In late 1985, Scott Kelly, Dave Edwardson and Jason Roeder (formerly members of Violent Coercion) founded Neurosis. In this early stage their sound was heavily influenced by pioneering British crust punk actssuch as Amebix, Axegrinder and Hellbastard. In 1986 Chad Salter was added on second guitar. In 1989 Chad Salter was replaced by Steve Von Till.
From 1990 to 1993, Adam Kendall was recruited to create the visuals and perform live with the band. Following his departure from touring, Pete Inc. took over the job, although Kendall continued to contribute visuals for the band until as late as 1997. Kendall also shot the footage for the "Locust Star" video. Josh Graham took over live visuals in early 2000, and stayed with the band until the end of 2012.
Often experimental and psychedelic in nature, the visuals have added to the reputation of Neurosis' live performances. Many of the visuals for their tours supporting Through Silver In Blood can be found in Ken Russell's film Altered States. Other images are included in the enhanced portion of the Sovereign mini-album, and also on the A Sun That Never Sets DVD release. The majority of the latter was directed by Josh Graham, with an additional video by Chad Rullman.
In 1996 and 1997, the group toured with Pantera, bringing them to mainstream attention.
Additionally, the band have founded their own independent record label, Neurot Recordings, which, in addition to releasing material from Neurosis and its associated projects, has since become home to several innovative musicians.
In 2009, José Carlos Santos of Terrorizer described Neurosis as "arguably the most influential band of the past two decades."