Isis
Panopticon


5.0
classic

Review

by Kyle USER (17 Reviews)
February 9th, 2009 | 101 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A heavily dense sound that will send you into the depths of your mind, plowing through your everyday thought process.

Isis – Panopticon

Imagine a solid mass of sound, plummeting at you in a somewhat slithering speed, yet you are still able to absorb it all in one impact. It arrives in the form of muffled and bloated guitars, with voices attempting to scream and shout over the loudness. Deep, pounding bass drums and snare smashes only add to the schizophrenic use of sound as it resonates throughout your ear canal. Everything then quiets down, entering a soothing array of oddly-placed melodies and concentration-inducing riffs. An epic build up then begins, and the wall of sound once again arrives shattering the calm undertone. The piercing guitars then enter the otherworldly mode once more, as another divine bridge flows into a third wall of pure sound pressurization. A calming melody is then shrouded beneath this loudness, as we enter the closing volume drift. To fans of the devastating album “Panopticon,” this song could be recognized to be none other than the epic “So Did We.”

While this might seem to be a somewhat exaggerated view of the song, it is literally that thought-inducing. Upon listening to this, one will enter a world within their mind they have never seen before, as they float through this serene universe within their imaginations. It has become very apparent to me that this band was trying to make you feel good, whether it be though spacing out or just headbanging to the overall claustrophobic feeling you will get upon playing the first track. This could be taken as a stoner’s view on musical aspects of the album, but I can completely and utterly assure you, I am not on these sorts of drugs. While the music may seem repetitive and homogeneous after awhile, it won’t directly matter if you’re listening to the music correctly, as it will immerse you so deep, you won’t even identify the repetitive elements. This all leads to what makes the album meet perfection in my eyes: the overall concept or idea of the album negates the problems you will have with the album as a whole.

Bryant Meyer and Michael Gallagher can’t exactly be recognized as revolutionary guitarists, but they sure know how to generate recognizable riffs that slowly drone into your mind. While Gallagher produces most of the intertwined melodies and seemingly does most of the instrumental work here, Meyer fulfills his talent completely with his ability to play guitar and keyboards, as well as do some of the vocal performances. He creates disheveled atmospheric effects with his well-placed passages, as well as producing some vocals, which could be often compared to the all too famous Tool. But the instrument that truly stands out here is the bass guitar; Jeff Caxide could be considered one of the best modern bassists, as he creates inventive bass lines and provides a constant display of talent throughout almost every song. For proof of his worthiness, just check out track two, “Backlit.”

Probably the only downside to the album, which is overshadowed by the mind-bending experience, is the drums. Aaron Harris isn’t necessarily terrible, he could just do much more interesting fills, but his main goal here was probably just to help formulate the overwhelming final sound. Aaron Turner could also be noted for his excellent voice, probably even good enough to be considered unique to the genre. While, because of the interesting production qualities, you can’t hear his vocals that well, they definitely shine through the dense sound that is plastered to your brain. This is what will simply amaze the listener, as it is just phenomenal how he can project his voice over ridiculous volumes of the instruments. Harris can be rightfully placed in the category of best modern vocalists, and he will probably stay there for a few more years.

Overall, this album is a heavy-listener’s dream come true and will enter my personal list of modern classics. The mentality surging through this album is off the wall, and the songwriting is nearing perfect, as Isis plays with advanced reverberation concepts in their song structures. Raw energy pulsates from the music into your brain as you envelope the opaque quality of the guitars. Screams and clean vocal melodies harmonize through your speakers as you drift through universal organ that is the brain. Anyone can realize the brilliance of this album’s unique sound, they just have to listen to it a specific way at a specific time. Recommended to anyone who is a fan of metal, stoner rock, or music in general; you need to buy this now.

Pros [+]
+Excellent Vocals
+Unique Sound
+Overwhelming in a Good Way
+Caxide Invents Very Creative Bass Lines
+Every Song is Extremely Epic
+Great Song Structure

Cons [-]
-Possibly the Drums, but it Fits the Music Well



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Si1v3RfaNg
February 9th 2009


817 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I officially consider this my best review thus far, I heavily combined my poetry into my sentence structure and wording, and I like how it turned out.

Tell me what you guys think.

rasputin
February 9th 2009


14555 Comments


Imagine a solid mass of sound, plummeting at you in a somewhat slithering speed, yet you are still able to absorb it all in one impact.

The piercing guitars then enter the otherworldly mode once more, as another divine bridge flows into a third wall of pure sound pressurization

Hahahahahahahahahaha

AngelPhoenix
February 9th 2009


2764 Comments


^^^He has a point. That's just terrible.

charlesfishtitz
February 9th 2009


784 Comments


now imagine ethereal bodies of soundgasm plummeting vast soundscapes of majesty

Hawks
February 9th 2009


35838 Comments


Well apparently its his best review so far guys.

Si1v3RfaNg
February 9th 2009


817 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

lol I already explained, I wanted to intertwine poetry into the sentence structures, hopefully it was somewhat successful.

Cesar
February 9th 2009


2732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A little over the top I say.

Albums is epic, and if you loved this then definetly check out Salvation by Cult Of Luna.

Si1v3RfaNg
February 9th 2009


817 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Alright I will, I've been listening to this for about two to three weeks straight, it's just soooo good.

Edit: To Rasputin, does my poetic devices not makes sense to you?This Message Edited On 02.09.09

rasputin
February 9th 2009


14555 Comments


No, they don't make sense full stop.

Cesar
February 9th 2009


2732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You won't regret it, that is a promise.

Just read the review and you shall see why I say it. Salvation is just as good as this album, just longer, less known, and with more vocals.

marksellsuswallets
February 9th 2009


4848 Comments


rasputin

I mean poetic devices are fine but it doesn't fit with the grammar some of the time and it really just clouds things up when it's used improperly (like it is here)This Message Edited On 02.09.09

Meatplow
February 9th 2009


5524 Comments


While this might seem to be a somewhat exaggerated view of the song, it is literally that thought-inducing. Upon listening to this, one will enter a world within their mind they have never seen before, as they float through this serene universe within their imaginations. It has become very apparent to me that this band was trying to make you feel good, whether it be though spacing out or just headbanging to the overall claustrophobic feeling you will get upon playing the first track. This could be taken as a stoner’s view on musical aspects of the album, but I can completely and utterly assure you, I am not on these sorts of drugs. While the music may seem repetitive and homogeneous after awhile, it won’t directly matter if you’re listening to the music correctly, as it will immerse you so deep, you won’t even identify the repetitive elements. This all leads to what makes the album meet perfection in my eyes: the overall concept or idea of the album negates the problems you will have with the album as a whole.


This to me, sums up my feelings about the album. How on earth Si1v3RfaNg managed to do this is beyond me. Slacker wisdom?

There is a lot of needless verbosity here that comes off as silly, and some lines are just awful. But, you are improving.

bastard
February 9th 2009


3435 Comments


i would try not to set aside paragraphs for each instrument; it's not a bad way to review (i used to do it), but it's a bit predictable and if you do it too much you start to pigeonhole yourself into a boring, expected writing style. your first actual paragraph, where you talk about "behind the veil" is how you should try to style your whole review; try to focus on the songs and album as a whole instead of breaking them down to components such as a guitar part or a bass part or a certain vocal section. it's good to focus on specific parts if there's a standout, but try to keep in mind how all of the members of the band work together to make something good.


Si1v3RfaNg
February 9th 2009


817 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ok good, idk I'll try to do next review similar, but with less exaggerated verbosity.

Edit: lol Bastard, you just won;t let that go will you? I didn't dedicate a paragraph to each instrument though, I covered them all in a span of two paragraphs.This Message Edited On 02.09.09

bastard
February 9th 2009


3435 Comments


that's okay, but you're sort of missing the general point of what he was saying.

Si1v3RfaNg
February 9th 2009


817 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh ok, so just switch it up often, to keep my review structure varied?

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
February 9th 2009


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Pros And Cons Look Silly When You Capitalize Every Word
stick with all lowercase or take it out completely

edit: avoid 'extremely epic' at all costsThis Message Edited On 02.09.09

rasputin
February 9th 2009


14555 Comments


Ok good, idk I'll try to do next review similar, but with less exaggerated verbosity.

You can get away with exaggeration as long as it makes sense, but a lot of the phrases you have used are simply ridiculous. Think about what you're writing and whether it actually makes any sense next time.

Cesar
February 9th 2009


2732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you still feel the need to divide the review into specific pieces, what you can do is to condense it. Talk about the instrumentation in one paragraph, what the band and/or music is about in another, comparisons with other albums and/or bands in another, intro, conclusion, etc. That is better than having 8 paragraphs with each instrument or each song, etc.

That part of your review that Meatplow quoted is excellent, and is an accurate creative description of the album. Look at that part and try to use it as a standard if you are going to write another review using a format like the one you used in this one.

Si1v3RfaNg
February 9th 2009


817 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ok thanks for the criticism guys, I'll work on that. So would you guys say it was well-written or was it terrible.



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