Isis
Celestial


3.5
great

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (129 Reviews)
September 13th, 2015 | 76 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It may not be as emotionally engaging or complex as their later albums, but Isis' debut certainly proves how they are a force to be reckoned with

When it comes to consistency, many bands only wish they could reach the level that Isis established. Over the course of their quality over quantity career, they truly have never released a bad LP, or even one that could only be called good. Every album had a different sound to delve into, with each of them showing off a well-rounded combination of elegance and heaviness. However, every band has to start somewhere and the band certainly delivered with Celestial. Despite this claim, it’s as if all of the puzzle pieces have yet to fall into place here. Their debut may not be as imaginative or as genuinely emotional as the rest of the sublime albums that come after, but the charisma certainly shows without a doubt. Incredibly riff driven and brooding, Celestial definitely serves as the shape of the passionate music to come.

Right off the bat, the title track displays how the album will be more focused on riffs and heaviness. Make no mistake that the latter part of the song gives off a beautiful, spacey vibe, but most of the song is one memorable guitar riff after another. Plus, Aaron Turner’s harsh vocals prove to be in top form here. They may not be as beastly as his later vocals, but his rasp driven scream and raw cleans get the job done exceptionally well. While this song leaves the most immense lasting impression, the album’s true closer acts as another highlight. The ironically titled “Gentle Time” builds itself upon numerous memorable riffs just like the title track and it all leads up to a thrilling end. As evidenced by these two songs, Isis have quite the exceptional ability going on here. They show off the band’s sludgy heaviness remarkably well, but make no mistake that their signature slowdowns of elegance appear quite frequently here to quite the enjoyable effect.

“C.F.T(New Circuitry and Continued Evolution) serves as one of the band’s slowest songs to date, with it continuously building upon a repetitious groove from every player. The drumming is slow yet steady and the bass paves the way along with the gentle spacey atmosphere. The entire song is a breath of fresh air due to a subtle climax and catchy instrumentation. Meanwhile, the other more pleasant parts are scattered throughout the entire record. Amidst the instrumentation that live up to the song name “Collapse and Crush,” the guitar work soar high in the atmosphere and Aaron Turner’s vocals juxtapose quite nicely with the significantly less heavy vibe. The same can be said for Swarm Reigns(Down) because of its chilling interlude of gentle guitar work and distant sound effects that keep the listener wondering where it’s heading. It then explodes into a frenzy on hard hitting vocals. Though these slower sections certainly grow to hold incredible emotional power with the band’s age, the juxtaposition between the gentle atmosphere and metal is nonetheless welcome here.

With the exception of the unnecessary blaring guitar feedback and uninteresting repetition in “Deconstructing Towers,” for the most part there are not many bad moments on here. It’s a well composed debut throughout the entire thing. Granted, Jeff Caxide’s signature vibrant sound with the bass has yet to come into play and Aaron Harris’ drumming ability strengthens in technicality and complexity overtime. Not to mention the extra layer of ethereal atmosphere is mostly absent here, but everything works nonetheless. The band’s most hard hitting tracks such as “Glisten” provide head banging fun and Aaron Turner’s vocals are immaculately performed. Celestial essentially serves as the blueprint for everything to come, with many aspects of this album that are already great being perfected overtime.



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user ratings (889)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2015


17265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Grew off me a bit, but any Isis is still awesome in my book!

FluttRTrank
September 13th 2015


128 Comments


Celestial (The Tower) is such a good fucking song.

TalonsOfFire
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2015


14749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love the last few songs, the ambience is so good on here.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2015


17265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed C.F.T and the title track is awesome

Muppelope
September 13th 2015


885 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Make no mistake that the end of the song gives off a beautiful, spacey vibe near the end..."

Just a little redundant, but other than that, really solid review. Agreed with pretty much everything you had to say.

Tunaboy45
September 13th 2015


10902 Comments


(the band)

Digging: Weezer - The White Album

BMDrummer
September 13th 2015


13651 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love aaron's vox on this

Tunaboy45
September 13th 2015


10902 Comments


good review Mongi

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2015


17265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ugh please Tunaboy don't even start with that. Thanks though haha



And agreed has vox are awesome but his best stuff is definitely Oceanic. Doesn't even sound human there.

KILL
September 13th 2015


76826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

one of their better records

Digging: Breadwinner - The Burner

NakedSnake
September 13th 2015


651 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My second favorite of theirs.

Mort.
September 13th 2015


10262 Comments


Great review mongi

This bored me the one time i listened to it

Digging: Howls of Ebb - The Marrow Veil

Gard3n
September 13th 2015


433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Underrated but still awesome. Still, I prefer Mosquito Control and Red Sea over this in their early era.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2015


17265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks man, definitely my least fav and I can understand why this would bore. It's not that dynamic but it still rules hard.

trackbytrackreviews
September 13th 2015


2681 Comments


The only one I've never listened to

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2015


17265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You should dude it's sweet.

RogueNine
September 14th 2015


2314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah that should change ASAP.

Avagantamos
September 14th 2015


4462 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

gentle time is top 5 isis songs for me

Digging: Gris - A lame Enflammee, lame Constellee

Relinquished
September 14th 2015


31350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

deconstructing towers is like top 3 for me

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2015


17265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That's honestly the only Isis track I don't like



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