Isis
Celestial


4.0
excellent

Review

by montague USER (15 Reviews)
May 15th, 2006 | 226 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


Riding into the mainstream of metal after collaborating with prog-metal heroes Tool's bassist Justin Chancellor, Isis are one of the most peculiar success stories of the past few years: refusing to budge or change their own unrelentingly brutal sound to suit the market, but still making it huge in a scene where the genres it stems from (stoner and crust metal) are both as unfashionable as an atreyu hoodie will be in 3 years time.

Drawing on sludge band Neurosis for inspiration and combining the gruff bark of The Melvins with the progressive undertones of Corrosion Of Conformity, Isis sound like no other band on the market today. While technically fairly simple, Isis use evocative melodies and pummeling dynamic to beat the listener into a blissfull submission.

Celestial, their first album proper, is more cohesive than the scattered Mosquito Control EP and more refined than the small-city-destroying Red Sea EP. While a few familiar-sounding pulsing metal riffs can be found around the place (see the opening title track) they soon descend into arcing chaos, with half-time riffs leaping in and out of Aaron Turner's throat-burning screams.

But there is one thing consistent in the dyanmic of Celestial: even in the quieter moments, you can still hear the band plotting, wearing down the walls of your brain with a slow, steady sledge-hammer pace, planning their next onslaught of leaden-guitar fury to catch you off your guard. The off-kilter groove of tracks like 'Glisten' sound like a plotting general, recovering from a momentary retreat, pacing around formulating a new method of assault. This is not war in the style of an 80-minute face-pummell ala Meshuggah. No, this is a psychological war: the music against your sanity.

The steady rumble of tracks like 'Gentle Time' still nudge roughly against your cranium, gentled only by the interlude tracks, each a short, quiet stream of relief between each new barrage of slow, determined noise. The screeching, abrasive lead guitars tag team across one of the most unusual rythym sections in rock: odd, simple, split drumming caresses the grooves of the never-faulty but always unusual lines laid out by the bass.

So when looking through the CD rack at your local record store and coming across Celestial, ask yourself, "am i mentally prepared for the unrelenting onslaught of tracks like 'deconstructing towers'?" because if the answer is yes, then you are certainly in for a dizzying, thrilling, brilliantly executed ride to challenge the senses, test your longevity as a listener and to ultimately be played whenever you want the irritating raver kids at your party go the living *** home.

****
4 stars.



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user ratings (753)
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3.7
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other reviews of this album
johnny of the Well (4.5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
kno_kontrol
May 15th 2006


448 Comments


"but still making it huge in a scene where the genres it stems from (stoner and crust metal) are both as unfashionable as an atreyu hoodie will be in 3 years time. "

Man, that made the review for me. Excellent work. This Message Edited On 05.15.06

AlienEater
May 15th 2006


716 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ya, this album is cool.


ArC
May 15th 2006


27 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Definatly a stepping stone in their climb to Oceanic and Panopticon. A pretty decent album that helped create some great follow ups.

radianteclipse
May 15th 2006


397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not exactly their best work, but it hints at the great band they would become and is still interesting to listen to.

George
May 15th 2006


20 Comments


Best Isis album, IMO. Great review.

supraman_2
June 7th 2006


146 Comments


I love the heaviness of the album. It's not quite as diverse as their later outings but still a strong record in it's own right. Pummeling is a good way to describe this music.

Dried Muffin Remnants
August 16th 2006


297 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree. I feel like my ass gets kicked by these riffs every time I listen. Definitely music I like to crank up...some of the coolest riffs ever, especially with the dense nature of the songs.

Upsidedown_and_Sideways
May 18th 2007


264 Comments


this album is heavy.

Confessed2005
May 23rd 2007


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really want to get this.

The band's last three albums have all been phenomenal.

Spectrum
September 21st 2007


347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty damn heavy stuff.
I like what I hear.

cometuesday
September 21st 2007


959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very good stuff. I love what they did with SGNL>05 too.

Wizard
November 15th 2007


19556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just picked this up today. I have to say that I underestimated this album completely.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

LifeInABox
November 22nd 2007


3709 Comments


I need to pick this up for sure.
Birthday Money ftw, amirite?

Confessed2005
January 11th 2008


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This seriously owns, especially the last three songs. Beginning parts of C.F.T are particularly awesome.

eggsvonsatan
March 17th 2008


1087 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

both as unfashionable as an atreyu hoodie will be in 3 years time.

LOL

Nice review but i wouldn't call them technically simple. Although they're not extremely quick, their later albums dive into a lot of odd times. I'd deffinitely say that they are technically proficient, but they are subtle about it.

willfellmarsy
April 11th 2008


3849 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

First listen to album and band today. Pretty fantastic album if i do say so myself. Deconstructing Towers is fantasticly magnificent...whrere should i go next with this band? Follow them in order or what?

Wizard
April 11th 2008


19556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice to see your checking up on some more post metal.

In the Absence of Truth, Panopitcon, Oceanic, and this! Alot of people will say Oceanic is their best but you be the judge!

willfellmarsy
April 12th 2008


3849 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I will...yea i like Isis more than minsk thogh im going back and forth with them...really enjoying the post metal scene tho...are there any other post metal bands that r goodness?

Burn2Burn
June 25th 2008


2378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Celestial (The Tower) has such a badass opening riff.

JAV
September 21st 2008


1945 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love the rawness of this.
Consistently good throughout.



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