Four years on from their last album and the mighty Neurosis return with their highly anticipated 11th release, Fires Within Fires. With just five songs and a running time of around 40 minutes, this is as succinct as Neurosis albums get. But fear not! That’s more than enough time for Neurosis to turn your brain to mush!
If you’re already a fan of the band – and if not, then why the hell not? – the good news is that they’ve released yet another awe-inspiring album. However, if you’re unfamiliar with Neurosis and think the likes of Slayer are the be-all-and-end-all of heavy music then prepare those butt-cheeks of yours for one hell of an ass whupping! Previously, Neurosis opening tracks have tended to opt for long introductory passages however this time they’ve gone straight for the jugular with “Bending Light”, a song full of their trademark scything guitar riffs and anguished vocals from and from there things just get better and better.
Over the years Scott Kelly, and fellow vocalist Steve Von Till, have released numerous folk albums and this trait has also worked its way into their main band. Unsurprisingly, songs such as “Fire Is The End Lesson” and epic closer “Reach” are all the better for their folkish quiet passages and spoken word vocals. Frankly, Fires Within Fires has everything you could wish for from Neurosis; great big lumbering riffs that rumble like shifting tectonic plates, pained vocals and a raw as fuck production from Steve Albini that only adds to the dense, claustrophobic feeling of the music.
Anyone with a functioning set of eyes and ears knows that our world is a pretty fucked up place at the moment and with Fires Within Fires, Neurosis have released the perfect album for the times we live in. Like their previous albums, this is not an easy or particularly pleasant listening experience and it is as emotionally weighty as it is musically heavy. So, the only fitting response is to let the music wash over you, oozing through your pores and cleansing you of the filth that emanates from the world we inhabit. Dark, delirious and painfully true. 10/10