Sound — 8
The Titans of Atmospheric, Post-metal sludge return with their 10th studio album. This is Neurosis, perhaps not as aggressive and heavy as they used to be in albums like "Through Silver In Blood" and "Times Of Grace", but Mature, even more introspective, and probably and maybe a little easier to listen to than they've been in awhile. The sound of this album is all at once dark, triumphant, hopeful, and despairing. The third track, "My Heart For Deliverance" is a good example of the general sound and layers of different emotions this album presents. The guitars in this album are important, but are not the main focal point to any of these songs. They tend to work like the keyboards in many of the previous Neurosis albums, another servant of the song. There are no real heavy riffs that somebody could easily identify and pickout, but that doesn't matter to Neurosis. Neurosis have always been about their overall sound, emotional atmosphere, and intensity, and they manage their priorities quite well as usual.
Lyrics — 9
Neurosis have always made albums that are large cohesive pieces of work, you could call them concept albums, but they aren't really telling a direct story. They usually have some over arching feeling or mentality that drives the album and links all the songs. To me, this album deals with anger, issues and disenchantment with society and the world, and adapting to and accepting growing old. Weighty subjects par for the course, but what else do you expect from some of metal's oldest, angriest, and most intellectual veterans. Steve Von Till and Scott Kelly lead the vocal assault with experience and confidence on this album. The poetic, almost sung, clean verses by Von Till are impeccable. His low hum of a voice breathing out, "This is no soil to forgive, The blaze of a helios sky, Rage will blossom into iron; Blind as a worm in the earth" from "At The Well". One of the strongest tracks on the album, with the chant, reminiscent of "Under The Surface" from "Times Of Grace", "In a shadow world, In a shadow world, In a shadow world," as well as "Blood makes no excuse," the kind of great line that you love as well as expect from Neurosis. We all rage in gold is another strong track with it's chugging guitar section and persistently urgent vocals. "My always wanting watchers, They laugh and slash at my mind, The deafening redeemer, Lays me down and feeds me time. Death was my first companion, It showed me life and it snuffed it out, The vision never ending, Of the ghosts through and out."
Overall Impression — 8
"Honor Found In Decay" is definitely one of Neurosis' strongest albums, if I had to make a list from best to worst it would be "Times Of Grace", "Through Silver In Blood", "A Sun That Never Sets", then "Honor Found In Decay". This album is the heaviest Neurosis has made in years, but it isn't another "Silver In Blood" by far, and I doubt Neurosis will ever make an album as emotionally intense and devastating as "Silver In Blood". I've seen interviews where they said that mentally staying in that kind of place and mindset while making the album was beginning to take a toll on them and was not a healthy experience. This album is strong in it's own way, with standout tracks including "At The Well", "We All Rage In Gold", "My Heart For Deliverance", and "Casting Of The Ages". There isn't really a track I don't like on the album. Again I think that the order of songs could be changed, with "At The Well" or "Casting Of The Ages" last, but Neurosis probably have a reason for their song ordering I just don't know about. Anyway great album and one of Neurosis' best contributions of the last few years.