Review Summary: Old school Neurosis crushes the hardcore/ thrash crossover genre.
If only I had a picture of all the faces reacting to Neurosis’s debut Pain of Mind
, it would be a complete blur of “what the f#&@?” crinkled, brow expressions. For those who discovered Neurosis during their career defining moments such as Through Silver in Blood
all the way to Given to the Rising
, Pain of Mind
will make you wonder how a band as grandiose as Neurosis were so primitive in their speedy conception. Truthfully told, listening to post-metal Neurosis will reveal an extremely raw sense of instrumentation that can certainly be traced back to this and The Word is Law
. To be quite frank, Pain of Mind
is a jaw-dropping display of crusty hardcore punk/ thrash crossover that should be standing up on the podium with Suicidal Tendencies’ How Will I Laugh Tomorrow If I Can't Even Smile Today?
and Discharge’s Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing
With Neurosis writing as a three piece formed only by two original members (Scott Kelly and Dave Edwardson) and Jason Roeder, Pain of Mind
was constructed from a scene that prided itself on short blasts of hardcore and a more progressive thrash style (remember, Neurosis originated just around the corner from such notable bands such as Metallica and Exodus). The comparisons really stop there as Neurosis clearly had their own blend of the styles at the time, gelling their furious favourite genres into something raw and passionate. Tracks such as “Pain of Mind”, “Training”, and “Dominoes Fall” reveal a love of crusty – almost a Sabbathy, doomy feel in some areas- hardcore punk that is as urgent and political as anything being released at the time. “Self Taught Infection”, “Geneticide” really mix things up with a Voivod-ian type of progressive-thrash that doesn’t feel out of place next to the faster, straight ahead numbers. What really makes these tracks sing are Edwardson’s lead bass lines that add some bounce to the harsher licks and vocals being dished out by Kelly.
It’s obvious in saying that many fans of Neurosis will pass this off, simply for its lack of broad creativity and dynamics. This would be an unfair assessment given that post-metal Neurosis is still using these raw recording techniques and simplistic chord changes to make their point on newer releases (even though they’ve slowed it down a few hundred BPMs), making this album a must-hear for any fan. If you’re a fanboy of any of the given genres listed above, this album should already be rocking in your collection.