Neurosis were, and still are, pretty special. After forming in California in 1985, they developed their hardcore sound into a deeply claustrophobic, unnerving form of metal that would prove a huge influence on much of this decade’s drone and ‘post-metal’ bands, such as SunnO))), Isis and Pelican. They also recorded with Swans vocalist Jane Jarboe.
Times of Grace marks the end of the band’s nineties run that made them so seminal (1993’s Enemy of the Sun and 1996’s Through Silver in Blood are of particular merit), and is the first album Neurosis recorded with Chicago producer Steve Albini, a relationship they maintain today. It was designed to be played at the same time as Grace, an ambient album by Tribes of Neurot (a side project of Neurosis that features the band plus various session musicians).
Originally released on Relapse Records like most of Neurosis’ nineties output, this reissue represents the first time the Times of Grace / Grace set has been released as one, and is available on Neurosis’ own label, Neurot.
Also out on Neurot this week is Strange Keys to Untune God’s Firmament, the new album by Skullflower, the main project of UK guitar violence touchstone Matthew Bower. Packaged as a tasty double-CD, it’s limited – as is most of Bower’s work – to 300 copies for Europe.