Neurosis – Sovereign EP

By Gruesome Greg

Neurosis has been reissuing a lot of their older material of late (see the Souls At Zero review from a little while back). And while this four-song EP, the first to be released on Neurot back in 2000, doesn’t have the historical significance of prior reissues, it’s certainly worthy of a second lease on life, considering that the title track never appeared on any subsequent release.

“Prayer” starts off slowly, a soft guitar behind Scott Kelly’s rough voice, gradually adding some pounding drums and aggressive screams, before all fades away into the lone melodic, minimalistic, eerie, evil-sounding riff. “An Offering” is another slow one, although it features the first crushing doom riff on the album, anchoring an extended instrumental passage a couple minutes in—and returning in a slightly faster pace later on.

Three of the four songs on here (a fifth tune, “Misgiven,” has been added to the reissue) approach or exceed the seven-minute mark. “Flood” is the lone exception, a four-minute instrumental anchored by some hard-hitting drum work. It’s sort of a transitional piece, leading into the 13-minute title track, a melodic sludge opus of epic proportions.

This is how you place a 13-minute-long song on an EP kids. Set the tone, build up to it—then deliver something so intense that you gotta name the record after it! Some newer bands could learn a thing or two from Neurosis, methinks.

(Neurot)

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.