Released: 2000, Neurot Recordings
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
I never thought I’d be actually listening to an entire Neurosis disc. These guys have been around for years, and every once in a while I come across a track of theirs, listen, and reaffirm the fact that I don’t like them. I really can’t even remember what their older material sounds like. But this new miniCD is pretty strange to say the least. Only four songs appear on Sovereign, yet the disc clocks in at almost 33 minutes. Long songs…damn long songs strengthen and prolong the agonizing, ambient, and extremely melancholic atmosphere that Neurosis presents. This disc is fucking heavy, being a combination of dense, detuned, sludgy, drowning-in-a-tar-pit guitars and passages of sheer emotional intensity free of guitars. A deeply loud bass guitar, noise, percussion, and straining, tortured vocals are woven throughout to add to the weight of this CD. At times, I am reminded of the band’s other project Tribes of Neurot, which I actually do remember. And this disc has a great sound to it. But there’s really not much going on in the songs to warrant their lengths. No, Neurosis just sticks to a few different elements in each song, stretching them until you feel a need to hit the forward-track button. I do think that what this band does is unique, original, intense, and even worthy of praise if you’re into this kind of dark, frightening melancholy. But I’m not.
Sovereign is an enhanced disc featuring some strange and pointless graphics and video images that would be entertaining if made into a video for a song, but I can’t see anyone wanting to view this stuff more than once. And by linking to the band’s web site (neurosis.com) through this enhanced portion, you can have access to download four exclusive tracks. Neurot Recordings’ site can be found here: http://www.neurotrecordings.com