Friday, March 11, 2011

Neurosis - "Souls At Zero (Reissue)" (2011) [Neurot Recordings]

Few and far between is the band who comes along to change the way music is made and thought of forever. Neurosis is most definitely one of those bands; through a tireless DIY work ethic and soul searing introspective way of writing (and thinking), they are undoubtedly one of the world's most top-tier musical projects. Whether you agree or not, Neurosis is one of (if not the) most important extreme artists to emerge in the last 30 years. Souls At Zero was their first foray into the trademark musical path that they are now so well-known for. Eschewing the more hardcore punk/crust stylings of their previous releases, SaZ found the band adding more psychedelic, restrained and contemplative musical excursions. 

A mind-warping musical explosion is what you shall behold. Wild yells, enveloping rhythms, catchy but heavy melodies and pure, unadultered honesty is abound on SaZ. While not completely abandoning their roots (there is quite a few manic, aggressive moments on the album) their introduction of clean guitars, odd samples, slowed down rhythms, experimental instrumentation (keyboards and cello anyone?) laid the ground work for many musical artists of the future. Undoubtedly, the post-metal and experimental metal genres can be inextricably linked to Neurosis. While SaZ is not as refined and percise as many of their future works, it shows a young band full of energy for one singular thing; to create art unhinged to anything in particular. This album moves and flows to many places that were mainly unexplored by many metal artists (and yes, this is metal - much like Neurosis in general). Even ideologically Neurosis began to touch on things in a different light; heathen spirituality, personal development and life in general. All things that would continually be built upon in the future.

This is the cornerstone album for Neurosis; everything before SaZ built up to it and everything after continued to build upon it. Slowly refining and shaping what they would come to be known for in the music world. If you want to see the less refined (but no less brilliant) beginning of what Neurosis came to be, SaZ is the exact place to start. A masterpiece of musical art that no artist before or after can ever come close to replicating (or topping). Words cannot express the brilliance that is Neurosis. If you have never heard this album, immediately stop reading this, go buy the new re-issue and be prepared to have the way you think and/or listen to music changed forever.


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