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ISIS – Panopticon

Recently, I played the post-metal band ISIS’ album Oceanic and LOVED IT. In the comment of the subsequent review, Mr. 1537 himself said that he agreed, Oceanic is great. But Panopticon is better!

Challenge accepted!

It so happened that I already had a copy of Panopticon here and, after 1537’s endorsement, it got bumped up in the listening pile. And am I ever glad I got to this now. WHAT AN AMAZING RECORD! I mean, Oceanic was great, but this one has a slightly different feel to it… the instrumentations are more laid-back, or something. The use of dynamics and the sheer diversity of what they’ve laid down here blew my mind! This came out two years after Oceanic, so maybe the band just grew into this sound even more, or something, I dunno.

It hardly matters what happened, the fact is that this album exists, it fucking ROCKS, and you need to go get yourself a copy.

PS For those interested, a panopticon is this.

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ISIS – Oceanic

I bought this CD in Toronto on this year’s (3rd) Annual Mike And Aaron Go To Toronto excursion! It’s awesome!

I really was going to write-up every song on this CD, I swear. I had a page all marked out in my cheap-ass dollar store notebook for it, and everything. But about three songs in, I found that my pen was sitting idle and I was drifting off with the music into all sorts of weird places in my brain. Upon this realization, I brought myself back to the present and resolved to focus on the CD at hand. A couple of tracks later, I realized that the music had, once again. taken me off into my imagination. At this point, I understood that this is one of THOSE albums, and I just let go of my grip on the present moment and let myself go with it. It was fantastic.

There were times I thought they sounded like Tool, but then the next track would come along and it’d be totally different. And I’d think I’d hear other bands but then know that no, it wasn’t emulating anyone. It just IS. It’s ancient and immovable, it’s modern and enticing. It’s more than that, besides.

Better reviewers than I have written up this album, so I won’t even try, except to say that this was fucking fantastic. I could listen to this CD all day. Just put it on repeat, let it wash over me. Those riffs and melody lines, the wild vocals, the time changes and mastery of dynamics… this is an iron fist in a velvet glove. This is brilliance.

Wow. Just… wow. I think I paid about $5 for this, and it’s worth waaaaay more than that. I’m so glad I bought this!

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