I’m pretty bad at writing reviews, so I'll just cut to the chase and review song by song:
So did we
The best song on the album. It starts off with a pretty heavy and some shouted vocals, but that’s not really an indication of what’s too come. It quickly goes into a great melodic part and stays there for a while, slowly building up the tension. One thing that is particularly good about this song is the vocal melody line. Aaron Turner isn’t the best vocalist ever, but the sung section sent shivers down my spine when I first heard it. The ending is amazing. There’s some heavy guitars with a weird high pitched (synth?) line over the top. This is a good introduction to Isis, as its also the song that changes the most on this album
This one opens wth a nice major key guitar line. The bass sounds particularly good in this song, it really makes it better. The riffing does seem a little bit lazy in some parts of this song (chromatic descending riff? Wtf?) but its still pretty **** good. Another problem would be the build up in the second half of the song. I’m all for building up tension, but it just takes too long. Still, its a very good song. 4/5.
The weakest song on the album. There’s a great minor-key intro riff, which you might enjoy at first. Except for the fact that the intro riff goes on for 3 minutes, with little variation except for the bass doing a bit of noodling. The rest of the song is actually quite good, but the problem is getting past that part. It’s really freaking boring. 3/5
This song starts off with an absolutely beautiful synth part. Like In fiction, this song takes a very long time to get going. However, it doesn’t get boring, with the intro riff (a kind of classical minor key guitar bit) being busy enough to keep your interest. This song gets pretty heavy, it’s probably got the fastest bits on the album (which isn’t very fast, but still.) That’s one of the great things about Isis. They don’t have to be very fast to blow your mind. This song builds up again and again, with a great ending. 5/5.
I wish I knew what the song title meant, but that doesn’t take away from a kick *** song. This song is a bit similar to Backlit in terms of structure, with 2 clearly different parts. The first part isn’t up to much, but the second part is incredible. Over the heavy riffing and pounding drums there’s some great synths that really push this song on to the next level. There’s also some pretty good singing and screaming in this song. This song is incredible. It has it all: singing, screaming, clean, heavy, beauty and erm... brutality. 5/5
This is my favourite song on the album. This song guest stars the tool bassist, but I cant really see why he’s here. This song seems to be the least favourite for most metal fans I know, but that’s fair enough, because this song is really slow for the most part. The first 3 minutes are pretty heavy, with a lot of riffing, and for this part it seems like its the heaviest song yet. However, the last 7 (!) minutes is very slow synth beats. Its almost like a Trance track. That doesn’t detract from it though. Over the 7 minutes, the synths slowly build up on top of each other over and over again. It’s very beautiful (as I’ve said about 5 times) but extremely repetitive. Not a song for Grindcore fans though. 5/5.
This song is back to the heaviness. It starts off with a fairly upbeat heavy riff, and it mutates and morphs over the 8 minutes. There’s some fairly conventional riffing at the end of this song, instead of the "Big chords of doom" style that’s in most of this CD. Its still amazing. Once again, there are some awesome synths over the riffing at the end of the song, but they play more of a background role. The climax is stunning, and appropriate for an album as good as this one. The drums really pound out the beats with some big guitar riffing. Again, an excellent song. 5/5.
Simply put, this is one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. Someone described this as "Classical written by Heavy Metal Fans" and I can agree with that. These songs aren’t really about the destination; they’re about the journey. The soundscapes created in this album are mystical, brutal, uplifting, depressing and beautiful. They’re everything you could want. It speaks volumes that people from my mum to me to my death metal fanatic friend can like this record. It’s an incredible record, the kind of record that only comes once in a lifetime. The one problem with this record could be the production, with the vocals very hard to understand (although that might he deliberate) and the guitars way too distorted in some parts. Otherwise though, this record is brilliant.