[9/10] Among the sizable number of bands that have been absent in one form or another for the better part of the last half-decade, Neurosis is arguably the most high-profile. 2007’s Given to the Rising still lingers sharply in the minds of many, countless ears ready to see what the band would do next as they creep ever closer to the vaunted 30th anniversary.
As the band has long-since existed as an institution in their own right, spawning and endless array of prodigies and imitators (most prolific in Isis and Cult of Luna, and the entire post-xxx genre), it’s been a fascinating journey to see them growing in comparison and context to the world they’ve helped usher in. Unlike many of those prodigies however, Neurosis has kept alive the spirit of growth and evolution (sorry boss, Isis went all downhill after Panopticon). That growth has slowed somewhat for Honor Found In Decay, the many variable parts existing much more so as tangible bridges to past works, some very surprising moments being revisited across the album’s hour running time.
The most jarring instances of reoccurrence across Honor Found In Decay are the nods and continuations of themes hailing from the band’s 1993 monstrosity Enemy of the Sun. The complete revenge of Jason Roeder (and his tribal-loving obscenity) and noise-prone aesthetics that dominated that release are all over album highlights “Bleeding The Pigs” and “All Is Found…In Time”, the groove-laden riffing of the latter almost a direct sequel to parts of “Lost.” That isn’t to say that these are cacophonous messes – far from it. Steve Albini on collaboration six pulls out another rich and textured experience, Dave Edwardson’s bass omnipresent in the mix (it’s just a goddamn shame he doesn’t do vocals anymore!).
Elsewhere, on track epics like “My Heart For Deliverance” and “Casting of the Ages,” the contemplative and very airy doom template the band began with A Sun That Never Sets and perfected with The Eye of Every Storm is very much in full effect. Plodding, sparse, and very open sonics see these lengthy and multi-dimensional jams float on, the now well-versed voices of Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till ever present in delivery. These quiet/loud dynamics are nothing new for the band or those who follow them, but they’re used in a much more even handed fashion here than swinging one way or the other.
As with any Neurosis release, Honor Found In Decay does take time to sink in and truly infect. It’s not a world changer like Through Silver In Blood or A Sun That Never Sets was but by this point the band really can’t change the world much more than it already has. Honor Found In Decay is another rich and complex addition to the Neurosis pantheon, a title that is no doubt a subtle nod the genre they inadvertently gave birth to a decade ago and have subsequently wholly outlived.
The experimental nature of the band will apparently never be sated and as the album closer ”Raise the Dawn” flutters and drones to its conclusion it creates an intense sense wonder in what awaits now that Neurosis stands alone again, all of their contemporaries long dead.
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