Neurosis A Sun That Never Sets
Grade
B+
 
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If there's one thing that can be said about Neurosis is that they have a vision that nothing will change. Inherently, their music is dark and often slow, but layered with a multitude of sounds. Most songs start slowly and build to a malevolent fervor. While the vocals can hardly ever be described as melodic, they do serve their purpose, whether low-tone or bitingly violent, as a tool by which to issue the apocalyptic, yet esoteric, lyrics.

On initial impression, this album seems to move from a low tone symphony to a loud racket and then back. After some time with A Sun That Never Sets, though, you'll be able to pick out the finely written nuances and layers of music that seem to hide and accentuate the overall feeling of the album. Percussion and string arrangements accentuate what most would normally think is an above-average dark metal album. In fact, the bulk of the song writing is well written and filled with emotion. Tracks like The Tide, Falling Unknown and From Where Its Roots Run really show off the unheralded brilliance of the songwriting.

My only complaint is that certain parts of the album do seem to plod on slowly and needlessly, like the intro to Crawl On In. While usually, Neurosis' slow-moving parts seem to at least flow well and have a lot going on to keep the listener interested, some of these rare moments feel uninspired and leave me wishing the next change in movement would hurry up and arrive.

Steve Albini's production work for the album really aides in expressing the quality of the band's ability to perform. The live studio feel of the album gives the whole performance a human quality that very few albums manage to capture anymore.

Expect a long dark ride that rolls from one epic climax to the next through valleys of dark sound. Casual listeners may not fare well with this album, but fans of Neurosis and other vanguards of dark ingenuity will enjoy the ride.

- - Vane

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