Neurosis has spent the past few years playing down its metal roots.
The Bay Area throb 'n' crunch maestros peaked artistically with 1996's epic Through Silver in Blood. Their combination of Laibach-like tribal percussion and Sabbath-worthy guitar was overwhelming but still inviting. Times of Grace, three years later, bore the thumbprint of indie-rock kingmaker Steve Albini and roughed up their sound; where Through Silver in Blood had been polished and occasionally proggy, Times of Grace was raw as a fresh wound. Neurosis fell off somewhat, though, with the mopey, semiacoustic A Sun That Never Sets, and The Eye of Every Storm has to be seen as an attempted comeback from the brink.
It's a pretty successful one at that. The bulldozer-in-low-gear Neurosis of old is back, with vocals buried under a wall of clanging guitars and a cathedral-sized drum sound. Many songs start off quietly, lulling the listener before unleashing another beating. The Eye of Every Storm won't inspire a mosh-pit frenzy, but lying down for a long, focused listen is definitely recommended.