2. Through Silver In Blood (1996)
If Neurosis developed into a great band on Enemy Of The Sun, they developed into an absolute juggernaut on Through Silver In Blood. Though Given To The Rising is more metal and Souls At Zero was more inventive, TSIB is the darkest and most frightening Neurosis album, which makes it one of the scariest metal albums ever.
Music of all sorts sounds creepier when played slower and lower. Neurosis takes full advantage of this fact on TSIB. It's like a chopped-and-screwed version of Enemy Of The Sun — the same components are filtered through drop-A tuning and crawling tempos. (Scott Kelly has a neck tattoo of the Black Flag bars with the legend "MY WAR SIDE II"; that influence becomes obvious for the first time here.) Riffs that would've been merely bruising on Enemy balloon into grueling tectonic shifts. Noah Landis delivers his first Neurosis performance here, and it's a doozy. He expands McIlroy's textures/samples role dramatically, piling layers of filth onto even the album's riffiest moments.
It's TSIB's unforgettable songwriting that seals the deal, not the aesthetic. These songs are by turns sinister (the title track, "Enclosure In Flame"), heart-rending ("Strength Of Fates," "Aeon"), and triumphant ("Purify"). "Locust Star," which Kelly tossed off backstage while on tour one night, might be Neurosis's single most efficient and affecting tune.