Long-running Oakland, California-based industrial/alternative/metal pioneers NEUROSIS release their eleventh full-length album, "Fires Within Fires", on September 23 via the band's own Neurot Recordings. The follow-up to 2012's "Honor Found In Decay" was recorded at Electrical Audio Studio with producer Steve Albini. In true Ouroborean style, "Fires Within Fires" gives due to its predecessors while progressing forward into the unfamiliar and formidable. Striking the band's signature balance between light and dark, beauty and repulsion, dense sonic heaviness and reflective space. "Fires Within Fires" is succinct, raw and deeply soulful, an all-encompassing reminder to all that transfiguration in sound remains their most commanding and inimitable strength.
For 27 years, the members of Neurosis have demonstrated what metal can be and what it can aspire to: transcendent, cathartic, graceful, innovative. Like the best films, Neurosis' albums are thoughtful and sometimes sublime escapes, navigating pain and salvation through Steve Von Till and Scott Kelly's words, as well as a dense atmosphere of distortion and noise. In the past decade, more deliberately paced and folkloric passages have made their way into Neurosis' sound, too.Honor Found in Decay is the 10th album from the band, which was once based in the Bay Area and is now scattered across the U.S. The new record finds inventive ways to sound heavy: Elements will be familiar to fans of the band's last album (2007's Given to the Rising), but here the scope is blown wide open. The effect is akin to grasping the enormousness of the endless prairie in Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven, and "At the Well" captures it perfectly
With the exception of one song left off due to lack of space, this single CD reissues the music from two LPs featuring Chucho Valdes in Cuba. 1972's Jazz Bata, the first five selections, features the great pianist in a rhythm section with bassist Carlos del Puerto and Oscar Valdes on congas. The originals, which are straight-ahead jazz that utilizes Cuban polyrhythms, show off Valdes' wondrous technique well, and include one song named after Valdes' famous group "Irakere." While "Laureen" is an emotional out-of-tempo ballad, some of the other songs find the pianist making a great deal out of very little including the lengthy vamp piece "Son No. 2." He never seems to run out of ideas. The final five selections are from 1982 and have Valdйs leading a five-piece rhythm section plus guest German Velasco.
"Irakere is Cuba's, and in my opinion, the world's greatest and most influential Afro-Cuban Jazz band ever. There is no better setting to hear this incredible group than a live setting. This CD was recorded live in 1991 at London's famed Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. Although many obviously feel that the original version of Irakere, which included Arturo Sandoval and Paquito D'Rivera along with Chucho Valdes, is the best incarnation of the group, there is no denying the incredible power and virtuoso musicianship of this incarnation of the group from the late 80's-early 90's which included Orlando "Maraca" Valle on flute, Miguel "Anga" Diaz on congas and percussion, Cesar Lopez on sax, and Juan Munguia on trumpet.