A Storm Of Light | ‘Forgive Us Our Trespasses’
The Neurot label keeps on producing the goods. Just seeing who’s involved in A Storm Of Light should mean you’ve bought it without even hearing the music: Josh Graham, Neurosis’ visual artist and ex-Red Sparowes main man; Domenic Seita of Tombs; Vinny Signorelli of Swans and latterly Unsane and Pete Angevine of Santized. It couldn’t be much other than brilliant.
The post Neurosis hangover is immediately evident from the monstrous ‘Tempest’. A collossal track in every regard, it conjures every image the band are putting forward even better than their artwork. Its wailing siren style guitar screams dystopia immediately, while the vocal roar is both primal and infectious. Just getting immersed in it gives you pictures of millions fleeing some doomed city.
Before that though is ‘Amber Waves Of Gray’, a stomping cut with a surprise keyboard backing. Perhaps the bands New York base has provided a subtle influence here, as there is the tiniest nod to Type o Negative’s Josh Silver and his signature tone. He isn’t in the thanks list, but he’s certainly there in spirit.
Other figures lending a hand are the inevitable Jarboe and the much missed Lydia Lunch. It’s less the people though than the quality of the music. Every track on this album is worthy, with the best being gigantic monuments of grinding, slothful metal. If you enjoyed Battle Of Mice you’ll love this, even if there’s a bit less dynamism, and the same goes for Made Out Of Babies.
Life after Neurosis has been pretty hit and miss for its protagonists. It’s refreshing to hear something that is totally rooted in the band’s sound and aesthetic while moving it on substantially. From the ambient tracks here to the (again inevitable) inclusion of the Sparowe’s Americana via banjo – and even a little ‘Spiritchaser’ era Dead Can Dance (‘The Light In Their Eyes’), it’s a fantastically open album that at the same time is utterly punishing at it’s most focused moments. It demands to be spun again and again, both for its accessibility and its slow burn.
4.6 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 20/09/09