Neurosis - The Observatory - December 28, 2013
Alex Distefano Neurosis
Oakland based psychedelic stoner doom metal pioneers Neurosis played one of the final shows of 2013 on Saturday night to a packed house at the Observatory in Santa Ana. Hundreds of diehard followers of this cult band shared mysticism and rage with guitarists and vocalists Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till, drummer Jason Roeder, bassist Dave Edwardson, and Keyboardist/samples Noah Landis.
Frighteningly loud but full of noises and vibrant electrical buzzing sounds and textures, Neurosis initially formed in 1985, as a crust punk band, but evolved to their current genre defying music, which includes heavy doses of abstract noise, folk, experimental doom metal and progressive, boggling minds, exploding ear drums, and pleasing fans into extreme, loud dark, and powerful avant grade music.
The band came out at 11:00 p.m. sharp and played for well over 90 minutes, which filled the room with a dense musical fog of slow sludgy buzzing metal riffs, with very eerie and atmospheric samples and organs underneath enormous guitar riffs, heavy percussion, and layers of sound built by drum and bass and out of this world sounding noise.
Fans stood and rejoiced in the heavy, headbanging ritual that Neurosis brought to Santa Ana. For some of the heavier songs, in the pit, a few tried to slam dance with minimal success, but all in good spirit. The force of the band's energy was palpable in the air and each slow, painfully grinding, yet eloquently structured song was felt in the chest, literally and the very dense echoes left a lasting impression on the ears and psyche. Though they're known for using intense visuals in the past, for this tour, all of that was stripped away. The band's deep spatial and sonic sound spoke for itself and each song could have been a hallucination in itself. The band's set bled through for most of its epic songs with distortions, ambient sound waves and machine like patterns filled the air.
Most of the crowd stood stoically, looking confused, exhausted or stoned, or all possibly three. Neurosis is not just an average doom metal band. They are the quintessential band that not only reinvented traditional doom metal but also influenced tons of slower experimental punk, metal and even noise, industrial and electronic acts including.
They are considered to be at the forefront of all post metal doom bands, including sub genres of 'noise core' and are cited as influences to everyone ranging from Fear Factory to Introunat and tons more. This is such an epic band that when finished , it is done, there is no need for an encore.
The band's set list is as follows:
1. A Sun That Never Sets
2. A Locust Star
3.We All Rage In Gold
4.From the Hill
6.Water is Not Enough
7.My Heart For Deliverance
8.Bleeding the Pigs
5.Stones From the Sky
The review for Blast, YOB and Helen Money below