The Word as Law

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A diversified and confusing work all at once, The Word as Law was the most transitional album in Neurosis' evolution from hardcore merchants to avant-garde metal experimentalists, clearly displaying the pubescent band as it searched for its mature identity. As such, the short, angry bursts ("Double-Edged Sword," "The Choice") which hearken to their past already seem somewhat lacking in conviction; while more elaborate numbers such as "Obsequious Obsolescence," "Blisters," and especially the multifaceted "To What End?" fare slightly better for pointing towards the complex arrangements and adventurous soundscapes yet to come. In short, while serious fans may want to indulge their curiosity, casual listeners will find little to interest them here. [Lookout Records' CD version of this album contains four tracks from the previous year's Pain of Mind, as well as two 7" single rarities, making for a pretty sweet wrap-up of the band's less essential early material].

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