Times of Grace (album)

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Times of Grace
TimesOfGrace.jpeg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 4, 1999
RecordedOctober−November 1998[1]
StudioElectrical Audio in Chicago and Mr. Toad's in San Francisco
Genre
Length66:07
LabelRelapse
Producer
Neurosis chronology
Through Silver in Blood
(1996)
Times of Grace
(1999)
Sovereign
(2000)
Reissue artwork
Neurosis times of grace reissue.jpg

Times of Grace is the sixth studio album by Californian band Neurosis, released on May 4, 1999. It continued the band's development of the post-metal genre and demonstrates gothic rock and progressive rock influences.[6] This album and Grace, an ambient companion by the band's alter-ego Tribes of Neurot, are designed to play alongside each other.[7] Times of Grace marked the beginning of the band's ongoing working relationship with recording engineer Steve Albini.

Background and composition[edit]

In 1996, Neurosis released Through Silver in Blood to critical and popular acclaim. Following extensive touring, the band returned to the studio in October 1998 to begin Times of Grace.[1] As the band's debut release featuring the production of Steve Albini, who would become a regular Neurosis collaborator, Times of Grace has been called "the first album where Neurosis started to sound like Neurosis."[5] Numerous publications praised Albini's work on the album, highlighting the weight and immersion of the production.[4][8] The album has a natural and unrefined sound, and Albini's work both preserved and accentuated that organic quality.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[9]
The A.V. Clubfavorable[10]
BBC Musicfavorable[2]
NME7/10[11]

Times of Grace received positive reviews. AllMusic writer Eduardo Rivadavia praised the album, saying, "With time and patience, Times of Grace may prove one of the group's most satisfying works for long-time converts, but it will most likely seem too exhausting to the uninitiated."[9] Writing for The A.V. Club, Joshua Klein highlighted the use of Steve Albini as the album's strongest feature, lauding the production and sound quality.[10] Greg Moffitt of the BBC wrote, "Replete with heaviness every bit as devastating as its belligerent brother, this album’s effortless ebb and flow and kaleidoscopic spectrum of eerie tones lend it a dazzling, cinematic quality."[2] Stereogum ranked Times of Grace as Neurosis's best album, calling it "very, very heavy."[12]

Accolades[edit]

Year Publication Country Accolade Rank
2012 Stereogum United States "The Top 20 Steve Albini-Produced Albums" 10 [4]
2018 Loudwire United States "The Best Metal Album from 40 Subgenres" * [3]
"*" denotes an unordered list.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Suspended in Light"1:59
2."The Doorway"7:35
3."Under the Surface"8:37
4."The Last You'll Know"9:14
5."Belief"5:56
6."Exist"1:41
7."End of the Harvest"7:29
8."Descent"2:57
9."Away"9:35
10."Times of Grace"7:22
11."The Road to Sovereignty"3:39
Total length:66:07

Personnel[edit]

Neurosis

Additional musicians

  • John Goff − bagpipes
  • Jackie Gratz − cello
  • Jon Birdsong − cornet, tuba
  • Wendy-O Matik − narrator
  • Johannes Mager − trombone
  • Kris Force − viola, violin

Grace[edit]

Grace
CD cover of Grace (1999).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 13, 1999
Studio
  • Neurot Mobile
  • Seismic Seance in San Francisco (mixing and mastering)
Genre
Length66:07
Label
Producer
Tribes of Neurot chronology
Static Migration
(1998)
Grace
(1999)
Adaptation and Survival
(2002)
LP artwork
Vinly cover of Grace (1999).jpg

Grace is the third studio album by Californian dark ambient band Tribes of Neurot, a side project of Neurosis. Created at the same time as Times of Grace by the same people, the two albums are overlapping companions meant to be played simultaneously.[10] In 2009, Neurot Recordings released Times of Grace and Grace as one 2xCD package.[1]

Background and composition[edit]

From its inception, Grace was intended to be played alongside the 1999 Neurosis album Times of Grace. About this simultaneity, the band wrote:

"This recording by Tribes of Neurot is the companion disc to the Neurosis Times of Grace CD. Grace is sonically designed to be played simultaneously with the Neurosis disc. Alone, it possesses the same dynamic flow, fundamental texture and emotional impact as Times of Grace. Played together, these recordings create a unique multi-dimensional sound experience."[13][7]

Grace is composed mainly of sounds from Times of Grace that have been manipulated and distorted to preserve the original's tone while offering a new, more ambient take. The album features sound effects and samples of dialogue placed in such a way that they interact with key moments from Times of Grace. The band encourages listeneres to "experiment with different sources, different spaces, different speaker placement, and different volume relationships to bring an added dimension of life and spontaneity to the standard of passive stereo listening."[14] Unlike Times of Grace, Grace was a largely solo endeavor for the band, receiving no production assistance from Steve Albini.

Some publications drew comparison between Grace and Zaireeka by The Flaming Lips,[15][16] although another Tribes of Neurot album, Cairn, is much closer.[17]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[15]

Grace received mostly positive reviews, with some publications saying it can even be listened to by itself. AllMusic writer Steve Huey wrote, "It functions better as background music than as intense listening; for full attention, it's better combined with Times of Grace. Taking the two together underlines the ambition of the project more effectively, and it's a more active and interesting experience."[15] Writing for the BBC, Greg Moffitt said, "Grace itself makes for interesting if uneasy listening; together, the effect can be mind-blowing. It’s a journey that leaves the listener drained."[2]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Untitled"1:59
2."Untitled"7:35
3."Untitled"8:37
4."Untitled"9:14
5."Untitled"5:56
6."Untitled"1:41
7."Untitled"7:29
8."Untitled"2:57
9."Untitled"9:35
10."Untitled"7:22
11."Untitled"3:39
Total length:66:07

Note

  • Original physical releases of Grace left the tracks untitled, but the digital reissue provides the word "Grace" followed by a number and the title of the corresponding song from Times of Grace. For example, track 8 is called "Grace 8 (Descent)".[14]

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Times of Grace / Grace (CD liner notes). Neurosis / Tribes of Neurot. Neurot Recordings. 2009. NR 063. Retrieved July 7, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. ^ a b c d Moffitt, Greg (January 18, 2010). "Review of Neurosis − Times of Grace". BBC Music. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "The Best Metal Album from 40 Subgenres". Loudwire. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  4. ^ a b c Breihan, Tom (January 26, 2012). "The Top 20 Steve Albini-Recorded Albums". Stereogum. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c O'Hagar, Sammy (October 11, 2012). "Album of the Day: Neurosis' Times of Grace". MetalSucks. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  6. ^ Barnard, Laurent (March 26, 2015). "This Is Hardcore: Neurosis – Times Of Grace". Louder. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Times of Grace (CD liner notes). Neurosis. Relapse Records. 1999. RR 6419-2. Retrieved July 7, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "Neurosis – Times of Grace". Spirit of Metal. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Times of Grace − Neurosis". AllMusic. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  10. ^ a b c Klein, Joshua (March 29, 2012). "Neurosis: Times of Grace". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  11. ^ "Times of Grace − Neurosis". NME. April 10, 1999. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  12. ^ Moore, Doug. "Neurosis Albums from Worst to Best". Stereogum. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  13. ^ Grace (CD liner notes). Tribes of Neurot. Neurot Recordings. 1999. NR 005. Retrieved July 7, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  14. ^ a b "Grace − Tribes of Neurot" (Press release). Neurot Recordings. Retrieved 2018-07-08.
  15. ^ a b c Huey, Steve. "Tribes of Neurot − Grace". AllMusic. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  16. ^ "Tribes of Neurot biography". Neurot Recordings. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  17. ^ Cairn (CD liner notes). Tribes of Neurot. Neurot Recordings. 2002. Nr Ltd 001. Retrieved July 7, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)

Further listening[edit]