Label: Neurot Release Date: 30/08/10 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon All old punks will tell you – and most probably anyone who’ll listen – that they’re still punk; they might drive a Vectra, have a mortgage, a tie collection and a fiancée who works in marketing, but Really they’re still punk, ‘cause punk’s like, y’know, an attitude, man. But it’s not. Sure, the attitude is part of it, but if you’re shacked up with the curtain twitchers in suburbia and planning bank holiday excursions to IKEA you aint a fucking punk anymore – get over it. Although certainly in no danger of joining the bank managers out in the ‘burbs Neurosis too will no doubt, if pressed on the subject, through gritted teeth tell you the same thing; that they are still punk. They aren’t. Ethos and attitude aside, if a member of your band is tasked with ‘live visuals’, you aint really a punk band. Not that this matters one fucking iota to Neurosis though. It’s easy to forget that way back in the mid-eighties Neurosis were indeed a punk band, a band whose core sound owed more to Amebix and Discharge than their latter output would suggest, and it wasn’t until 1992’s Souls At Zero that they not only successfully alienated vast swathes of their fledgling fan base, but also introduced the wider metal community to the vast and impenetrable monoliths of folk-tinged, down-tuned post metal that have since become their modus operandi. If Souls... was the gateway to a darker, denser future, it wasn’t until the following year – With Enemy Of The Sun – that Neurosis truly rose above the low horizon of punk rock. Although in the wider context of the groups now lengthy back catalogue Enemy... is often over looked in favour of its follow up – the equally earth shattering Through Silver In Blood – and latterly the ‘two-CD’s-you-play-at-once-because-the-effect-makes-your-brain-melt-like-you’re-on-poisoned-ketamine’ that comprised the Times Of Grace and Grace package, here is really where it all started. For so many musicians and fans alike, Enemy Of The Sun was the tipping point. And what a tipping point; right from the eerie sample of novelist Paul Bowles contemplating the finite and fleeting quality of life itself at the beginning of ‘Lost’, you become acutely aware that what is to follow will be most unpleasant. Huge, hulking guitar passages take on an almost hypnotic quality as the multiple layers of percussion and mutated field recordings seem to envelope you from all sides. Cold, relentless dirges of tracks often bleed into, and out of each other throughout the LP, and whilst the likes of ‘Cold Ascending’ – with its deftly crafted punk-ish chord progression – and the chilling and desolate sludge odyssey, ‘The Time Of The Beasts’, flesh out the conceptual feel of the record, the real meat is what lies beneath. Like and exercise in twisted, metal Quantum Physics, it’s the spaces between the space that completes this LP – the 15 minute tour-de-drone of ‘Cleanse’, complete with ritualistic percussion and excruciating, static-filled noise, the case in point. Enemy... is by no means an album made for the casual listen, and nor should it be, but if you’re just discovering Oakland, California’s post metal pioneers you can do little better than to start here. Photobucket

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