a description of my profound personal experience. Although, in the end, is there any higher recommendation?
While NEUROSIS’ back catalogue has since been found faultless and highly recommendable, “Honor Found In Decay” remains its most accessible and feasible entry point, at no expense to the lush, Sludge, atmosphere every one of their releases strives to bring about. There’s just something about this album that is absolutely gripping, beyond words, in a way that more experimental ambient albums such as “The Eye of Every Storm” and “Given to the Rising” continue to lack, even in my post-“Honor…” world. Be it the more obvious and distinguished song structure, something about the guitar tones, the masterful, tribal-esque drumming or even Scott Kelly’s transfixing vocals, “Honor Found In Decay” is a captivating and completely mesmerizing experience.
From the first few moments of the wondrous “We All Rage In Blood” I was completely sold on the band, their value and their vision. This album blew the door open and gave me the necessary tools to go back and discover (and appreciate) such masterful works as “Through Silver In Blood”, “A Sun That Never Sets”, “Given To The Rising” and the absolute monster that is “Enemy Of The Sun”. It is this, Rosetta Stone like, function that has (personally) forever elevated the album to a level beyond any rational evaluation based solely on merit, but I honestly believe “Honor Found In Decay” to rate among the band’s best work (second only to “Enemy…” in my opinion). Highlights include the trance inducing “At the Well”, with its mesmerizing ‘in a shadow world’ refrain; the aforementioned opener, the TOOL-sounding “Bleeding the Pigs” and every single moment surrounding them. Seriously, there is not a single dull, non-engaging moment to be had on the record.
“Honor Found In Decay” is, in the truest sense, an experience, one that can and will elevate you beyond those realms of what you thought possible to comprehend and take you on a journey beyond anywhere music ever has and could take you before.
...if you’re anything like me that is.
(Online December 23, 2012)