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Neurosis - Pain Of Mind CD (album) cover

PAIN OF MIND

Neurosis

 

Experimental/Post Metal

2.18 | 19 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
2 stars It's always a pleasure to discover a band that hits your magic music spot and climbs to the top of your list in terms of quality, consistency and overall satisfaction in the diverse elements department. NEUROSIS is one of those bands for me that has amazed me time and time again with their unique take on the sludge metal elements of early Swans and progressively steered them in myriad directions. All the years i've been into this mostly post-metal sludge band from Oakland, CA i have only had the albums beginning with "Souls At Zero" on as my frame of reference. Somehow i just never seemed interested in the first two because they were described as hardcore punk and although i do indeed love various punk bands, i just never felt it a priority to infuse my senses in NEUROSIS' style of hardcore. Well, i finally got the debut PAIN OF MIND and after listening to it a few times, now i wanna burn down buildings for no reason and spit fire in people's faces and scream aaaargggghhhh!

Well, this debut is exactly as i expected. It is indeed hardcore punk in the vein of Discharge, Black Flag, Amebix, Die Kreuzen and all the other hardcore punckers who crave speed, distortion and most of all volume. Turn it up to 11 and then take it to 12 it seems. The album was originally released on Alchemy Records in 1987 and then picked up by Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles in 1994 and then finally moved over to the band's own Neurot Recordings in 2000, which is when it was finally re-released with a bonus disc and much easier to track down. While this sounds like a totally different band if you're accustomed to 90s NEUROSIS, it still has the main three members who have been on board for the band's entire run namely Scott Kelly (vocals, guitar), Dave Edwardson (bass) and Jason Roeder (drums).

The music is very much the typical hardcore and crust punk with elements of crossover thrash as heard in bands like Suicidal Tendencies, however even at this stage there are a few elements that hinted at the future path the band would undertake however it would have been impossible at the time to predict they they would blossom into anything of merit. One example is how track 2, "Self-Taught Inflection" has a repetitive slowed down melodic riff as an opener that is a tiny clue to the direction that the band would continue in starting with "Souls At Zero" but after a nice run it ultimately succumbs to the gravitational pull of the hardcore punk and crossover thrash elements that dominate PAIN OF MIND. Tracks like "Reasons To Hide" have mellow almost classic 80s metal intros with arpeggiated guitars but they too soon turn to hardcore punk but retain dual guitar assaults with one guitar grunging it up while the other performs more thrash type riffs but it too strays into punk territory with the rhythmic chugging assault and shouted lyrics.

The album retains its energetic delivery throughout the entire run and at times really does sound like Discharge when at its most pure punk moments but it's those little elements that differentiate them on the few tracks where they include them. As punk rockers they have the sound down pat and the energy level to match. All the punk boxes are checked appropriately and then double checked because that what punk rockers do i assume. Personally i'm glad i'm finally checking this one out but unlike some bands that lose the critics due to being overly experimental and turning out to be something i actually like a lot, PAIN OF MIND is basically a generic retreading of all the early 80s punkdom that came before. Whilst the smattering of unique ideas succeed in giving the band something to build off of for the future, they unfortunately are too few to give the album any true character of its own and ultimately sounds like any old punk band from that era albeit performed exquisitely. Ahh, NEUROSIS you have become one of my favorite experimental metal bands over the years but even you can't make me love this one! Even the bonus disc on the 2000 re- release with live performances and unreleased demos isn't enough to make this one essential by any means, however as a huge fan of the band, it is nice to have this one so very much a hardcore fan's type of album unless you just have to own every punk album ever released. 2.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 2/5 |

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