It’s hard to imagine that this magnificent opus was created in less time then it supposedly took the almighty father/mother to create humanity. Does that make Steve Albini greater than God? Unclear. BUT! Listen to what he’s produced either behind the boards or as a musician and tell me you don’t know what the answer to that question already is.
Speaking of the heavenly thing above, listening to the newest Neurosis album is akin to kneeling before your preferred higher entity, raising your arms up, and just screaming to the heavens. People, this album is only five tracks long! Yet it’s the most beautiful piece of metal to be released in 2016 (Sorry, Gojira!) as each of those five tracks drives home why Neurosis is still the master.
Dirge-like and morbid at one moment, ethereal and mystical the next (And sometimes all of the above like opener “Bending Light”), Fires Within Fires captures what makes Neurosis great in a concise five tracks. They say things only get better with age and Neurosis is no exception as Fires Within Fires sees the band at the top of their game. Still. And in today’s world of leaks and instant digital gratification, it’s great to know that when some bands release new material that there’s still a feeling that it’s a monumental event.
But I digress.
Each song on Fires Within Fires is so dense and layered that they could warrant individual track reviews themselves. “A Shadow Memory” is a constant tribal thumping courtesy of Jason Roeder while “Fire Is The End Lesson” breaks through sonic barriers growing into a cacophony where guitars, bass, drums, everything! just merge into one humming, unified sound threatening to lose control at any moment if any band but Neurosis was steering the ship, that is.
“Broken Ground” begins like a Leonard Cohen ditty then swirls into a guitar fury before settling back into a somber hymn until inevitably scaling the sonic walls yet again.
“Reach” is almost a continuation of “Cruel Bloom” that Steve Von Till did with Converge that one time then devolves into this weird tribal excursion. Like the majority of Neurosis’ songs, “Reach” is an epic aural journey within and unto itself brimming with emotion and noise culminating in a throated cry of “Reaaaaaach!”.
Fires Within Fires is out on September 23rd through Neurot Recordings. Pre-orders are available here right now but if you can’t stand the thought of waiting for, gasp!, mail then pre-order your digital edition here.