I gave very high marks to Through Silver in Blood not necessarily because I liked it but because it felt, to me, like the beginning of post metal, and like the kind of thing metal bands make now (or at least recently) rather than the kind of thing bands were making in the mid ’90s. I don’t know if the band changed their sound significantly here or I’ve just warmed up to it, but I find myself enjoying this record significantly more even if I have to admit that it’s less important, as the arrow of time does indeed only ever point forwards.
Maybe it’s too long since I heard the previous record but this one sounds more diverse to me. One of my biggest gripes with the vast majority of metal is how most bands just want to record 40 minutes to an hour of roughly the same thing (or two things, or a combination of a couple of things). Diverse metal bands are my favourite metals bands and, on this record Neurosis seems to be getting more diverse. That doesn’t mean their sound is less impenetrable for some, as there are still numerous epic length tracks which don’t really allow non-metal listeners to find anything to grab them. What it does mean is that, for those of us who were maybe a little intrigued by their sound but found the unrelenting heaviness plus atmosphere thing to be a little much at times, there is plenty here to grab us.
I feel like the record does a deft balance between the atmospheric sludge thing (sometimes more atmospheric than sludgy, sometimes sludgier than atmospheric) with the detours into other genres. Without those detours, I know I wouldn’t like the record as much. It’s those unconventional side trips – occasionally actually incorporated into the main sound) which make the record an invigorating listen.
It really is my cup of tea and makes me want to go back and listen to the earlier record to see if I would like it more now.