Music / Neurosis
Neurosis is a post-metal band from Oakland, California. After a couple of releases that qualify as straight-up Hardcore Punk
, they pioneered a mix of hardcore, crust punk, sludge metal
, and Post-Rock
that became known as post-metal, and have become one of this subgenre's most acclaimed acts. Their songs tend to be extremely long and often contain screamed vocals, with lengthy instrumental passages that often build in intensity to an explosive climax. Many other bands in the subgenre have cited them as an influence.
- Scott Kelly - lead vocals, guitar
- Dave Edwardson - bass, backing vocals
- Jason Roeder - drums, percussion
- Steve von Till - guitar, backing vocals
- Noah Landis - synthesizer, keyboards, effects, samples, backing vocals
Core Studio Discography:
- 1987 - Pain of Mind
- 1990 - The Word as Law
- 1992 - Souls at Zero
- 1993 - Enemy of the Sun
- 1996 - Through Silver in Blood
- 1999 - Times of Grace
- 2001 - A Sun That Never Sets
- 2003 - Neurosis & Jarboe
- 2004 - The Eye of Every Storm
- 2007 - Given to the Rising
- 2012 - Honor Found in Decay
- 2016 - Fires Within Fires
- 2002 - Live at Lyon
- 2003 - Live in Stockholm
- 2010 - Live at Roadburn 2007
- Album Intro Track: "Suspended in Light" for Times of Grace.
- Ambient: An influence on their work as Neurosis, and they have a dark ambient side project known as Tribes of Neurot.
- Avant-Garde Metal: They are considered to be an example, due to their strange mixture of styles.
- Badass Beard: Most of the band members have one.
- Bolero Effect: Post-metal features crescendi as a core element, and they are as present in Neurosis' music as anywhere.
- Breather Episode: Since Neurosis' music is very dynamic, this can happen almost anywhere.
- Broken Record: "Cleanse" ends in this way. On some versions it extends to the length of an Overly Long Gag, but on others it fades out before too long.
- Concept Album: Through Silver in Blood is apparently intended as one, though it's been interpreted in a number of different ways. One common interpretation seems to be that it is an Apocalyptic Log.
- Darker and Edgier: Post-metal could be (and has been) considered Darker and Edgier Post-Rock.
- Distinct Double Album: A strange example. Times of Grace was released alongside a sister album from dark ambient side project Tribes of Neurot, entitled simply Grace. The two releases are intended to be played at the same time. Some enterprising fans have combined them using audio editing software, although combining the two releases in this way naturally sounds different from playing them at the same time on two different sound systems, as intended. However, as many listeners probably do not possess the required equipment to do this, the combined versions can be an example of Keep Circulating the Tapes.
- Doom Metal: Pioneers of post-metal, which is often considered a subgenre of doom metal (and is listed on this wiki as such).
- Dream Team: Their collaboration with erstwhile Swans vocalist Jarboe. Similarly, Scott Kelly's collaborations with other bands (especially Mastodon) are frequently considered examples of this.
- Drone of Dread: Frequently employed in interludes, often paired with unsettling spoken word samples.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Their early material is mostly straightforward Hardcore Punk. It is on Souls at Zero that they established the sound for which they are known today.
- The End of the World as We Know It: "Takeahnase", which also qualifies as Gaia's Vengeance. Through Silver in Blood also appears to be about this.
- Epic Rocking: A staple characteristic of post-metal, this is frequently found in Neurosis' music. Their longest song is "Cleanse", which is either sixteen or twenty-six minutes depending on the release (however, in the latter version, the last ten minutes consist simply of a looped Broken Record sample).
- Fading into the Next Song: Every song transition on Times of Grace and its companion album Grace does this. Some of their other releases do this some too.
- Guttural Growler: Scott Kelly. When he does clean vocals (like on The Eye of Every Storm) he almost sounds like Tom Waits.
- Instrumentals: They have a few, although some may qualify as debatable examples due to their use of Sampling and Spoken Word in Music. Examples include "Zero", "Empty", "Burning Flesh in Year of Pig", "Cleanse", "Rehumanize", "Become the Ocean", "Suspended in Light", "Exist", "Descent", "The Road to Sovereignty", "Erode", "Resound", and "Shelter". Often this is combined with Miniscule Rocking, although not always; in particular, "Cleanse" is the band's longest song.
- Lighter and Softer: Some of their releases are considered less heavy than their earlier work. The Eye of Every Storm is a good example of this; it's frequently classified as post-rock rather than post-metal.
- Live Album: As seen above, they have three of them.
- Long Runner Lineup: Hasn't changed since 1995.
- Loudness War: This has mostly been averted in their music; for instance, their latest album, 2016's Fires Within Fires, comes out to DR8, which is quite dynamic by modern metal standards. The only album of theirs that arguably succumbs to this trope is Given to the Rising, which is DR7 overall but has four tracks at DR5. The others don't have any songs below DR6, and only two other albums (Neurosis & Jarboe and Honor Found in Decay) even have an overall range of DR7; all others are DR8 or higher. Part of the band's reluctance to engage in this may be due to their long association with Steve Albini, who is known for his vocal dislike of this trope; he has recorded several of their albums.
- Mangst: The impression given off by a lot of their lyrics, especially on The Eye of Every Storm.
- Metal Scream: Scott Kelly has become extremely well known for this, as he's very, very good at it.
- Miniscule Rocking: They have quite a few interludes that count as examples of this, contrasting with the band's usual Epic Rocking.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: The band's post-metal work tends to be in the 7-10 range, though they can dip lower for Breather Episodes and Subdued Sections.
- Post-Rock: Pioneered a variant known as post-metal. Additionally, some of their albums qualify as straight-up post-rock.
- Rated M for Manly: Even by extreme metal standards they're this personified. They're a bunch of bearded, grizzled dudes who play long, slow, heavy songs about mysticism, violence, and the apocalypse.
- Sampling / Spoken Word in Music: The band is fond of this. For example, Enemy of the Sun opens with a sample from the film version of The Sheltering Sky. It also appears frequently on Souls at Zero and Through Silver in Blood, with the samples often talking about mystical and spiritual matters.
- Shout-Out: The cover of Souls at Zero is inspired by the film The Wicker Man (1973) (the original, not the remake).
- Signature Style: Incredibly slow and heavy songs that make use of the Bolero Effect, tribal drum patterns, screamed vocals, and frequent ambient interludes. Their style is very hard to mistake, and it's pretty easy to tell when a band has taken influence from them.
- Subdued Section: Again, this is frequent in Neurosis' music, due to its heavy use of dynamic variation.
- Trope Makers: For post-metal.
- Vocal Tag Team: Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till frequently trade off lead vocals with each other.