Year : 2012
Genre : Sludge Metal
Label : Neurot Records
Origin : United States
Rating : 6.0 / 10
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Music and the other types of entertainment are constituting the all-tolerant media evil should be expressed on when the insatiable urge to express evil IS present, because no one has to get harmed in THIS process. I don't condone the harming of any living things - highly evil mind parasites that are fulfilling their functions in a mind idiotic enough to invent, invite AND serve them : included - but I condone anything in art, saved for the evidently tasteless. Severed toddler heads hanging from erect Baphomet dick is a starting point for tasteless. Unfortufuckinglutely, as a miserable music critic, I already have had the lifting experience of being soulcrushed by quite a few top tier sludge formations in recent days in order to harness high quality amusement, and THIS particular record from renowned sludge ensemble Neurosis simply isn't evil and isn't uncompromisingly disillusioned enough to weigh in as a timeless recommendation, NOT on this particular music review site Noise Shaft. Though I'm not competent enough to offer an opinion on the overall contents of the lyrics, through the music itself, a relentlessly self-fixated demeanor - not hard of a mistake to commit as a human - seems to be observable throughout the effort, which so adores the results of examining itself that it reaches the point on which it emerges content with any expression of its inner findings, and these deliberate anti-charms do not really seem to be sufficiently intricate constructs of classic existentialist fear and the general absence of love-evident to be worth showing for almost an entire hour. Because the 60 minutes disc has about 10 minutes of badass music, too.
Existing as a human is only frightening when you fail to accept the limitations that are inherent to the human condition, - tits will turn you on, for example - and, the very instant you submit to the worship of your fear of your own incapacities, you will suck legendarily as a(n) (f)artist. Granted, a sludge metal band worth listening to really should be fronted by Cthulhu, nevertheless, the style has great potential to express the helplessness of existence, but, more importantly, to offer reflections on the possible shapes of doubts and fears surrounding this particular - human - form of it. The massive caveat I have with this Neurosis - a good thing that the sentence continues - LP is that it not only is relentlessly fixated on shapes and thoughts of fear that have been addressed a million times before through the capacities of music, but, shitassfuck, it seeks to offer clumsy images of hope - cheapest human commodity - at places I don't want to see the REMNANTS of disgusting hope at - AT all. Don't assuage me on a sludge metal disc, please. Crush my soul or get away from me.
Only an idiot - or Chuck Norris - would want to be the protagonist of a nightmare, but it is expectable from a successful sludge metal release to declare 111% indifference towards the human condition, and what I hear on this release is simply music made by people armed with a terrible mood, and, the somewhat seemingly trite variant of that, too. You can have that without having to sit around listening for an hour while having the bad mood of others poured on you. Bad mood simply isn't enough. Never ask the neurotic how he is doing, because he will tell it. Read more if you feel like it.
I confess that expect my ass getting kicked around a bit for not being completely baffled by the integrity of this disc, but, before dismissing my opinion as utter nonsense, you really should do yourself a favor and check out the great sludge releases that I have found much more robust and relevant both in ambition and in realization. Just use the TAG selector. The music herein is not "bad", it is just SAFE, for the most part, and packs no danger at all, - once again, for the most part - and it "just" tickles the surface of the anti-treasure chest other bands will pour on you mercilessly. The track "All Is Found... In Time" features a great sequence of musical moments I personally would be much more happy to hear ALL throughout the disc. This is the main "problem" with the package, if this is a problem at all : it isn't out to scare you, it is out to comfort you in a very tritely shaped palette of bad mood registers that it assumes you must be sporting, and the intimate experience of listening provides you with the alleged mirror image of those vibes. "Alleged" in the sense that you really should feel like the disc wants you to in order to connect with it successfully. In other words, you can establish the connection, but what you get out of it is trite and tepid, in sludge terms, in my opinion. For the most part, anyway. Once again, the track "All Is Found... In Time" is a pretty robust delivery and I love it, but this is the only track so far that I'm certain I WILL revisit on the album. The very next track isn't bad, either, but Yob or Indian expresses this uncompromisingly raging sludge with more precision, in my opinion. Let alone Lord Mantis, that deliberately takes it to levels that smuggle a hint of a smile to the glove-face of Cthulhu.
The release has some - subjectively - unacceptably forgiving moments in it, checkpoints in the disc's fabric by which rudimentary but efficient harmonic BEAUTY (!!) is revealed, - the track called "My Heart For Deliverance" comes to mind - yet the
exotic windpipe instrument which gets diabolically played on during the majority of these assuaging sessions really is sufficient to put me through a series of highly successful compulsive nervous breakdowns. But the SOUND of the disc is 101% sludge, so please don't jump to conclusions and don't assume that Neurosis ventures into high fantasy nonsense territory, because this is not so. (Although the disc ends with gentle violin play, 'the fuck??) AH! What an amusing synchronicity : I was talking about breakdowns, and, funnily enough, this very song - "My Heart For Deliverance" - turns into a quite simplistic, BUT once again efficient chord passage abuse which reeks the intro section of Guns 'N Roses' cool song "Breakdown". I'm a snob. I don't want to hear the re-interpretation of a 1991 song orchestrated to sludge instruments, you CAN'T pay a snob out with an insulting trick like this.
Though sludge were much more evil and much more soul-crushing before than this disc has the ambition to emerge as, the LP delivers an acceptable performance nevertheless, but truly nothing of all of the soul-crushing effect you get from a track like Esoteric's Loss of Will. This Neurosis LP sounds to me like pretty family friendly sludge metal, and these two terms really should not be contained in the same sentence. It does not fill me with joy that I'm having to write this, because I wanted the disc to be a rigorous and unforgiving soulcrusher, but it really just tickles my tolerance levels, whereas I've expected those to be re-invented via sonic shock therapy. Sludge metal this? Cthulhu disapproves. But, to be fair : this is NOT a bad sludge release. Worse : mediocre.
Rating : 6.0 / 10
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