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For the last 26 years, Neurosis has tapped into the elusive wellspring where resonance and dissonance collude, circling emotional poles where nothing is withheld, where the psyche screams for answers to Earth’s ancient mysteries. Originally unveiled in 2000, the four-song, 32-minute Sovereign EP was the first Neurosis release issued through the band’s own Neurot Recordings, with the vinyl appearing via Hydra Head. 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 its 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. —J. Bennett (Decibel)