Isis
Panopticon


5.0
classic

Review

by ManaYoodSushai USER (8 Reviews)
December 19th, 2012 | 94 replies | 2,512 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Post-metal pioneers stunning masterpiece

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Panopticon is the fifth album from LA based post metal visionaries, Isis, bringing with it a similar vibe to previous effort Oceanic, but capitalising on this vibe to produce one of the most perfect albums of the 21st century.

The main theme of the album is focused around philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s idea of a Panopticon prison, a tall central tower that allows the guards to observe inmates from the tower with the idea that the prisoners don’t know if they are being watched or not. Musically, this album incorporates frantic nods to Neurosis, especially on the heavier parts of the album which are intertwined with calmer more subtle parts to make the perfect mix of dynamics. Vocalist and guitarist Aaron Turner has created an album with many different emotions, from the desolate, monolithically heavy intro of “So Did We” coupled with his bloodcurdling harsh vocals which are capable of scaring even the bogeyman away, to the beautiful serene prettiness of “Backlit “with its delicate strings, singing like they’re speaking a language of their own. This album promises twists and turns throughout the whole of its fifty-nine minute duration.

An important point to note is that this album is deep, mainly due to the fact that there are not a whole lot of vocals, thus enabling the music to capture you in its spell. For instance, the gorgeous synths that are prevalent throughout the album add an extra dimension to the music, often times making it otherworldly. On the track “Altered Course” the six and a half minute outro is perfect, as Isis manage to add delicate layer over delicate layer, allowing them to produce the perfect texture needed to convey this incredibly powerful and melancholic movement. Props must go to Jeff Caxide, the bassist, for making the bass guitar so important especially towards the end of “Wills Dissolve” in which the bass compliments the high shrieks of the guitar creating an eargasmic riff sure to make your ears bleed but in a good way.

The final track of the album, “Grinning Mouths” pays tributes to the *** your pants heaviness Isis have created, with a defiant riff conjured up in the form of crushing distortion, Aaron Turner’s clean and almost meditative vocals over top make an excellent end to an album that had already paved its way into the history books within its first few seconds. Numerous amazing moments like this litter this album, as it’s hard not to mention the spine-tingling climax of “In Fiction” which could contend for the ultimate head banging moment ever.

In a nutshell, very few albums have had the power to leave a stunning and overwhelming legacy to music itself, the songs are like different and ever-changing characters, containing intricacies no one could pick out on first listen. This album is a stunning example of how post-metal should challenge the listener, and to plunge them into sonic depths that are undiscovered. Magnificent.



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user ratings (2127)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 19th 2012



49788 Comments


Put spaces in between your paragraphs


Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

Ignimbrite
December 19th 2012



5294 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

^^^

evilford
December 19th 2012



21168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^^^^

oceanic is the best

Digging: Demilich - 20th Adversary of Emptiness

MikeC26
December 19th 2012



3142 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

no it isn't

KILL
December 19th 2012



70573 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

green 1

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

zxlkho
December 19th 2012



3460 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Post-metal pioneers"

I wasn't aware we were talking about a Neurosis album

demigod!
December 19th 2012



43843 Comments


cool album

Digging: Black Flag - My War

MikeC26
December 19th 2012



3142 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Potsy is tough guys watch out

YoYoMancuso
December 19th 2012



10855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah this is pretty sweet

Ignimbrite
December 19th 2012



5294 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"yes it is u havent earned the right to say jackass elite shit so shut up"

I have, and Panopticon is better. :]

Gwyn.
December 19th 2012



14888 Comments


Panopticon is the fifth album from LA based post metal visionaries


Huh?

Digging: Buzzov-en - Sore

demigod!
December 19th 2012



43843 Comments


i heard panopticon once and it was kinda boring

but i find most post-metal kinda boring so

Ignimbrite
December 19th 2012



5294 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

4 ≠ boring

demigod!
December 19th 2012



43843 Comments


i meant oceanic* derp

evilford
December 19th 2012



21168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

a 3, that is offensive

evilford
December 19th 2012



21168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but yeah, had to lower from 5, just wasn't a 5 anymore

but oceanic is a different story!!!

think I may be starting to dig CoL more than ISIS...didn't think that would ever happen....

demigod!
December 19th 2012



43843 Comments


i should give this and Oceanic relistens

from sinking is such a good song

Shuyin
December 19th 2012



11167 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i like CoL better but both bands are on the same level of awesomeness so fuck it

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars

evilford
December 19th 2012



21168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

from sinking is fkn amazing

that and carry, and false light, and hym, and the other, and weight and nggpao9gnapa948tp4890tmpq24890mtp34890tjpq24890mgpq49peav

Shuyin
December 19th 2012



11167 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

basicaly everything from oceanic

when it comes to CoL its everything from Salvation and SATH m/m/m76



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