Neurosis
Sovereign


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ryan Kroner USER (29 Reviews)
April 27th, 2012 | 20 replies | 3,996 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It may be one of the more overlooked releases in Neurosis' catalog, but "Sovereign" remains an absolutely essential listen for both newcomers and longtime fans of the band.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Sovereign is quite possibly, with the exception of their early crust punk output, the most overlooked release in the extensive catalog of Oakland, California-based atmospheric sludge kings Neurosis. One can be certain that this unfortunate fact is no fault of the EP, and is likely due to its placement between two of the band's most praised albums rather than any lack of quality, for Sovereign has quality in abundance. Serving as a sort of a bridge between the pummeling sludge of Times of Grace and the highly atmospheric folk-influenced onslaught of A Sun That Never Sets, this release is just as unique, well-written, and engaging as anything else in Neurosis' discography. It may be only four tracks long, but it still contains nearly everything that has made them one of the most celebrated metal acts of the past two decades.

Sovereign's status as a bridge between Times of Grace and A Sun That Never Sets is most prominently exemplified by its opening track, 'Prayer.' For anyone who is familiar with the latter of the two albums this EP is sandwiched between, it will become immediately apparent that 'Prayer,' with its nearly chanted vocals and tribal rhythms, is a precursor or alternate version of that album's 'From Where its Roots Run.' Even though it is nevertheless a strong track, this fact may instill apprehension in the listener that the rest of the EP will involve similar retreads, yet Sovereign's remaining three tracks are completely unique to this release. 'An Offering' is a relatively experimental cut that is driven by a slow, doom-ish pace and an immense climax, while 'Flood,' the EP's shortest cut, consists of droning ambiance accenting a repetitive, tribal percussion line, bringing to mind a shortened, less intense, and, frankly, less interesting 'Cleanse' (from Enemy of the Sun). While these first three tracks are all worthy of listen on varying levels, they lack the quality of the songs on Neurosis' full-lengths, sometimes sounding like throwaways from Times of Grace and warm-ups for A Sun That Never Sets.

However, Neurosis save the best for last. The title track, a thirteen-minute behemoth of everything that Neurosis are exceptional at, is one of the most crushing songs of their career. While Sovereign's previous tracks seem like relative throwaways between the two albums that, respectively, precede and succeed it, 'Sovereign' is a much more natural bridge between the two, containing both the intensity of Times of Grace and the atmosphere of A Sun That Never Sets. These two influences coalesce to create an absolutely gargantuan exercise that displays, yet again, why Neurosis stand heads and shoulders over their peers. It also manages to save Sovereign from being the throwaway release that it could have easily become, turning it into an absolutely essential, if not slightly inconsistent, piece of the Neurosis catalog.



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user ratings (69)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ignimbrite
April 27th 2012



5294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This needed a review very badly.

Inveigh
April 27th 2012



24794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah it did, title track rules so hard


good review dude

Ignimbrite
April 27th 2012



5294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ty

and just to clarify, the other 3 aren't actually bad tracks (An Offering is quite good): they just seem sort of filler-ish at times compared to other Neurosis.

Inveigh
April 27th 2012



24794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea I'm with you


I enjoy this EP in its entirety but the last track is clearly superior to the other 3

figure337
April 27th 2012



420 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review of a great E.P. Pos'd.

Wizard
April 27th 2012



19210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review.

I was just joking about how I should review this in the The Eye of Every Storm review hahahaha.

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

Ignimbrite
April 27th 2012



5294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I cannot seem to find said reference

edit: oh hey, there it is, lol

DominionMM1
November 21st 2012



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

last 2 minutes of an offering destroy.

Digging: Neurosis - Through Silver in Blood

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2012



20633 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

title track rules hard.

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

DominionMM1
November 21st 2012



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

prayer > from where it's roots run

Ignimbrite
December 8th 2012



5294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd agree with you there

DominionMM1
December 8th 2012



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

way underrated

johnnydeking29
December 12th 2012



8987 Comments


http://www.allmusic.com/album/sovereign-mw0000621094
Hilarious

Digging: Naked City - Radio

DominionMM1
May 18th 2013



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

IN FIIIIEEEELLLLDDDSS OF TIIIIIIIIIIMMMME I'VE LAAAAIIIIIIINNN

NeroCorleone80
May 18th 2013



28378 Comments


Good ep

Relinquished
November 1st 2013



24433 Comments


bump them all

DominionMM1
November 1st 2013



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck yeah

climactic
November 1st 2013



18339 Comments


fucking ruleZ

Inveigh
April 14th 2014



24794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah rules, hard. gotta bump the rating up to a 4 now m/

Inveigh
July 17th 2014



24794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

title track is one of Neurosis' best m/



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