Growl, Opera-Rock, Rasping vocals
"A clever mix of postcore and post-rock, "Panopticon" is a nerve-wracking journey from darkness to light that leaves its mark in minds."
HYPERUNKNOWN (15.12.2008)  
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Two years after the release of "Oceanic", Isis has offered in 2004 his third album, still produced by Matt Bayles ( Mastodon, ...) who will have the heavy and difficult task of trying to do as well as his elder brother. Especially since the works of the multi-recidivist artist Aaron Turner, Isis' head, frontman, guitarist but also member of bands such as the equally exciting Old Man Gloom (Post-hardcore/Punk), Lotus Eaters or House of Low Culture (Drone-Ambient) are expected by a growing audience, allowing the Americans to leave the restricted circle of underground bands.

Knowing the Californians' pronounced taste for evolution rather than immobility, it was a priori very likely that "Panopticon" would offer us something different. And, never short of imagination, Aaron Turner approaches the album through a new theme, namely the Panopticon. Behind this enigmatic name lies a concept of prison architecture imagined by the philosopher Jeremy Bentham, allowing an individual living in a central tower to observe the other prisoners without them knowing if they are.

Besides the conceptual side of the object, which was already noticed on the last opus, Isis' music progressively turns into a less virulent entity which, although still monolithic, takes on more the appearance of a clever mix of postcore and post-rock. It also becomes on this album truly mathematical, doubling in complexity. Formerly impulsive and acrimonious, it now becomes rigorous and more thoughtful. Still based on a flow of granular distortions along with methodical drum parts, the Californians now channel their power, play with tensions, alternating moments of insidious calm and saving deflagrations.

There are seven tracks for more than an hour of listening to, the tracks stretch out for a long time and take the time to let the pressure rise meticulously until they explode in full flight. Contrary to what the cover might suggest, the listener won't feel up in the air, but rather at the bottom of an abyss, crushed by the monumental gravity created by the wall of sound of the guitar riffs and Turner's vociferations. This impression emerges as soon as "So Did We" starts, displaying the dreaded energy that will be mastered on the whole album.

Personally, I consider "Panopticon" to be Isis' true masterpiece. More nuanced than "Oceanic", it's also the transition before the passage to a less emotional, more cerebral post-rock with "In This Absence Of Truth". Disturbing as much as fascinating and hypnotic, "Panopticon" is a trying journey from darkness to light that will leave a mark for a long time.

More informations on

01. So Did We – 07:30
02. Backlit – 07:43
03. In Fiction – 08:59
04. Wills Dissolve – 06:47
05. Syndic Calls – 9:40
06. Altered Course – 09:58
07. Grinning Mouths – 08:27

Aaron Harris : Batterie
Aaron Turner : Chant / Guitares
Bryant Clifford Meyer : Chant / Guitares / Samples
Jeff Caxide : Basse
Michael Gallagher: Guitares
Top of the page
(0) COMMENT(S)    
Top of the page
4/5 (2 view(s))
5/5 (1 view(s))
DRAGONFORCE: Ultra Beatdown (2008)
MELODIC METAL - Abusing a plastic guitar on the seven minutes of "Through The Fire And Flames" is one thing, swallowing the fifty-eight minutes of "Ultra Beatdown" is another.
DIO: Holy Diver (1983)
HARD ROCK - First album for the former singer of Black Sabbath and first success. Drawing its inspiration from a direct and heavy Hard Rock, "Holy Diver" opens the doors of the consecration to a Ronnie James Dio always in verve.
F.A.Q. / You found a bug / Terms Of Use
Music Waves - Rock (Progressive, Alternative...), Hard Rock (AOR, Melodic,...) & Metal (heavy, progressive, melodic, ...) Media
Reviews, News, Interviews, Advices, Promotion, Releases, Concerts
© Music Waves | 2003 - 2023