Isis
In the Absence of Truth


4.5
superb

Review

by SubtleDagger USER (35 Reviews)
October 31st, 2006 | 595 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another incredible genre-shifting milestone for post-metal titans.

"Avant garde" metal can be an irritating genre pocket. Bands that have little in common are often thrust together under the same roof of "progressive" or "experimental" simply because they don't conform to any standards set in stone by thousands of metal bands before them. Bands like Tool who were raised on grunge and nu-metal share realms with bands such as The Melvins or Kayo Dot, who are born of much different circumstances and make a separate brand of music. "Progressive" is confusing enough of a term when it's slapped on bands like Pink Floyd and Yes simply because they move from one idea to another, but when it's also branded on the likes of bands such as Dream Theater and The Mars Volta it is easy to note the complete difference in sound and execution and wonder if it is really worth all the trouble.

Luckily, few would bother arguing with Isis being labelled progressive; with one listen to In the Absence of Truth (or any of their earlier releases), it is appropriate in the literal sense, if not the genre-specific term. Isis takes metal to a new progression, moving past boundaries that the majority of their counterparts relish to create something new from worn fabric. Often it seems that a genre such as metal is nothing more than a dynamic to them, a counterpart to post-rock's soft and thoughtful meanderings or sludge's browbeating pulses. The band utilizes these entire classes of sounds in one continuous thought, not once appearing out of their element or at a lack of control. With this record, it is more apparent than ever that Isis is at the top of their game.

As it can be with most records which delve into the post-rock arena, In the Absence of Truth is not necessarily an album you would associate with track names. The nine tracks here average out to about eight minutes each and it feels at times like one hour-long song, continuously shifting, reprising and falling back into itself. It begins beautifully in an epic fashion with "Wrists of Kings" and refuses to let up, whether it is pounding away with metallic assaults or lingering graciously with sonic soundscapes. For sixty minutes, it always attempts to remain interesting and rarely fails, and that is a very unlikely feat for most any band, much less bands who craft such eclectic and thoughtful pieces of music.

In the Absence of Truth is nearly untouchable; every track is solid and the entire composition is ingeniously thought-out. Perhaps the only problem to be found is that like many bands who cater to their post-rock tendencies, this definitely has potential to wear thin on a listener with a short attention span. In my case, this is completely hypothetical since my undivided attention is given whenever the first notes begin to pour out of my speakers, but it is easy to imagine people with simpler tastes yawning around the third track and moving towards a band that instantly gratifies. This is perfectly understandable; some simply prefer something more immediate. For those who prefer a band who could likely build on crescendoes and dynamics for hours at time, this is clearly made for you.

So perhaps this is not a classic, an album which appeals to everyone and never drops the ball, but it is without a doubt another incredible release by an incredible band who since their inception have not failed to amaze and impress; it is another piece of mounting evidence that Isis is nearly unstoppable. With Oceanic, Panopticon, and now this landmark record under their belts, it remains to be seen whether Isis will ever release a slab of musicianship that is not astonishing. In the Absence of Truth builds upon the mountain that Isis continue to climb, an apex in the lands of metal and post-rock that will hopefully never end.



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user ratings (1342)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Sevengill (4.5)
"In the Absence of Truth" is a beautiful collage of story and sound. Anyone who disregards metal as ...

monochromatic (4.5)
Isis has made a fantastic album here and in my opinion there best, not everyone will see it this way...

Matt Conrad (5)
Wow......

5thEye (4.5)
Isis show themselves to be an ever-progressing band, and prove to expand their musical frontiers eve...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SubtleDagger
October 31st 2006


737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh thank Christ, I got an error before I refreshed the submit form and thought this review was lost forever -_____-

Zesty Mordant
October 31st 2006


1196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes, this album rules. "Dulcinea" and "Holy Tears" are some of the best songs that they've written yet.

good reviewThis Message Edited On 10.31.06

Ataraxia
October 31st 2006


59 Comments


Thank God you did this review. Wasn't sure where they were headed on this album since I heard Dulcinea on myspace and it sounded a lot more melodic vocally (not that that's bad, at all), but I really need to get this now.

This is a great review.This Message Edited On 10.31.06

SubtleDagger
October 31st 2006


737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank God you did this review.

Haha seriously

You have no idea how pissed I was when I got a socket error, hit back and got a blank form, I was like GAH O_O

Luckily, forward and another refresh solved itThis Message Edited On 10.31.06

Ataraxia
October 31st 2006


59 Comments


Haha. love Isis, I only wish they had come to Florida with Tool

SubtleDagger
October 31st 2006


737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah, you're in Florida too
I'm not much for Tool though Lateralus was alright, I just think the rest of their stuff is way overrated
Isis is sweet though

CushMG15
October 31st 2006


1803 Comments


Yeah, that concert got cancelled in Madison...I was irrate. I've been meaning to check these guys out for quite sometime, and I think I'll start here.

Wagner, if you wouldn't mind sending me a couple tracks over AIM, that'd be awesome. Same sn as on here. Thanks.

SubtleDagger
October 31st 2006


737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You don't want it from me, my AIM transfers are known to be extra buggy and they lag out a lot
Besides you should buy it >:|

Intransit
October 31st 2006


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review. I listened to this a while back thanks to slsk, and I wasnt all that impressed by it. I found it very boring. Ill have to relisten to it though.

Kage
October 31st 2006


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

As much as I like Isis, I think Rosetta and Pelican trample them.

SubtleDagger
October 31st 2006


737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Um

They get comparisons to Tool though I think they're heavier than Tool and Tool usually sucks in my opinion

Really you should just listen to them and you'll get the picture pretty quick

Also I agree Mastodon sucks so I won't make the comparisonThis Message Edited On 10.31.06

pixiesfanyo
October 31st 2006


1223 Comments


They're the good version of Tool.

radianteclipse
October 31st 2006


397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

There was a time, actually not too long ago...when Isis was a band worth great praise. This album is just downright boring. They've lost the luster that they really put forth in Panopticon...this just sounds like that album watered down. I almost cried listening to this, because I really felt let down that one of my favorite bands ever could release something so unfinished and dull.

I can only hope it grows on me with time.

Upsidedown_and_Sideways
November 1st 2006


265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So good. Very impressed. I have a feeling that this will become the soundtrack to my winter. Good review.

wikuk
November 1st 2006


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

F*cking awesome review. But you guys should stop with saying that this band is the good version of Tool. Both these bands have nothing in common (okay, very few) and shouldn't be compared to each other like you do.

RunAmokRampant
November 1st 2006


228 Comments


What I usually do is write my reviews in a word processing program and save it before submitting it on sputnik. Saves having those feared close encounters of losing all your work. This IS the internet we have to deal with and I never trust it.

I've got all of Isis' albums so far, and I can't see myself not picking this one up. Good review

Dried Muffin Remnants
November 1st 2006


297 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is very brilliant... it's the type of album that'll keep growing on you, too with all of its complexities and dynamics. Songs like Firdous E Bareen show their everlasting progression and experimetation... and while all of the other songs are very good, songs like Dulcinea and Wrists of Kings just blow you away.

So far this album is getting a 4.5 because it is much to take in... maybe soon it'll be a 5 and as/more appealing as Panopticon.This Message Edited On 11.01.06

DekWannaBFlea
November 1st 2006


284 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tool and Isis really aren't that much alike.....

Two-Headed Boy
November 1st 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love Panopticon, so I'll look into this.

Good review.

Kutch
November 1st 2006


1 Comments


I like this album.This Message Edited On 11.01.06



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