Neurosis's debut was basically a crust punk record, which showed some potential for later
things. There were slower tracks, some Joy Division influenced playing, and even some folk
elements. The Word as Law takes all of these elements and pushes them further, resulting in
the first record with the somewhat traditional Neurosis sound we all love. Unfortunately
though, the album doesn't contain the atmosphere of Souls at Zero that made it so unique and
intense. Instead it feels more like a post-punk heavy metal kind of sound, which is rather
intriguing. The tracks are more drawn out, heavier, and more dissonant. The bass stands out
in particular as well, giving it a somewhat proggy feel. There are sudden changes
throughout, but they often feel a bit jittery and forced, but this is a minor complaint.
Basically, The Word as Law is successful in portraying the evolution of one the most unique
bands of the past few decades. A textbook example of a transitional record.