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Sovereign Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, September 20, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered edition of this 2000 EP. In chronological terms, Sovereign served as a millennial segue between two of the band's most revered full-lengths, 1999's Times of Grace and 2001's a Sun That Never Sets. Opener 'Prayer' sets the omnipotent tone for all that follows. A master-class in deep dynamics, the song ascends from it's quiet beginnings into a rolling, hypnotic power-dirge couched in a bone-rattling rhythm. 'An Offering' brings arsenic visions of 'Eden' or at least of the ruinous snake and the tree of knowledge around which it infamously coiled. The instrumental 'Flood' is a veritable drum cannonade. And, clocking in at over 13 minutes in length, 'Sovereign' offers perhaps the widest variety of textures, tones and instrumental undulations. Under headphones, it is a psychotropic experience of the highest order.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 20, 2011)
  • Reis Rmst ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Neurot Recordings
  • ASIN: B005DKLPJ2
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,977 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Sovereign is an EP by the pioneering Californian Sludge/Post Metal band Neurosis, released in 2000 and slotting in chronologically between the full-length studio albums Times Of Grace and A Sun That Never Sets.

The half-hour long, four track EP was produced by Steve Albini and while a little clamer and quieter, continues very much where Times Of Grace left off, focusing on long dense tracks of hypnotic build ups and harsh vocals. Slow speeds, thumping echoey drum beats and haunting background noise is very much the order of things here and Sovereign is also full of samples of dialogue to add a little something extra to the overall sound.

It seems that the best way to describe the overall feel is `intense,' as the band create oppressive atmospheres and use repetition really effectively so that songs have a feeling of progress and when they play the same part again, slightly more energetically, or with on more cymbal in the mix it seems like a revelation you have been waiting for. This kind of brooding intensity is often described as emotionally draining and requires a lot of patience from the listener, but when things finally do kick off into big hard metal territory, such as six and a half minutes into `An Offering,' it only makes it all the more rewarding.

When the band do take things in a more metal direction the guitars are big, loud and sludgey, with the trademark dirty Neurosis bass sound which many bands have since taken influence from, and of course Steve Von Till and Scott Kelly's incredible vocal work, which has served as part of the blue print for a thousand other bands.
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