Grace

Tribes of Neurot, 1999

I've probably said it before, but I sort of backed very slowly into metal music. Growing up in the 80s, I was decidedly in the new wave camp (especially jangle pop). If we're honest, even if metal was popular at the time, history hasn't been especially kind to that decade. Hair metal may be a staple of karaoke bars now, but that's a small consolation wrapped in an ironic biscuit. It wasn't until the new millennium, when underground, experimental forms of metal started to gain traction that it seeped into my listening sphere. Early in that seepage, oozed Neurosis.

Not so much Neurosis as Tribes of Neurot—their experimental alter ego. Neurot's guitar-based drones were a fitting extension to my extant appreciation of isolationist ambient music. Being who I am, I did check out the work from their day job, but Neurosis' music carries more weight (for me) because of the Tribes of Neurot experiments.

Grace was meant as a companion to Times of Grace by Neurosis—the two to be played simultaneously. Thankfully, both records work plenty well on their own, as I've always hated that gimmick. In my opinion, it expects too much of the listener, and surprisingly, it's an idea that just won't die. Regardless, Grace, on it's own, is interesting—for an ambient album, it's drama is downright gothic.