Friday, July 14, 2017

CD Review: NEUROSIS The Word As Law (Reissue)

The Word As Law (Reissue)
Neurot Recordings
To be released August 25, 2017
In the latter 80s/early 90s Neurosis was one of the first bands to emerge from the Bay Area, California punk scene with Operation Ivy, Screeching Weasel and Green Day. And among the first bands to take the crossover pioneered by Crumbsukers, Ludichrist, Cryptic Slaughter and D.R.I. further, discovering new ways to arrange punk, hardcore, pre-alternative and metal into what is called progressive ambient tribal post-hardcore sludge metal. Sometimes classifications tend to be overdone and pretentious, other times it fits what the band evolved into and their resulting impact on music. When the band released their debut Pain Of Mind in 1988 nobody would have suspected they would have grown as radically as they did in the 90s and stuck it out from 2000 all the way to the present. In 1990 and 1991 underground music was changing everywhere, and The Word As Law began their transition. It was a slow process but paid off in the long run as taking their time ensured it would be an honest process. I missed their second full length The Word As Law in 1990 (though I did get to hear Through Silver In Blood in 1996), and again it’s a privilege to hear this underground milestone before its late summer release. To this day it has remained popular on a cult level and in August we get to experience musical history in the making. Rather than adding bonus tracks Neurosis will re-release the album with its original track list, remastered by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering. The cover art of The Word As Law has been revamped by Josh Graham, the band’s former live visual architect. For those who haven’t heard it, the cover art symbolizes the potency of these songs. Double Edged Sword starts on an isolated note, suddenly exploding into hardcore-based guitar progressions swelling with energy and production likened to 80s thrash. Said production clarifies the breakdowns and innovative songwriting with equal effectiveness, The bass guitars (Dave Edwardson) play a major part in steering The Choice, Obsequious Obsolescence, To What End?, Tomorrow’s Reality, Common Inconsistencies and Insensitivity while following the inventive guitars of those songs (Scott Kelly, Steve Von Till). This album and those that followed establish Neurosis as a success story in terms of rewriting the rulebook and proving other bands can do the same and establish their own identity. -Dave Wolff

Track listing:
1. Double Edged Sword
2. The Choice
3. Obsequious Obsolescence
4. To What End?
5. Tomorrow's Reality
6. Common Inconsistencies
7. Insensitivity
8. Blisters

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