Friday Full-Length: Neurosis, The Eye of Every Storm

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

 

So much soul. I have a theory about NeurosisThe Eye of Every Storm — or at very least a kind of fantasy incarnation. It’s basically every song on the album redone by Nina Simone. It would work. Absolutely, not a doubt in my mind, it would work. Think of the arrangements. Think of lines like, “I came to a pile of ashes and sifted through it looking for teeth,” and “So I crawl through the hailstones/My eyes fixed on my return.” It would be amazing, and it would totally, totally work. There is so much soul in this record.

The Eye of Every Storm was released in 2004 as the eighth Neurosis full-length, and it remains a forward-thinking entity unto itself. At that point, the Oakland-based outfit had already blazed a trail through what would continue to become post-metal largely in their wake, records like 1993’s Enemy of the Sun and 1996’s Through Silver in Blood solidifying the progression and approach of 1992’s third outing and pivot away from their hardcore punk beginnings, Souls at Zero (reissue review here), first began. Each of those was crucial in its way, and I’d say the same of 1999’s Times of Grace, but The Eye of Every Storm followed the genre-defining 2001 offering, A Sun That Never Sets (discussed here), and managed to push even beyond that collection’s scope. Comprised of eight tracks for a mammoth and immersive 68-minute runtime, it also was the first pure Neurosis full-length through their own label, Neurot Recordings, though they’d done the two Official Bootleg releases, the Short Wave Warfare live album, and — most relevant — the 2003 collaboration Neurosis & Jarboe, through the imprint as well.

If one looks at Neurosis‘ career as a narrative arc, each album seems to step beyond the last in one direction and/or another. 1990’s The Word as Law built on their 1988 debut, Pain of Mind; Enemy of the Sun built on Souls at Zero, etc. Fine. In that regard, The Eye of Every Storm is another step outward on the part of Neurosis from any sort of delineation of who they “should be.” It was a record that droned as much as it raged, that delivered itself with a patience that even three years earlier was unobtainable, and from the crashing samples Noah Landis brought to opener “Burn,” it was a release of such nuance and sonic detail that 14 years later, one can still listen to it twice and hear something difference each time. Atmosphere of course always played a role in their work, but it was the first time Neurosis were able to make ambience as heavy as the crushing, churning rhythms and tonality that remain a hallmark of their sound.

Following the memorable push of “Burn” and the sweep of “No River to Take Me Home,” the title-track’s near-12-minute reach unfolds a spacious beginning and drops to minimalist bass swells and neurosis the eye of every stormsynth as a bed to execute a build so subtle that one doesn’t even realize what’s happening until it’s already happened. It’s plenty heavy by the finish, but not raging, and though the subsequent “Left to Wander” starts out somewhat manic, after its first minute, it drops to a vast soundscape populated by sparse guitar and a whispered verse. Trades between loud and quiet spaces are common enough in Neurosis‘ style, and certainly in the styles of many of those who’ve taken influence from them, but The Eye of Every Storm smooths the transitions between them to be no more stark than precisely how the band intends: “Left to Wander” lurches to life in its chorus twice before the song hits its halfway point and turns to one of the album’s most outwardly heavy instrumental progressions, marked by tense, rubber-band-about-to-snap-except-it’s-an-arm-tendon toms from drummer Jason Roeder and a wash of guitar noise from Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till as Landis on keys and Dave Edwardson on bass seem to hold the proceedings together before the track devolves into a wash ahead of the instrumental “Shelter,” something of a five-minute interlude that nonetheless proves hypnotic early before arriving at a heavier shove in its second half.

I refuse to discount either “Bridges” or “I Can See You” at the end of the album. Particularly the latter is an epilogue that’s essential to the atmospheric impression The Eye of Every Storm leaves behind when it’s over. But for me, the crux has always been in “A Season in the Sky.” As much a narrative poem as it is a song, it begins with, “I had a vision last night…” and from there elucidates a desolation that is nothing short of consuming. The vocals, atop quiet guitar at first, later cutting through undulating riffs, lead initially to a weeping guitar lead that’s the perfect complement to — and here we are — the bare soul on display throughout. The soul. Neurosis are so often misread as cerebral, and while I’ll argue their progression is conscious — I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe a band who’s spent more than 30 years breaking stylistic ground doesn’t also put thought into it — “A Season in the Sky” is so overwhelming precisely because it is a work of raw heart. Every turn is affecting. Every boom of Edwardson‘s bass in its bridge, every in-pocket turn of its groove. It’s all gorgeously arranged and balanced, but it’s all so natural at the same time, and it captures instrumentally the seeking that’s happening in the lyrics in a way that is no less resonant today than when it was released. It’s everything the apex of The Eye of Every Storm should be.

And yes, the stark contrasts of loud and quiet in “Bridges” are a highlight unto themselves — it’s as far as Neurosis go into either on the album — and “I Can See You” ends with a graceful transition between acoustic guitar and a final statement of heft, but I’d argue both still remain informed by the methodical execution of “A Season in the Sky,” as does the rest of The Eye of Every Storm when taken in full.

It doesn’t seem like it now, but it was a long three years before Neurosis returned to issue Given to the Rising in 2007, and by the time they did, they found themselves following a different impulse — still deeply atmospheric, but more intense. I liken it to the album art: grey for The Eye of Every Storm and black for its follow-up.  2012’s Honor Found in Decay (review here) pushed further along similar lines in its construction, and 2016’s Fires Within Fires (review here) saw the five-piece take a rawer approach in light of passing their prior-alluded 30th anniversary. They continue to tour, in support of that record as well as a series of vinyl reissues of earlier work, and just at the start of this month announced they’ll hit Japan with Converge early in 2019 (dates here). I haven’t heard murmurings of a new album, but it’s early yet, and I wouldn’t ahead of anyone else. Wherever they go next, I wouldn’t hazard a guess.

This is a special album to me personally and I think in general. I consider writing about it a gift to myself.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

It’s about quarter after four in the morning. In a couple hours, The Pecan, The Patient Mrs. and I will head south from Massachusetts, first to Connecticut, then to New Jersey. That Pecan turns one year old next week so we’re doing a little family celebration thing tomorrow. It’ll be good to be down there for a couple days, if a long drive to do with the baby in one day. Four or five hours in the car is a lot for him. About double his usual tolerance. We’ll see how it goes.

Need to remember to bring the baby monitor and the white noise machine. We don’t pack light these days, not that I ever did. For a dude who wears nothing but t-shirts, I certainly seem to need a lot of clothes. “What if I’m in the mood for the Slomatics shirt?” as I often am. Also the coffee grinder comes with.

That’s what’s up for the weekend. Should be good and exhausting after a week that was much the same. I had the baby straight through from about 10-5:30 yesterday on my own. He naps and stuff — so do I — but still. Youth, energy, all that. I hear teenagers sleep though, so that’s something to look forward to.

Next week is busy too. I feel like I haven’t done proper notes in a while, so here they are, subject to change blah blah:

Mon.: Bismut premiere/review; The Sonic Dawn video premiere.
Tue.: Vessel of Light review.
Wed.: When the Deadbolt Breaks video premiere.
Thu.: Iron Lamb track premiere.
Fri.: A huge piece on The Wall [Redux] with track premieres and band comments, etc.

That last thing is going to be a monster to put together, but will be awesome once it’s up. Look out for it.

The second episode of “The Obelisk Show” on Gimme Radio airs on Sunday night. Prime time, baby! I still need to do the voice tracks for it, but that’ll happen today at some point. 7PM Eastern, 4PM Pacific at http://gimmeradio.com.

And if you want to hear the first episode, you can sign up for their archive feature. It’s five bucks or something ridiculously cheap like that.

Alright. Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who’s bought a shirt thus far. I’m still hoping to get hoodies done again at some point, but if these go first, that’ll go a long way toward making that happen. So yeah, thanks. If you want one, they’re here: https://www.dropoutmerch.com/the-obelisk.

Please have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Neurosis Announce Feb. 2019 Japan Tour with Converge

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

neurosis-photo-by-stefaan-temmerman

Granted, it’s been a while by now, but I still approach Neurosis from a mindset of remembering that period where they weren’t really a touring band. It was almost 15 years ago now, after they did Ozzfest and were presumably burnt out from that as only bands on the Second Stage could’ve possibly been, and before The Eye of Every Storm came out, around the Neurosis & Jarboe record. I remember going to see them in Philly, and it was an event. They did maybe four shows that entire album cycle? Less than 10 before Given to the Rising landed. Anyway, Neurosis have been on the road again for years now — in the last 12 months, they’ve toured Europe, South America and the West Coast, and if you go back 14 months, the Northeast and Europe (again) as well. Supporting a record that’s two years old already. It still seems counterintuitive to me, but Neurosis have been touring a lot for at least the last five years or so.

Not a complaint, it just still feels kind of weird to me. I can’t think of another band who toured hard, receded and then hit the road again later. At least not a band of Neurosis‘ profile. I’m sure it’s happened, but yeah.

They continue to cover the globe with a Japanese tour in Feb. alongside apparent-buds Converge, with whom they’ve shared the stage multiple times since passing the 30-year mark in 2015.

Details and dates from the PR wire:

neurosis converge tour

NEUROSIS Announces Leave Them All Behind 2019 Tour Of Japan With Converge For February

NEUROSIS continues to book new tours around the globe supporting their acclaimed 2016-released Fires Within Fires LP. Following several major tours with Converge, the two acts team up once again, announcing their return to Japan together with the Leave Them All Behind 2019 tour.

Both NEUROSIS and Converge have a strong connection based on mutual respect and the two acts have been on double headlining tours in America and Europe every year since 2016. The co-headlining Leave Them All Behind 2019 tour sees NEUROSIS returning to Japan for only the second time in their storied career, the first time in 1999, and Converge returning for their first tour of the country in six years.

Booked and organized by Daymare Recordings with Smash, Leave Them All Behind 2019 will run from February 14th through February 17th, with shows in Osaka, Nagoya, and two performances in different sections of Tokyo. Converge will perform a special You Fail Me set at the final concert where NEUROSIS will also perform a different set from the other shows of the tour. Showcasing the current Japanese extreme underground scene, additional support on the first Tokyo show will be provided by Endon and Self Deconstruction, and the second night Palm and Black Ganion.

Advance tickets for all shows will go on sale Saturday October 27th.

NEUROSIS is also confirmed to play at Crucial Fest in Salt Lake City this weekend. Performing as the main headliner, Chelsea Wolfe, Pig Destroyer, Russian Circles, and many more will also play at the two-day event.

Watch for additional NEUROSIS tour dates to be announced in the months ahead.

NEUROSIS Tour Dates:
Leave Them All Behind 2019 w/ Converge:
2/14/2019 Trad – Osaka, JP
2/15/2019 E.L.L. – Nagoya, JP
2/16/2019 O-East – Shbuya, Tokyo, JP w/ Endon, Self Deconstruction
2/17/2019 Unit – Daikanyama, Tokyo, JP w/ Palm, Black Ganion

http://www.neurosis.com
http://www.facebook.com/officialneurosis
https://neurotrecordings.merchtable.com
http://www.twitter.com/neurosisoakland
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Neurosis, Fires Within Fires (2016)

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Neurosis Announce West Coast Tour with Converge and Amenra

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Tours like this happen because these bands like each other. You don’t think Converge are Neurosis fans? Or Amenra? Shit. Amenra are pretty much what happens when you put Converge and Neurosis together, add a dash of I’m-not-gonna-turn-around-and-look-at-the-audience pretense, and set the whole thing to a seizure-inducing strobe barrage. And you know what? Apparently Neurosis are into that enough that they signed Amenra to Neurot Recordings, so there you go. Bands liking each other. It’s nice. I bet the tour will be a good time.

Also devastatingly fucking heavy. The kind of show where — not that it would happen — if someone on a mic asked the crowd if they were getting tired, the inevitable answer would be yes. “Don’t get me wrong dude, I’m still up for more rockin’, but this is some emotionally-draining shit going on right here.” And then Neurosis plays “The Doorway.” Oy vey.

Good tour though. I’m not the hugest Converge or Amenra fan in the universe, but it’s hard not to appreciate what each of these acts brings to the whole onslaught of a given evening.

From the PR wire:

neurosis converge amenra poster

Heavy music visionaries, NEUROSIS, have announced a new West Coast North American tour with Converge and Amenra in July.

NEUROSIS recently announced June European tour dates, which will see them supported by labelmates Deafkids throughout the European club circuit, followed by separate performances at the massive Graspop and Hellfest gatherings.

Upon their stateside return, one year after touring the Eastern realms of North America with Converge and Amenra, NEUROSIS will now bring this incredible touring package to fans on the other end of the continent. The new tour will begin on July 6th in Seattle, running through Vancouver, Portland, Berkeley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Diego, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Denver, Lawrence, Dallas, ending in Austin on July 21st.

Tickets will go on sale this Friday, March 23rd at 10am local time. See all new dates and links below.

Released in September 2016, NEUROSIS’ acclaimed eleventh studio LP Fires Within Fires is available now on CD, LP, cassette, and all digital platforms through the band’s own Neurot Recordings.

NEUROSIS Tour Dates:
6/15/2018 Meet Factory – Prague, CZ w/ Deafkids
6/16/2018 Maifieild Derby – Mannheim, DE w/ Deafkids
6/17/2018 Zona Roveri – Bologna, IT w/ Converge, Deafkids
6/18/2018 Les Docks – Lausanne, CH w/ Wolves In The Throne Room, Deafkids
6/19/2018 Doornroosje – Nijmegen, NK w/ Deafkids
6/20/2018 Copenhell – Copenhagen, DK w/ Deafkids
6/21/2018 Zeche Bochum – Bochum, DE w/ Deafkids
6/22/2018 Graspop – Dessel, BE
6/23/2018 Hellfest – Clisson, FR
7/06/2018 The Showbox – Seattle, WA w/ Converge, Amenra
7/07/2018 The Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC w/ Converge, Amenra
7/08/2018 Roseland Theater – Portland, OR w/ Converge, Amenra
7/10/2018 The UC Theatre Taube Family – Berkeley, CA w/ Converge, Amenra
7/11/2018 Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA w/ Converge, Amenra
7/12/2018 The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA w/ Converge, Amenra
7/13/2018 The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA w/ Converge, Amenra
7/14/2018 The Observatory North Park – San Diego, CA w/ Converge, Amenra
7/16/2018 The Van Buren – Phoenix, AZ w/ Converge, Amenra
7/17/2018 Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM w/ Converge, Amenra
7/18/2018 Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO w/ Converge, Amenra
7/19/2018 Granada Theater – Lawrence, KS w/ Converge, Amenra
7/20/2018 Canton Hall – Dallas, TX w/ Converge, Amenra
7/21/2018 Emo’s – Austin, TX w/ Converge, Amenra

http://www.neurosis.com
http://www.facebook.com/officialneurosis
https://neurotrecordings.merchtable.com
http://www.twitter.com/neurosisoakland
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Neurosis, Fires Within Fires (2016)

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Neurosis Touring Europe with Deafkids; Playing Graspop & Hellfest

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 2nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

neurosis (Photo Stefaan Temmerman)

Pardon my language, but only the jivest of the jive turkeys isn’t going to want to go see Neurosis when they come to town. In fact, if you’re ever looking for a jive turkey litmus test, tell the suspected jive turkey that the progenitors of post-metal are rolling through in a couple weeks and ask if they’d like to check it out. If they give you a shrug and a “nah,” you know: 100 percent corporate-farmed raised-in-captivity jive turkey. All set and ready to roll for a jive-ass Thanksgiving.

What were we talking about?

Ah, Neurosis. Well, pretty much anytime Neurosis go anywhere, you’ll find me wishing I was in their voluminous, churning path. Nonetheless, it’s Europe in the fortunate position this time around, as the band head to Hellfest via a run of shows alongside Deafkids and a stop at Graspop in Belgium. In addition to several reissues, Neurosis are still out supporting 2016’s raw-flesh-exposed Fires Within Fires (review here).

The PR wire has details, so I’ll happily defer:

neurosis euro tour poster

NEUROSIS To Return To Europe This June With Support From DEAFKIDS

NEUROSIS announces their return to Europe this June with a selection of festival appearances and club shows.

Supporting NEUROSIS on all club performances will be friends and labelmates DEAFKIDS. In Bologna Converge is also on the bill, and in Lausanne, Wolves In The Throne Room will join the show.

In addition to purchasing tickets via the usual options, NEUROSIS has also made a limited run of physical tickets available for the club shows. Find out where to obtain them via the My Proud Mountain store. Watch for more NEUROSIS news to follow in the coming days.

NEUROSIS w/ DEAFKIDS:
6/15/2018 Meet Factory – Prague, CZ
6/16/2018 Maifieild Derby – Mannheim, DE
6/17/2018 Zona Roveri – Bologna, IT w/ Converge
6/18/2018 Les Docks – Lausanne, CH w/ Wolves In The Throne Room
6/19/2018 Doornroosje – Nijmegen, NK
6/20/2018 Copenhell – Copenhagen, DK
6/21/2018 Zeche Bochum – Bochum, DE
6/22/2018 Graspop – Dessel, BE *
6/23/2018 Hellfest – Clisson, FR *
* no DEAFKIDS

Released in September 2016, NEUROSIS’ acclaimed eleventh studio LP Fires Within Fires is available now on CD, LP, cassette, and all digital platforms through the band’s own Neurot Recordings; stream the album HERE and see all bundles and options RIGHT HERE.

Neurot also released DEAFKIDS’ Configuração Do Lamento worldwide on CD, vinyl, and digital formats via in October. Stream the entire album HERE, and see physical order options HERE.

http://www.neurosis.com
http://www.facebook.com/officialneurosis
https://neurotrecordings.merchtable.com
http://www.twitter.com/neurosisoakland
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Neurosis, Fires Within Fires (2016)

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Scott Kelly and John Judkins to Tour Europe Early in 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

You in no way need me to tell you to go see Scott Kelly. The Neurosis guitarist/vocalist, as a solo performer, has more than enough of a reputation behind him at this point that if you don’t know to show up and sit quietly, it’s nobody’s fault but your own. What I’ll do instead is point out the trio of videos at the bottom of this post of Kelly at work. The first clip is a trailer for a new 7″ split with his upcoming tourmate/collaborator John Judkins (Rwake). It contains new music and makes me very badly want a copy of that single. The second is a live clip from earlier this year of Kelly and Judkins performing “The Sun is Dreaming in the Soul” together, and if you needed further argument to get out to a show, that should about cover it. And the third is a recently-posted clip from Revolver of Kelly playing Neurosis‘ “Stones from the Sky” in the open-air setting of Crater Lake that The Patient Mrs. showed me the other day. I don’t know who might’ve thought of setting that one up, but whoever it was, they deserve a raise.

Judkins is the latest in a distinguished line of Kelly-solo collaborators that includes Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), CHVE of Amenra, and Scott “Wino” Weinrich, among others, but as you can see in the clip below, he brings a genuine complement to Kelly‘s acoustic work. As for Kelly himself, he recently got off tour with Mastodon and has a new band going called Semantron with Dave French of Brothers of the Sonic Cloth and Guy Nelson of Green Jellö about which one hopes to hear more in the New Year.

Until then, this from the PR wire:

Scott Kelly John Judkins photo Danin Drahos

SCOTT KELLY Announces Early 2018 European Tour Dates With John Judkins

SCOTT KELLY of NEUROSIS announces a European solo tour for early 2018, where he’ll accompanied by John Judkins of Rwake.

The tour will be supported by the release of a 7″ EP which captures the two artists performing at their show at White Water Tavern in Little Rock, Arkansas on March 3rd, 2017, during a US tour together. In selecting these two songs for the release, SCOTT KELLY offers, “we felt that they show the depth, emotion, and life that we are trying to bring to them.”

This limited edition live 7″ will be sold throughout the tour via My Proud Mountain, available in quantities of 200 on purple vinyl and 100 on black vinyl. A full overview of the dates can be found below.

SCOTT KELLY European Tour 2018 w/ John Judkins:
1/11/2018 Stubnitz – Hamburg, DE w/ Peter Wolff
1/12/2018 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, DE w/ Peter Wolff
1/13/2018 TBA – Poznan, PL
1/14/2018 Chmury – Warsaw, PL
1/15/2018 Klarisky Church – Bratislava, SK
1/16/2018 Kapu – Linz, AT
1/17/2018 Circolo Magnolia – Milan, IT
1/18/2018 Traffic Club – Rome, IT
1/19/2018 Cueva – Caligari, IT
1/20/2018 Poudrière – Belfort, FR
1/21/2018 Black Sheep – Montpellier, FR
1/22/2018 Karspek – Lyon, FR
1/23/2018 Sunset Bar – Martigny, CH
1/24/2018 Knabenschule – Darmstadt, DE w/ Peter Wolff
1/25/2018 Parterre – Basel, CH
1/26/2018 Sabotage – Lisbon, PT
1/27/2018 Understage – Porto, PT
1/28/2018 Festsaal Kreuzberg – Berlin, DE @ CTM Festival
1/29/2018 Arena 3raum – Vienna, AT
1/30/20018 A38 – Budapest, HU
1/31/2018 Club Mochvara – Zagreb, HR
2/02/2018 Dachstock – Bern, CH
2/03/2018 Pauluskirche – Dortmund, DE w/ Peter Wolff
2/04/2018 Gebr de Nobel – Liden, NL

https://www.facebook.com/ScottKelly.official
http://www.myproudmountain.com
https://www.facebook.com/myproudmountain
https://www.neurotrecordings.com
https://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Scott Kelly & John Judkins tour trailer

Scott Kelly & John Judkins, “The Sun is Dreaming in the Soul” live Feb. 28, 2017

Scott Kelly, “Stones from the Sky” live at Crater Lake

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Neurosis Set Aug. Release for The Word as Law Reissue

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

neurosis (Photo Stefaan Temmerman)

Just the facts, because the facts are enough: Neurot Recordings will reissue Neurosis‘ 1990 sophomore outing, The Word as Law, on Aug. 25. Preorders are up now and the revamped artwork comes courtesy of Josh Graham. The release date follows the long-running post-metal innovators’ tour with Converge and Amenra, as well as their stop at Psycho Las Vegas, and precedes their headlining slot in October at Baltimore’s inaugural Days of Darkness fest, put on by the same crew as Maryland Deathfest. Neurosis just wrapped a quick run of European shows that began with a slot at Roskilde festival in Denmark and in December they’ll head to South America for the first time in their 31-year career, going in order to support their 2016 album, Fires Within Fires (review here).

Like its predecessor, 1988’s Pain of Mind, The Word as Law showcases Neurosis‘ roots in hardcore punk. By the time they got to Souls at Zero just two years later, they’d be on quickly expanding sonic ground, but one could argue that with the rawness at the core of Fires Within Fires, the band’s earliest offerings have never been more relevant than they are now. All the better on the timing here, then.

From the PR wire:

neurosis the word as law

NEUROSIS To Reissue Out-Of-Print Second Album The Word As Law In August

NEUROSIS will reissue the band’s second LP, The Word As Law, in August, the album having remained out-of-print since the 1990s.

While listening to NEUROSIS’ discography in chronological order, their sound gradually shifts in a very steady and somewhat seamless progression with each record, though their first few albums are undoubtedly cut from their 80s punk influences and surroundings. The Word As Law was initially released on vinyl only in 1990 through Lookout! Records, alongside the likes of Operation Ivy, Green Day, Screeching Weasel, and other Bay Area punk acts of the time. Upbeat rhythms and enraged vocals fuel The Word As Law, the record picking up where their Pain Of Mind debut’s ripping punk sound left off, while the band simultaneously began experimenting with more dissonant, melancholic, and demoralizing tones that would carve the foundation for their next few albums and their signature sound.

NEUROSIS had yet to infuse keyboards or synthesizers into the mix when The Word As Law was recorded by Mark Lemaire at Sound & Vision in San Francisco of December 1989. The blend of vocals delivered by guitarist Scott Kelly, bassist Dave Edwardson, and new inductee on this album, guitarist Steve Von Till, driven by the powerful rhythms of drummer Jason Roeder, coalesce to formulate an eerie and original sound on The Word As Law, which results in the album’s cult status as an incredibly groundbreaking album for countless crust punk, hardcore, and experimental metal artists worldwide.

While prior reissues of the album featured several re-recorded bonus tracks from the band’s prior singles and releases, the 2017 Neurot reissue of The Word As Law will bear the album’s initial eight tracks, all completely remastered by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering. Additionally, the album’s cover artwork has been reworked and modernized by NEUROSIS’ former live visual architect Josh Graham to match the label’s previously-reissued Souls At Zero, Enemy Of The Sun, and other titles.

NEUROSIS’ own Neurot Recordings will reissue The Word As Law on CD, LP, and digital formats on August 25th, directly following their US tour with Converge and Amenra and their performance at Psycho Las Vegas. See all confirmed tour dates below and find preorder links for The Word As Law at THIS LOCATION.

The Word As Law 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

NEUROSIS Tour Dates:
7/27/2017 Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL w/ Amenra
7/28/2017 Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL w/ Converge, Amenra
7/29/2017 St Andrews – Detroit, MI w/ Converge, Amenra
7/30/2017 Rex Theatre – Pittsburgh, PA w/ Converge, Amenra
8/01/2017 Metropolis – Montreal, QC w/ Converge, Amenra
8/02/2017 Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON w/ Converge, Amenra
8/03/2017 College St. Music Hall – New Haven, CT w/ Converge, Amenra
8/04/2017 Warsaw – Brooklyn, NY w/ Converge, Amenra [SOLD OUT]
8/05/2017 Warsaw – Brooklyn, NY w/ Converge, Amenra
8/06/2017 Royale – Boston, MA w/ Converge, Amenra
8/07/2017 Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA w/ Converge, Amenra
8/18-20/2017 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas
10/28-29/2017 Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore Maryland @ Days Of Darkness
12/08/2017 Clash Club – São Paulo, BR w/ Deafkids
12/09/2017 Teatro Vorterix – Buenos Aires, AR
12/10/2017 Club Blondie – Santiago, CL

http://www.neurosis.com
http://www.facebook.com/officialneurosis
https://neurotrecordings.merchtable.com
http://www.twitter.com/neurosisoakland
http://www.neurotrecordings.com
http://www.facebook.com/neurotrecordings

Neurosis tour trailer

Neurosis, Fires Within Fires (2016)

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Neurosis Announce First-Ever South American Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Neurosis have already been to Australia and New Zealand this year, and next month they head to Europe for select shows around a performance at Roskilde Festival in Denmark ahead of a North American stretch alongside Converge and Amenra, but they’re still not done. 31 years into one of underground music’s most influential tenures, the band will head to South America for the very first time this December, playing Brazil, Argentina and Chile on shows presented by Abraxas in support of their 2016 album, Fires Within Fires (review here). Adding another continental notch to their collective belt is significant, but it seems all the more perfect in terms of timing as the band look back over the stretch of their career at the same time while adding new accomplishments in creativity and reach. I have no doubt these shows will be utter madness, and rightfully so.

Guitarist/vocalist Steve von Till offers some comment below, and you’ll find all Neurosis‘ dates down there in blue as well, courtesy of the PR wire:

neurosis south america tour

NEUROSIS To Play Their First-Ever South American Shows In December; European And North American Summer Dates Loom

Thirty years of anticipation will come to an end this December: South American fans can finally experience the live intensity of heavy music pioneers, NEUROSIS. For the first time, the band will bring its cathartic live experience to South America, performing three shows in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.

“We are honored and humbled by the opportunity to experience a new sonic adventure on a new continent,” says Steve Von Till. “Finally, after all this time, we are able to come to South America and experience first-hand the legendary and passionate heavy music scene there.”

Over three decades, NEUROSIS has produced eleven studio albums, performed on stages around the planet – each record, each song, each show and each studio experience pushing the band one step further along on a lifelong path of spirit and sonic experimentation. For the first time in South America, local audiences will feel the trance like power of NEUROSIS’ massive riffs. These South American shows are produced by Brazilian booking agency Abraxas in partnership with Xaninho Discos, beginning in São Paulo, Brazil, on December 8th at Clash Club, followed by shows in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 9th at Teatro Vorterix and Santiago, Chile, December 10th at Club Blondie. Ticket information for these three shows will be announced in the coming weeks.

NEUROSIS’ Summer tour is rapidly approaching, beginning with a European venture the first week of July, leading with a set at Roskilde Festival and followed by shows with Wolfbrigade, Author & Punisher, labelmates Dark Budda Rising, and more. In late July and early August, NEUROSIS will storm the Eastern US and lower Canada with a week-and-a-half of tour dates alongside Converge and labelmates Amenra. This tour will be followed by NEUROSIS’ participation in Psycho Vegas in Las Vegas, August 18th through 20th, performing with the likes of King Diamond, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Swans, Sleep, The Melvins, Wolves In The Throne Room, and countless others. NEUROSIS will also headline the Days Of Darkness festival in Baltimore, Maryland on October 28th and 29th, the two-day gala also including sets by Manilla Road, Om, Cirith Ungol, Warning, Captain Beyond, Boris, Elder, and many more.

Released in September, NEUROSIS’ acclaimed Fires Within Fires is available now on CD, LP, cassette, and all digital platforms through the band’s own Neurot Recordings; see all bundles and options RIGHT HERE.

NEUROSIS Tour Dates:
7/01/2017 Roskilde Festival – Roskilde, DK
7/02/2017 Kraken – Stockholm, SE w/ Wolfbrigade & Author & Punisher
7/03/2017 Pustervik – Gothenburg, SE w/ Author & Punisher
7/04/2017 Tavastia – Helsinki, FI w/ Dark Buddha Rising
7/05/2017 Eistnaflug – Neskaupstadur, IS
7/27/2017 Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL w/ Amenra
7/28/2017 Thalia Hall – Chicago, IL w/ Converge, Amenra
7/29/2017 St Andrews – Detroit, MI w/ Converge, Amenra
7/30/2017 Rex Theatre – Pittsburgh, PA w/ Converge, Amenra
8/01/2017 Metropolis – Montreal, QC w/ Converge, Amenra
8/02/2017 Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON w/ Converge, Amenra
8/03/2017 College St. Music Hall – New Haven, CT w/ Converge, Amenra
8/04/2017 Warsaw – Brooklyn, NY w/ Converge, Amenra [SOLD OUT]
8/05/2017 Warsaw – Brooklyn, NY w/ Converge, Amenra
8/06/2017 Royale – Boston, MA w/ Converge, Amenra
8/07/2017 Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA w/ Converge, Amenra
8/18-20/2017 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas
10/28-29/2017 Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore Maryland @ Days Of Darkness
12/08/2017 Clash Club – São Paulo, BR
12/09/2017 Teatro Vorterix – Buenos Aires, AR
12/10/2017 Club Blondie – Santiago, CL

http://www.neurosis.com
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https://neurotrecordings.merchtable.com
http://www.twitter.com/neurosisoakland
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Neurosis, Fires Within Fires (2016)

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Friday Full-Length: Neurosis, A Sun that Never Sets

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 26th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Neurosis, A Sun that Never Sets (2001)

It is arguable that A Sun that Never Sets represents the moment when Neurosis most defined the course of what would come to be called post-metal. In fact, I’ve argued it several times. It’s not a hard argument to make, and if you’ve ever heard the album, which was released by Relapse Records in 2001 as the seventh outing from the Oakland-based outfit, you very likely already know where I’m going with this. It’s the riff. That riff. Neurosis end A Sun that Never Sets with “Stones from the Sky,” and to this day, every post-metal record I encounter in one way or another — often in directly ripping it off — tries to capture that moment where the sweeping final riff of the album devolves and deconstructs into a genuine cacophony of noise before cutting out like a transmission from another world has just been shut down. I’m not going to take anything away — at all — ever — from the work Neurosis did on albums like 1992’s Souls at Zero, 1993’s Enemy of the Sun, 1996’s primal Through Silver in Blood or the sprawling chaos of 1999’s Times of Grace. Neurosis‘ output has always been and still is marked and defined by a forward creative development — it continued after this record as well — but to consider A Sun that Never Sets anything less than a landmark in that process is to simply miss the point.

The difference? Patience. A sense of brooding in the title-track. The flow of arrangements in “The Tide” and “From the Hill” early on. Comprised of guitarist/vocalists Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till, bassist/vocalist Dave Edwardson, keyboardist/sampler Noah Landis and drummer Jason Roeder, Neurosis were no strangers to intensity. Going back to their earliest hardcore punk output on 1988’s Pain of Mind debut or 1990’s The Word as Law, it was an essential ingredient, and it has remained one even as they passed their 30th anniversary, but listening to songs like “Crawl Back In” and the tribalist “From Where its Roots Run,” A Sun that Never Sets brimmed with a tension that even Times of Grace had only begun to explore, and while it would ultimately be in “Stones from the Sky” that that tension found its (merciful) release, the lurch of pieces like “Watchfire” or the earlier “From the Hill” seemed nearly orchestral in its swell and cascade, providing the listener with a progressive course of ups and downs that stretched across a masterfully executed, deeply textured 68 minutes that served as one of the best and most pivotal albums of its decade — all the more an accomplishment for being released in the first year of it. From the drum march that begins the title-track to the noise experiments in intro “Erode” and the penultimate interlude “Resound,” A Sun that Never Sets turned volume into ritual, and it remains singular in its dynamic, both within the Neurosis catalog and in the wider sphere of heavy music as a whole. As many as have tried to imitate it — and who could argue with trying? — none have found results that come close to touching its power, presence or vision.

And of course, for Neurosis, it was another step along the way. They’d soon enough develop Neurot Recordings as an outlet for their own material, solo works, and other artists admired by the band, today resulting in one of the underground’s most respected imprints. 2003 brought the Neurosis & Jarboe collaboration and 2004 pushed further into atmospheric soulfulness with The Eye of Every Storm — and if you don’t know what I mean by “soulful,” revisit “A Season in the Sky” — and saw the band all but absent from touring before 2007’s Given to the Rising reintroduced a more aggressive feel and stark trades in volume. Density of intent persisted through the vast scope of 2012’s Honor Found in Decay (review here), and as they looked back on 30 years together with special live sets and a return to prominence as a touring act, last year’s Fires Within Fires (review here) continued to forge new creative ground even as it embraced some of their rawest and most seething output since their earliest days. Through these changes and the ongoing evolution of Neurosis as a project, they have always remained committed to a natural progression, and taken in succession, their albums tell a story of that progression across a span of decades in one of heavy music’s richest and most individualized histories.

Neurosis don’t exist in a vacuum, and with releases as essential as A Sun that Never Sets, the temptation is often to see them that way — which is to say it’s not the only record that helped shape post-metal — but there’s no question they stand among the most important groups of their generation, and as an audience we’re all the more fortunate that their contributions are as ongoing as they are distinctive.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

This coming Monday is the Memorial Day holiday here in the States. It is an unfortunate cause for celebration, what with the perpetual war generally and the ensuing jingoism and unthinking patriotism that always seems to accompany the day — even the baseball teams wear camo; it’s a downer — but a day off is a day off, and at this point I’ll take it.

I took today off as well and The Patient Mrs., the impending Pecan, the little dog Dio and I all came down to Connecticut last night to spend an extra day at the beach. Four day weekend? Shit yeah, son. That’s the way life should always be.

After some debate on the matter at the office this week, my final day of work is June 16. As you might imagine, my feelings on this are somewhat conflicted. Happy to not be working anymore; worried about the prospects of no income, excited, curious and a bit terrified at the notion of being a stay-at-home dad come October. Wondering if something comes next or if I’m leaving the workforce for good at 35. Kind of a scary thought.

I’ve been giving serious thought of late to taking a few classes and setting up an office as some kind of nutrition counselor, trying to help people frame how they think about food and how it interacts with their life. Since I’ve lost (just over) 170 pounds in the last year and a half, I’ve gotten many questions from people about how I did it, how I feel, how they might go about losing weight, and so on, and I think from just hearing out their stories to helping plan a week of meals, that’s something from which I might derive professional satisfaction. Plus, I’d be working for myself, which is basically the only way I would want to work at all at this point. Done with offices. Done with other people. Done with the culture of professionalism. If I can’t have my dog around when I’m working, then that’s work I don’t want to be doing.

We’ll see how that goes. I get these ideas. Pipe dreams 95 percent of the time. Plus I’ve been on anti-depressants now for about three weeks, so if I was ever going to have a I’m-gonna-change-my-life-type notion, I need to recognize that this is probably the time it would happen. Ambition as symptom of chemical change. “My brains are going into my feet,” and so on.

As regards business, here’s what’s in the notes for next week, subject to change as always:

MON: Demon Head review & Drug Honkey video.
TUE: Witchthroat Serpent track premiere & Arbouretum video.
WED: Six Dumb Questions with Abrams.
THU: Second Coming of Heavy review.
FRI: Anathema review.

Kind of a quiet week thus far, with the holiday and whatnot, but I expect things will pick up toward the end and there may be some shuffling as per usual. That Anathema review is set in stone though. The Second Coming of Heavy one I’ve already moved a few times, so that should probably get done as well. I don’t know. It’ll come together. Not worried about it.

Traditionally one barbecues for Memorial Day, and I expect my feed on Thee Facebooks this weekend will be full of showoff pictures of various smoked/smoking meat products, beers, and so on. That’s cool. Whatever you’re up to, I hope it’s a great time. Be safe and have fun. Listen to good music, because that makes good days even better.

Thanks for reading and please take some time to check out the forum and radio stream.

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