10. The Word As Law (1990)
The Neurosis of The Word As Law looks more familiar, at least on paper. Steve Von Till makes his Neurosis debut here, and the goofy nicknames go the way of the dodo.
More of Neurosis's signature tropes make their first appearances on The Word As Law. It features their first two 6-minutes-plus sprawlers in "To What End?" and album standout "Blisters," the latter of which serves as a prototype for the lengthy tunes that would populate Souls At Zero two years later. The band shows some maturity, managing tighter performances and heftier rhythms than before. A broader variety of guitar tones add some colorful textures to the grimy substratum.
Ultimately, though, The Word As Law is a second run at the relatively conservative hardcore that comprised Pain Of Mind. It's an improvement upon its predecessor, but in hindsight, the shadow of the band's later work still looms large over it.
My favorite photograph of Neurosis is the one posted on their Wikipedia entry. It’s a grainy shot of the band performing in Seattle in 2008. You can make out the band members, but only just. The blue-white eclipse projected on the wall behind them washes out their features.
It’s a great picture, despite… More »
Tomorrow, Bay Area slow-build metal gods Neurosis will release their bleak, apocalyptic new album Honor Found In Decay, their first full-length since 2007’s Given To The Rising. We’ve already posted opening track “We All Rage In Gold,” and now you no longer have to accept my word that the rest of the album fucking rules. More »
Every new Neurosis release is cause for celebration; over the last quarter-century, the band has built one of the strongest catalogs in heavy music and, really, changed the course of metal, slowing it down to the cadence of an underwater war march, adding elements of goth, industrial, and post-punk. There aren’t many bands that ca… More »
Slow-churning Bay Area metal folk heroes Neurosis haven’t released an album since 2007’s great Given To The Rising, and they’ll finally make their grand return this fall with a new one called Honor Found In Decay. If you’re already a part of their cult, that’s awesome news. If you’re not, allow me to direct your… More »
Infamously cantankerous studio rat/national treasure Steve Albini doesn’t like to be called a record producer. He prefers the term “recording engineer.” That’s a dry, clinical term for what Albini actually does, but it makes sense that he’d prefer to be seen that way. Over the past few decades, Albini has overseen the creation of countle… More »
Georgia metal demigods Mastodon have already shared “Black Tongue” and “Curl Of The Burl,” two tracks from their new album The Hunter, and now they’ve dropped another one via kaleidoscopic YouTube video. The song is called “Spectrelight,” and it’s closer to the mercilessly stomping Mastodon of the Leviathan era than those other two songs are. More »
Resident Neurosis visual artist (and ex-Red Sparowes guitarist/Battle Of Mice multi-tasker) Josh Graham & his revolving cast of players are releasing the third A Storm Of Light album next month: The rock-oriented (but still vast) As We Become The Valley of Death, Our Silver Dreams Fade follows 2009’s Forgive Us Our Trespasses. (Instead of doing… More »
Crack The Skye’s clearly the least immediate release in Mastodon’s oeuvre. Which isn’t to say it’s bad. It just takes a few more close listenings (and, as you’ll soon discover, an acceptance of their increased progginess). Instead of the raw crustiness you found, even amid the most ambitious arcs of Remission, Leviathan, and Blood Mountain,… More »