Through Silver In Blood
Review by Yener on May 14, 2019.
Where to begin…
This is one of the most important albums I have ever heard in my life. There, I said it. There's no easy way of saying that, but it's true. I'm not going to lie and say that I instantly got what this band were about when I first heard them in 1996. I didn't have a clue what I was listening to because it was so different from anything else I had ever heard before, and it was much more mature than I was at that age. I was only sixteen. Nothing can prepare you for this at age sixteen.
Yet I kept coming back to it. There's just something about Neurosis that keeps you coming back for more. And it's not exactly radio friendly hooks, either. The songs are long and hard to listen to. Especially with this album, I was later to discover, that you can't just really say "Oh I like "Purify", that has some good beats in it, I'll just throw that on then listen to something else"
No. This album pretty much demands you to listen to it from start to finish, how it was intended. Not only that, but this just simply transcends music as a whole. It's so much more than that. When I stopped forcing myself to see it as "an album" and more like a work of art, a landscape, a painting, nature itself… then it all made sense. I was sixteen when I first heard this. I was pushing thirty when it started to make sense to me... and the crushing doom fell on my shoulders with the weight of a thousand moons. The realization of what I was listening to, and what it made me feel, is so hard to describe. And the best part is that it can still make me feel the same way even after all these years.
"Through silver in blood
We stand judged not
By eyes of flesh"
Every time I hear that it feels like someone is dragging nails across my spine - steel on bone. The title track sets the tone for the rest of the album, but not the emotions. Listen to this on headphones and let the music wash you away. It will take you through all sorts of thoughts and feelings. A journey you're likely weren't prepared for.
"Purify" is one of the most special things I have ever heard. When I usually review albums, I talk about production values, musicality, etc but none of that even applies here. It's just not important. I will say though, that when the guitars kick in on "Purify", it really is an uncomfortable experience, in one of the best ways possible. If there's one track I keep coming back to on this album, without being able to help myself, it's this and "Locust Star." Ah, "Locust Star", the song that got me into this band in the first place. I'm sure everyone has heard it by now. There's yet to be another song with such a terribly enormous, frightening ending as this one, save maybe "Stones From the Sky", another song by yes, Neurosis.
This is a concept album, so like I said earlier, should be listened to as such. Actually, must be listened to as such. Some people have gotten into detail about what it's exactly about here, and they are correct, but I would prefer everyone to listen to the album and come up with their own versions, their own visions, of what it's all about.
And that's the main thing here. Even though Neurosis use a huge wall of sound approach, what they are doing is essentially painting with music. Huge, sonic landscapes, as far as the eye can see, as far as the ear can hear. The lyrics complement the music flawlessly, and the most important thing here is that everything not only serves the songs but serves the entire album. You can tell that either Neurosis set off with a very clear idea of what they wanted to achieve on this record, both musically and visually, or I get the funny feeling that honestly, they didn't do much, and just let the music channel itself through each and every member. So pure is the music, and the experience, to be found here that one really can't sit down and plan this sort of thing. It just poured out of them - all the filth, anger, frustration, hopelessness, hunger, blindness and blood - it just poured out of them.
The album ends on a terribly bleak note. That is another way of saying that it ends exactly the way it was supposed to.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Review by Allan on July 30, 2002.
While the tens of thousands of bands of all genre’s soak their feet in the waters of sedentary, conventional music, Neurosis continue to shape their own definition of progression. You probably know about Neurosis by now, or have some indication as to their orchestral song writing approach, dense musical landscaping, atmospheric drenched sound, etc. if you’ve read other Neurosis reviews of mine. So with that in mind, in an attempt to reinvent my reviews of Neurosis, I’ll try to lead you through the important, and not so important differences of this album to others. Oh, and in case you were wondering, “Through Silver In Blood” is an apocalyptic musical opus of bludgeoning ideas and emotions that transcends many genres.
Each album hopefully has its own standout features that set it apart from another. “Through Silver In Blood” has many of those features surrounding it, one of those being its interesting and unique atmosphere. All Neurosis works have an interesting and unique atmosphere, though. What makes this one special is the fact that it’s so well rounded and thought out. It’s very plotting, with a likeness to a sleek, shadowed figure that lurks in the darkened recesses of the night. That darkness is very expansive to the atmosphere of the album, and to an extent it resembles “Times of Grace” in that manner. This one has a more eerie, creepy, and frightening sound to it, though. “Through Silver In Blood” has one of the finest overall atmospheres of any album I’ve come across, and it doesn’t hurt that it has a unique, interesting, and organic feel to it.
Next up in the line of the elements in “Through Silver In Blood” that standout, is the performance of the vocals. What Neurosis do is put together a tri-vocal onslaught, sometimes lessened to a dual-vocal attack, or even just singular, but it’s always uniformly powerful. The vocals are, as always, coarse emotional screams that are sometimes brought down to a haunting whisper. In turn, it adds an intelligent, multi-textural approach to the music that just begs for the listener’s attention and it gets it.
Lastly, the density found on Neurosis’ next album “Times of Grace” and many of their other works is loosened up here, creating an opening for the new listener to possibly grasp onto Neurosis more easily. This is not to say that “Through Silver In Blood” is more commercial or anything of the sort, because just one play of this album will attest to the fact that it’s not.
Bottom Line: I just want to say one last thing. Neurosis are one of the few bands that have the power to make eardrums bleed, make your heart skip a beat, and send shivers up your spine. When you listen to this album, no matter if it’s the first time or the fiftieth, it will consistently represent a seventy-ton warhead ripping through the air, or something similar in manner. “Through Silver In Blood” is deeply gut wrenching, blood curdling, acerbic wall of music, and one of the best at that.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 10 out of 10