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by Neurosis

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*Latest in series of reissues of the Californian legends' back-catalogue. As with all the reissues, this comes in ano-card package with updated artwork by Josh Graham. 'Sovereign' reissue also comes with the bonus of a NEW track'Misgiven'.

*For the last 26 years, NEUROSIS have tapped into the elusive wellspring where resonance and dissonance collude,circling emotional poles where nothing is withheld, where the psyche screams for answers to Earth's ancient mysteries.*Originally unveiled in 2000, the four-song, 32-minute Sovereign EP was the first NEUROSIS release issued through theband's own Neurot Recordings, with the vinyl appearing via Hydra Head. In chronological terms, Sovereign served as amillennial segue between two of the band's most revered full-lengths, 1999's Times Of Grace and 2001's A Sun That NeverSets.

*Opener "Prayer" sets the omnipotent tone for all that follows. A master-class in deep dynamics, the song ascends from itsquiet beginnings into a rolling, hypnotic power-dirge couched in a bone-rattling rhythm. The potential mental imagery is vastand varied: A parade of dervishes and charlatans slither across the firelight in Plato's Cave. Mankind's sentence ispronounced. The light swallows everything. Everything becomes nothing.

*"An Offering" brings arsenic visions of Eden—or at least of the ruinous snake and the tree of knowledge around which itinfamously coiled. The book of Genesis and the Iron Age collide in a forgotten corner beyond time. A litany of primordialpremonitions torment the psyche, unhinged finally in the song's crushing, apocalyptic ending, which easily ranks amongstthe band's heaviest, most effective outpourings.

*The instrumental "Flood" is a veritable drum cannonade showcasing the percussive prowess of drummer Jason Roederwith accompaniment from guitarist/vocalists Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till. The drums here don't merely resonate—theydetonate, exploding across the stereo field like some dark and final pronouncement. It proves to be the augur of just that, aforeboding interlude that bespeaks the thunderous roar and epic proportions of the title track.

*Clocking in at over 13 minutes in length, "Sovereign" offers perhaps the widest variety of textures, tones and instrumentalundulations. Punctuated by Dave Edwardson's ominous bass rumble and Noah Landis' unnerving sound manipulations,the song begins by breathing malevolence in every direction, setting the stage for the female deity or apparition who hauntsthe lyrics. The song's climax is a barrage of furious chords accented by an unforgettable four-note guitar lament. And thena tumbling descent into a stately, solitary piano line. A seaA searing abyss of bent notes follows, leading to a nearorchestralconclusion.

*Under headphones, it is a psychotropic experience of the highest order.

1 Prayer 
2 An Offering 
3 Flood 
4 Sovereign 
5 Misgiven