Mandatory Metal: 5 Essential Neurosis Songs

Heavy music is full of legendary bands boasting deep catalogs stacked with iconic songs — sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, or what to consider their best. With that in mind, we present the “Mandatory Metal” lists, which collect what we consider to be the definitive tracks from various members of the metallurgic pantheon. Up today, Neurosis, those cataclysmic post-metal titans, who have blown minds and pushed sonic boundaries with transcendent albums like Through Silver in Blood and Times of Grace. Neurosis are still going strong and have amassed a catalog packed with must-hear epics, but in our opinion, these classic cuts are their most essential. If you disagree, sound off on The Pit Facebook page.

“LOST”
ALBUM: ENEMY OF THE SUN

Eerie and crawling at first, Enemy of the Sun’s opening cut ultimately explodes into a furious onslaught, part hardcore, part industrial, part metal, part tribal exorcism.
Sample lyrics: “Running scared from their thought/Thinking I can summon some ancient truth before wrong/Seeking my nature, our nature with fear of being caught/Or have we been like this all along.”

“LOCUST STAR”
ALBUM: THROUGH SILVER IN BLOOD

Neurosis’ best known song, the ferociously heavy, subtly hooky “Locust Star” is the closest thing they’ve come to writing “a hit.”
Sample lyrics: “You’ll starve/Bright star in the/Dripping sun/Writhe on, saints.”

“EYE”
ALBUM: THROUGH SILVER IN BLOOD

At just a little over five minutes long, “Eye” is positively concise by Neurosis standards. But they pack plenty of punch into this barreling Through Silver in Blood standout.
Sample lyrics: “Struggle of the/Will for soul to/Defeat the flight/Song of broken wings.”

“UNDER THE SURFACE”
ALBUM: TIMES OF GRACE

On Times of Grace, Neurosis truly came into their own, melding their already established brute force with a more mature, Tom Waitsian lyricism.
Sample lyrics: “Your river’s flow is damned all to hell.”

“TO THE WIND”
ALBUM: GIVEN TO THE RISING

Intense is the only word that comes close to capturing this 2007 masterpiece — especially it’s climax, which sees singer-guitarist Scott Kelly roaring the title phrase and holding the closing word for a seemingly inhuman 29 seconds!
Sample lyrics: “I saw God in death through you/Most things we’ll never know.”