5. A Sun That Never Sets (2001)
Sometimes the calm comes after the storm. During Neurosis's '90s road-warrior days, Scott Kelly would listen to the country and folk albums he grew up with as he fell asleep in the tour van. Those deep-seated Americana influences finally broke into Neurosis's sound on A Sun That Never Sets.
Next to the seismic one-two punch of Through Silver In Blood and Times of Grace, this disc sounds positively airy. Steve Albini's production peels off much of the doomy heft of the preceding efforts, leaving desiccated bones. The sparser tones create room for Kelly and Steve Von Till's considerable songwriting chops, emphasis on the song; their rough-hewn singing drives album highlights like "The Tide," "Stones from the Sky," and the hair-raising three-man vocal round that concludes "Falling Unknown."
A Sun That Never Sets is a transitional album in the sense that it hangs between the density of Times Of Grace and the austerity of The Eye Of Every Storm. Still, its soulful songwriting and towering crescendos make it one of the most memorable metal records of the aughts.