"Enemy of the Sun (2010 Reissue)"

(Neurot Recordings 2010)Neurosis - Enemy of the Sun (2010 Reissue)

Neurosis is inarguably one of the best and most important metal bands of the past two decades. There isn't a band today going the light/heavy route that doesn't owe a considerable debt to the legendary Oakland mind-blasters. So to celebrate the band's 25th anniversary, and in the interest of keeping good music in circulation, Neurosis' own Neurot Recordings is, for the first time since 1999, re-releasing the seminal 1993 album "Enemy of the Sun."

While 1996's "Through Silver in Blood" gets all of the adoration and accolades shoveled on it, and rightly so, that album simply would not have happened were it not for the great strides Neurosis made on "Enemy of the Sun." This is where they truly shed all of the punk trappings of their early years and turned into a band that would eventually have a whole genre named after them. The Godflesh/Swans influence is still there, but "Enemy" is the first album where Neurosis made a sound that was all their own, the now unmistakable juxtaposition of the unsettling calm before storm with the frightful thunder that forces writers to try and come up with different ways to say "crushing." There's a sense of an arcane ritual to the experimental, punishing ebb and flow, elevating this (and all of Neurosis' later work) to heights unattainable by the floods of imitators who would latch onto the "Neurosis template." The hidden key to tying everything together is drummer Jason Roeder, whose tribal beats give the album a living pulse that more traditional skin work wouldn't have matched.

Make no mistake; the music on here is undoubtedly top-flight material. But literally the only thing that differentiates this new version from the 1999 reissue is the artwork. So if you already own "Enemy of the Sun," which you probably should, there's absolutely no reason to buy this; if you don't own "Enemy of the Sun," there's absolutely no reason NOT to buy this. A completely unnecessary reissue of a completely necessary album.