Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Times of Grace
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Metal
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A mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a vest
Wheelchair Assassin | The Great Concavity | 01/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The metal world is, regrettably, almost as full of copycats and one-trick ponies as the mainstream, but Neurosis are one band that have legitimately earned the label of innovators. "Times of Grace" is easily one of the most primal and visceral albums ever recorded, but that's far from the whole story, as it's also among the most creative and intelligent metal albums of recent years. Not afraid to push their songs into the vicinity of the ten-minute mark, Neurosis compose epics of mountainous proportions, replete with punishing dynamics and stunning musicianship. Listening to "Times of Grace" is a daunting proposition, as it's not "radio-ready" to the say the least. However, this album is a grower of the highest order, as its brilliance is steadily revealed with repeated listens.While there are plenty of metal bands out there that make lots of noise, few if any can shape it in as discordant and unsettling a manner as Neurosis. This isn't speed metal, or grindcore, or some other style that just seeks to beat the listener into the ground (not that there's anything wrong with that!). The heaviest tracks, such as "The Doorway," "End of the Harvest," and the title track, don't burst forth from speakers so much as they ooze forth, enveloping the listener in a primordial haze with some serious mind-warping potential. In a refreshing change of pace from traditional metal sounds, the guitars are as much about atmosphere and complexity as brutality, creating unpredictable layers of tightly coiled, distorted riffage. Jason Roeder's tribal-influenced drumming is among the heaviest and most ominous in history, and you can feel the disaffection in every note of the hardcore-style screams. Slower, more minimal fare such as "Under The Surface" and "Belief" manages to be equally menacing, maintaining a clenched intensity that's hard to define and even harder to resist. There are some variations on this album's theme as well. Like all great artists, Neurosis can venture into diverse sonic territories without abandoning what makes them great in the first place. "The Last You Know" weaves some subtle bagpipe textures into the all-out metal assault, while "Descent" consists of nothing but some haunting pipes and a martial drumbeat. "Away" is (gulp) a ballad, but its mournful strings and pained vocals elevate it well above the plain. And the album closer, "The Road to Sovereignty," is a horn-led symphonic piece, with only the drumming providing any evidence of a rock influence.In the end, "Times of Grace" is a staggering achievement, offering indescribable amounts of musical and emotional depth. It's a full-fledged sonic experience that will not only assault your ears but burrow its way into your soul. Neurosis plumb the depths of the human psyche with their music, and if you can withstand the onslaught you'll emerge a stronger person for it. "Times of Grace" is simultaneously gut-wrenching, virtuosic, and challenging, and ultimately uplifting. For all its bluster and fury, this album ultimately offers the redemption that can only come from such a harrowing journey."
Dark, epic, and heavy
Strobe Lights And Blown Speakers | Louisville | 07/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Neurosis' "Times Of Grace" is an experience in itself. On this album, the band produces epic ambient-style metal that pummels the listener into submisison. The combined effect of the manic distortion and somewhat linear arrangements seems, at first, incoherent and unsatisfying. But upon further listens, "Times Of Grace" opens itself up and shows the world what it truly is - an epic masterpiece.The first thing the listener is exposed to upon listening to this album is are the tension-building notes of Scott Kelly's guitar blended in with bagpipes in "Suspended In Light." Next up is "The Doorway," with its heavy distortion and awesome time changes. "The Last You'll Know" features an incredible midsection, complete with a harmonica-like synthesizer before calming into dissonance, which then builds to a sludgy rage."Belief" chooses to, instead of being completely heavy and distorted throughout, go back-and-forth between heaviness and subdued somberness. "Exist" is the perfect instrumental for an album of this nature - beautiful, mysterious, and calm, which accentuates the rest of the album greatly. It also flows directly into the wonderful "End Of The Harvest," which showcases a wonderful buildup to the climax. "Descent" begins with just a bass drum, then adds guitar, bagpipes, bass, and synthesizer (at serparate times) creating a great buildup before fading out. "Away" actually features clean vocals (!) and a beautiful buildup before steppin' on the distortion and switching to the usual screaming. It is also a top highlight of the album. The album's title track begins with a few simple notes before becoming UNGODLY heavy. The album's closing track, "The Road To Sovereignty," is a fantastic closing to an album of this magnitude. It begins with acoustic guitar, then adds the rest of the band, along with violins, violas, cellos, and - you guessed it - bagpipes."Times Of Grace" will most likely take a few listens to get acquainted with. But, like other albums as obtuse as this (Tool's "Lateralus"; Radiohead's "Kid A"), after a couple spins in your CD player, it will hit you how genius this record is."
Michael J Harper | Covina, CA United States | 01/21/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album has more direct drive then any of thier albums before it. The Industrial tribal-metal dirge approach has nearly gone and left behind not the battle, but now a map of the battle(an overview if you will), giving Neurosis a displacing edge from what early fans like myself came to know. Times of Grace is a more straight forward plunge then thier previous "Through Silver in Blood". Through Silver in Blood being an album which takes the skin and bone of your head and rips it back and thats if you can make it through the shear intensity(Through Silver in Blood is still my favorite album by them). "Times of Grace" is much less punishing then previous albums and emphasizes on a new look at things for Neurosis. Bag-pipes find thier way to Neurosis as a more forefront then before and lend an amazingly touching effect. "Soveriegn" which came after "Times of Grace" began an even deeper plunge into what Neurosis became during "A Sun that Never Sets" that is... much more crystal and elegant... patient. Neurosis are a band that never loses themselves for the fact that they reinvent themselves and grow. Listening to Neurosis is like witnessing evolution in time lapse. Prepare to have your mind opened.If you are new to Neurosis do not start here. I'd suggest starting with "Enemy of the Sun" or "Souls At Zero" so you may have a clue as to what the middle ground battlefield was(so far) for Neurosis and from being warriors to war heroes..."