Isis
Panopticon


4.5
superb

Review

by Luke M. Jenkins (Confessed) USER (58 Reviews)
September 8th, 2007 | 19 replies | 3,259 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Panopticon holds host to some of the band's truly epic creations. A vast sea of density, ambiance and wonder, some may view it as the band's magnum opus. As for Oceanic lovers, this often comes in at a close seconds.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

The word 'epic' can be attributed to many things in life. When speaking about music, things that are labeled as such are because that have the capability to invoke certain emotions within people. Isis are a band that are more than capable of achieving this - the band have consistently released excellent records that showcase their incredibly dense brand of post metal to perfection. Panopticon is indeed an album that could be classified as one that is quite epic. There are many reasons as to why this is...

The album opens up with one of the highlights. So Did We thrusts you straight into it, with a dense series of riffs coupled with the simple yet hypnotic drumming and forceful vocals of Aaron Turner. Another really nice feature throughout is that the bass is highly audible, at times almost completely indistinguishable from the guitars. It will weave in and out of the mix with some very pleasing yet never overtly technical lines, all the more contributing to the immense wall of sound the band create. So Did We is also a perfect example of how the band juxtapose their mammoth heavy sections with calming, almost ambient like pieces that help to add so much diversity into their sound. Aaron Turner possesses an incredibly beastly harsh tone when employing his screamed vocal technique. The sheer force of his voice is quite remarkable and whilst I'd say that his harsh vocals are his forte, his clean are more than adequate. Even though they were much more prominent on the band's latest release, In the Absence of Truth, they occasionally crop up here and there throughout Panopticon.

In terms of further album pros, Panopticon doesn't fall short. Backlit creates a strange kind of atmosphere, retaining and uplifting feel throughout but never in the way that a song structured around major keys would establish. Whilst Oceanic was slightly darker in it's theme, mostly because of the concept it was centered around, Panopticon retains a slightly more upbeat feel. With that said, the atmosphere created by the album is an awesomely epic one - this is further demonstrated by the track In Fiction, which builds up huge amounts of suspense with a lengthy, yet never uninteresting introduction. Tracks such as Syndic Calls and Wills Dissolve will follow similar patterns to aforementioned tracks but with Isis being the band they are, they always manage to retain the listener's attention. Their combination of density and ambiance is definitely a winner throughout.

As far as cons go, Panopticon is an album that lacks them, almost entirely. Isis write lengthy songs, which may be a very obvious statement to make. But in short, that is likely to put some people off. Post metal is also not everybody's cup of tea - but if you have heard the likes of the instrumental Pelican and are yet to check Isis out, then they are definitely worth your time. People searching for wild technicality or blazing virtuosity should also look elsewhere, as neither of these things are the focus or central point of Isis' music. But if you like your music to be heavy, intelligent and a little different as far as metal goes, then Panopticon is a surefire way to get you interested. Whilst not a classic, Panopticon remains to be one of the band's more epic records, perhaps more so than Oceanic at points. Just bear in mind that you'll probably have to be a little patient at first (especially those new to the whole post rock/metal deal).

Recommended Tracks
So Did We
In Fiction
Grinning Mouths



Recent reviews by this author
War From A Harlots Mouth MMXPig Destroyer Terrifyer
War From A Harlots Mouth TransmetropolitanDevil Sold His Soul A Fragile Hope
Coheed and Cambria No World for TomorrowPig Destroyer Painter of Dead Girls
user ratings (2075)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
LifeInABox
September 8th 2007



3707 Comments


Nice. Short, sweet, and to the point.

Doppelganger
September 8th 2007



3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Great review. So Did We is ISIS's greatest achievement.

NightHunteR
September 8th 2007



52 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review, great album if u actually have the attention span necessary to enjoy it

cometuesday
September 8th 2007



959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not a bad review, could've thrown a bit more in there but whatev.

Confessed2005
September 8th 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't want the review to sound as if I was procrastinating. I'm quite happy with what I came up with. Only one pos vote so far though .

ValiumMan
September 8th 2007



493 Comments


Good review. I love this album a lot, because of its focus on atmosphere instead of wanky technicality.

blackmilk
September 8th 2007



584 Comments


"Backlit" isn't a very uplifting song =

Confessed2005
September 8th 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It is in my opinion.

Thus, that is all that matters.

blackmilk
September 8th 2007



584 Comments


fuck i didnt know it was your opinion fuck

LifeInABox
September 8th 2007



3707 Comments


good review, great album if u actually have the attention span necessary to enjoy it
That's incredibly easy, considering Isis is very engaging.

tribestros
September 8th 2007



918 Comments


I've heard so much about this band, but I've never checked them out. I'll be changing this soon. But, good review, this was the review I needed to check out Isis.

LaidToRest329
September 8th 2007



158 Comments


I've never actually heard Isis either, can anyone recommend a good starting album?

anyways good review, short but with detail.

cbmartinez
September 8th 2007



2525 Comments


I think In The Absence Of Truth is their best but it's different from their other stuff. This album would be good. Get the song "The Beginning And The End" or "False Light" though.

kalkal50
September 9th 2007



2386 Comments


great review, i can never listen to isis

Putrefaction
September 9th 2007



59 Comments


So Did We is such a great opener. Nice review btw

Wizard
September 9th 2007



18757 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Your best review by far Confessed! Well written and couldn't have put it better myself. One of my favourite albums of all time.

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

Confessed2005
September 10th 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, this review came very naturally to me. But I'd say I've written quite a few really good ones.

Wizard
September 10th 2007



18757 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is true Confessed. However, I was listening to this album while I was reading this last night, hence why I liked this review so much hahaha!

Confessed2005
January 12th 2008



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Listening to this again. I find it almost impossible to choose between this and In the Absence of Truth as my second fave Isis album.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy