MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

ISIS

Experimental/Post Metal • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Isis picture
Isis biography
Formed in Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 1997 - Disbanded in 2010

Originally formed by Hydrahead Records owner Aaron TURNER, ISIS began life as a fairly straightforward sludge/stoner metal band. Their first two EPs "The Red Sea" and "Mosquito Control" presented a brutal and loud form of heavy metal which quickly gained them a following, making their debut album "Celestial" a hit in metal circles. The first signs of what they would eventually become emerged on the "SGNL>05" EP, where their intense guitar grooves began to additionally incorporate mellow, spacey segments.

2002's "Oceanic" would prove to be their breakthrough album, perfecting the band's combination of post-rock buildups and explosive, slow metal. Their evolution came into full circle with 2003's "Panopticon", which relied more on atmosphere and gradual progressions than musicianship and technicality. "In The Absence Of Truth" and "Wavering Radiant" perfected the formula that ISIS have been striving for and that's why the band decided to call it a day in early 2010.

ISIS is an extremely worthwhile treat for fans of the more out-there regions of metal, or even of heavier post-rock bands.

See also:
- Red Sparowes

ISIS forum topics / tours, shows & news


ISIS forum topics Create a topic now
ISIS tours, shows & news Post an entries now

ISIS Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all ISIS videos (5) | Search and add more videos to ISIS

Buy ISIS Music


PanopticonPanopticon
Ipecac Recordings 2015
$9.91
$9.90 (used)
OceanicOceanic
IPEC0 2015
$10.95
$8.00 (used)
Clearing The EyeClearing The Eye
Multiple Formats
Ipecac Recordings 2015
$9.98
$4.73 (used)
In Absence Of TruthIn Absence Of Truth
Ipecac Recordings 2015
$8.88
$4.96 (used)
Rebel SoulRebel Soul
Fourth & Bway / Pgd 1991
$35.00
$9.99 (used)
Wavering RadiantWavering Radiant
Ipecac Recordings 2015
$11.79
$7.99 (used)
Mosquito ControlMosquito Control
EP
Escape Artist 2001
$10.00
$9.00 (used)
TemporalTemporal
Ipecac Recordings 2015
$13.50
$8.98 (used)
Live VIILive VII
Ipecac Recordings 2017
$10.00
$7.19 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
MAMIFFER The World Unseen + BONUS DISC JAPAN Mini LP (Papersleeve) Pyramids Isis USD $34.50 Buy It Now
Stanton Davis' Ghetto Mysticis - Isis Voyage : Unreleased Music USD $13.66 Buy It Now
CULT OF LUNA Vertikal tshirt Medium sludge doom metal amenra isis USD $3.99 [1 bids]
ISIS Oceanic JAPAN CD HWCY-1109 2002 USD $42.93 Buy It Now
ISIS In The Absence Of Truth Violet Vinyl 1st Pressing 2006 Oceanic Panopticon USD $27.16 Buy It Now
Isis 'Celestial' 2x12" Vinyl - NEW USD $29.99 Buy It Now 13m 34s
Isis: Isis [Unplayed Copy] USD $17.97 Buy It Now 27m 1s
ISIS - The Red Sea LP 2006 LTD GREY COLOR VINYL Neurosis Baroness Converge USD $29.99 Buy It Now 37m 13s
Split Cranium - Self-Titled (Metal, Hardcore, Isis, Torche, Harkonen) USD $2.65 [0 bids]
4h 20m
Carole Isis: You Are The Diamond DVD LIKE NEW DB 2153 USD $39.99 Buy It Now 5h 13m
ISIS MOSQUITO CONTROL US LIMITED EDITION CLEAR RED/PINK MARBLED VINYL NEW USD $28.00 [0 bids]
5h 17m
X Clan ISIS Rebel Soul PROMO DJ CD single Professor X USD $24.99 Buy It Now 5h 33m
ISIS - Hail The Word 12" Vinyl With Promo Photo USD $13.33 Buy It Now 5h 33m
Professor X CLAN xclan XODUS PROMO DJ CD Single x-clan Exodus ISIS 1992 USA USD $18.99 Buy It Now 6h 23m
Stanton Davis' Ghetto Mysticism - Isis Voyage (Unreleased Mus (CD Used Like New) USD $12.31 Buy It Now 6h 46m
CAST IRON HIKE Watch It Burn CD Hardcore Rock 1997 Doomriders Isis Blacktail USD $2.01 Buy It Now 7h 13m
Isis Sin Salida CD New Nuevo Sealed USD $9.99 Buy It Now 7h 22m
Charlie Montana Klaus Isis Unidos Por El Rock Vol 1 CD NewNuevo Sealed USD $14.99 Buy It Now 7h 23m
Giants Beware of Safety 7" Clear Blue Vinyl /200 ISIS pelican USD $9.95 Buy It Now 7h 38m
Giants Beware of Safety 7" Clear Green Vinyl lp /200 ISIS pelican USD $9.95 Buy It Now 7h 38m
Isis - Holy Tears [New CD] Digipack Packaging USD $7.46 Buy It Now 7h 50m
ISIS - Wavering Radiant, Limited 180G 2LP BLACK SPLATTER VINYL Gatefold NEW! USD $39.99 Buy It Now 7h 56m
ISIS - LIVE VII (2LP) 2 VINYL LP NEW+ USD $51.31 Buy It Now 8h 35m
SEALED RARE OOP 5ive Continuum Research Project CD Isis JAMES PLOTKIN MX khanate USD $9.99 Buy It Now 8h 50m
Sumac - Limited Colored Vinyl Lot - American Dollar Bill - ISIS - Neurosis USD $145.00 Buy It Now 8h 59m
Isis Cd Lot Of 4 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 9h 42m
NEW Tears of Isis - Musical Visions of Ancient Egypt (Audio CD) USD $32.43 Buy It Now 10h
HELMS ALEE . SLEEPWALKING SAILORS . VINYL LP /300 . minus the bear converge isis USD $19.95 Buy It Now 10h 13m
Isis Temporal 3 Vinyl LP Record & DVD Box Set black sabbath godflesh melvins NEW USD $35.99 Buy It Now 10h 15m
STANTON DAVIS' GHETTO/MYSTICISM - ISIS VOYAGE [UNRELEASED MUSIC USD $15.40 Buy It Now 10h 29m
Sound The Trumpets - Empire Isis (CD Used Very Good) USD $9.81 Buy It Now 12h 45m
ISIS Womans Face & Tree Wrap Around Design T-SHIRT Blue XL Tultex 100% Cotton USD $19.95 Buy It Now 15h 18m
?USED?ISIS-WAVERING RADIANT-JAPAN MINI LP CD USD $32.99 Buy It Now 16h 24m
ISIS *IN THE ABSENCE OF TRUTH* 2006 USA IMPORT CD EXC.CON. USD $11.29 Buy It Now 18h
Vector 13 - Isis/Rise 12" 2003 progressive house breaks USD $20.01 Buy It Now 19h 20m
Mozart: Les MystŠres d'Isis (CD, Oct-2015, 2 Discs, Glossa) USD $9.95 Buy It Now 1 day
TALIBAN HUNTING CLUB PATCH ROUND OI! ANTI TALIBAN ISIS USD $5.34 Buy It Now 1 day
Stanton Davis' Ghetto/Mysticism - Isis Voyage [New CD] USD $19.19 Buy It Now 1 day
Stanton Davis' Ghetto/Mysticism - Isis Voyage [New CD] USD $14.31 Buy It Now 1 day
ISIS THE BAND wavering radiant CD USD $12.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Isis Breaking Through United Artists Records UA-LA706-G USD $22.99 Buy It Now 1 day
isis lp isis isis isis buddah bds 5605 SEALED USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
ISIS/ WHAT A DAY - CARLTON MANNING OF CARLTON & THE SHOES (98 REGGAE ROOTS 7") USD $30.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Isis - Breaking Through (Mini LP Sleeve) [New CD] Japan - Import USD $27.66 Buy It Now 1 day
Absurdist "Illusory" CD rare 300 made insect warfare discordance axis isis metal USD $6.00 [0 bids]
1 day
Isis - Breaking Through (Mini LP Sleeve) [New CD] Japan - Import USD $29.24 Buy It Now 1 day
Cave In ?CD Singles EPs - Lost In The Air / Lift Off 2trk + Anchor 4trk EMO ISIS USD $2.65 [0 bids]
1 day
Yob "Atma" 2x LP NM Never Played Sleep Isis Neurosis High On Fire USD $34.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Keiji Haino + Sumac - VeryLtd Red Vinyl - American Dollar Bill - ISIS - Neurosis USD $49.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Rebel Soul [Promo Single] by Isis (Cd 1990) [1 trk] MINT USD $3.25 Buy It Now 1 day
1990 Rare OOP Hip Hop Rap Cassette ISIS Rebel Soul Great Pimpstress Wizard Optic USD $3.97 Buy It Now 1 day
ISIS - IN THE ABSENCE OF TRUTH 2006 US 1PR SLIPCASE CD NEW! GODFLESH NEUROSIS USD $17.99 Buy It Now 1 day
NORSKA st LP LTD 200 COLOR boris yob isis pelican thou sumac bell witch ozzy dri USD $26.66 [0 bids]
USD $34.99 Buy It Now
1 day
DANIEL STRIPED TIGER capital cities LP LTD 400 melvins shellac misfits isis yob USD $26.66 [0 bids]
USD $34.99 Buy It Now
1 day
Converge - No Heroes LP Neurosis Botch Isis Deathwish Metalcore Hardcore Metal USD $20.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Melvins & Isis Split 12" Neurosis Swans Sunn Godflesh Jesu Hydra Head NEW MINT USD $29.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Cave-In/Botch "split" 7" OOP Converge Isis Piebald Pelican USD $34.99 Buy It Now 1 day
LOTUS EATERS S/T 7" WHITE/YELLOW VINYL 300 MADE ISIS SUNN UNPLAYED USD $17.99 Buy It Now 1 day
NEW - Holy Tears by ISIS USD $3.49 Buy It Now 1 day
Soul Nm! 45 Isis - Robbi & Maria Pt. 1 / Bobbi & Maria Pt. Ii (Inst) On Buddah R USD $5.00 Buy It Now 1 day
ISIS-LIVE VII (GATE) VINYL LP NEW USD $39.43 Buy It Now 1 day
ISIS / AEREOGRAMME-In The Fishtank (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $10.69 Buy It Now 1 day
Isis Live Vii (Gate) vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $51.34 Buy It Now 1 day
Isis - Rebel Soul - 12 Inch Vinyl USD $6.88 Buy It Now 1 day
ISIS-ISIS-JAPAN MINI LP CD F56 USD $26.50 Buy It Now 1 day
Isis - SGNL 05 DIGIPAK USD $6.87 Buy It Now 1 day
The Psyke Project - Apnea (NEW CD 2008) FOR FANS OF CONVERGE ISIS BURIED INSIDE USD $5.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Locrian & Mamiffer ?- Bless Them That Curse You 2xLP (brown) ISIS USD $20.00 Buy It Now 2 days
SUMAC What One Becomes 2xLP SEALED sludge-metal Thrill Jockey Isis Botch USD $21.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Oceanic - Isis CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping! USD $18.38 Buy It Now 2 days
Empire Isis Crack the Code FULL CD new sealed USD $15.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Botch "American Nervoso" 2x LP RSD Minus the Bear Isis Murder City Devils Sealed USD $69.99 Buy It Now 2 days
SISTER CAROL - Isis - CD - **Mint Condition** USD $26.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Isis - Breaking Through LP - United Artists VG++ Shrink USD $6.00 [1 bids]
2 days
Isis Wavering Radiant 2x Vinyl LP Record & MP3! 5th & final album! metal! NEW!!! USD $45.69 Buy It Now 2 days
ISIS 45 - RUBBER BOY - RARE PROMO BUDDAH USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2 days
SHOW OF HANDS CD BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH. ISIS RECORDS 1994 FOLK USD $6.66 [0 bids]
2 days
(HL477) Trail Of Dead, Isis Unveiled - 2009 DJ CD USD $6.66 Buy It Now 2 days
*SHELS 'Sea of the Dying Dhow' CD Devil Sold His Soul Eden Maine Mahumodo Isis USD $6.66 [0 bids]
2 days
Isis, Ain't No Backin' Up Now USD $8.99 Buy It Now 2 days
ISIS - IN THE ABSENCE OF TRUTH [DIGIPAK] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $10.92 Buy It Now 2 days
Isis - Rebel Soul 12" Mint- 440 513 0 DJ Vinyl 1990 Record Promo USD $8.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Isis - Wavering Radiant Cd ~ TOOL USD $3.04 [0 bids]
2 days
Isis - Live VII - 02.25.10 - 2 LP New Sealed IPC181LP Clear Vinyl Record Limited USD $50.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Neurosis enemy of the sun LP 1993 tribes of neurot doom melvins converge isis USD $17.50 [1 bids]
2 days
ISIS lot of 4 colored vinyl records metal Red Sea Mosquito Control Holy Tears USD $24.50 [6 bids]
2 days
FREEWILL/ISIS Fox Lane Cricket Club TICKET UK Early 80's Gig Ticket For 2 Heavy USD $6.66 Buy It Now 2 days
100% Isis 2 CD USD $5.06 Buy It Now 2 days
ISIS -CD WAVERING RADIANT USD $19.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Isis:In The Absence Of Truth 2 x LP,JAPAN PRESS,CLEAR VINYL,Neurosis,Pelican USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Isis:Holy Tears BLUE VINYL MLP; Neurosis;Pelican;Red Sparowes USD $11.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Isis:Selections 2001-2005 - Live 4 2 x COLOR VINYL,LP, Neurosis,Red Sparowes USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Pelican:Pink Mammoth PURPLE SPLATTER VINYL MLP;Boris;Isis;Neurosis;Red Sparrowes USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Torche: In Return 10"/MLP CAMOUFLAGE VINYL, Isis, Kyuss,Pelican,Ufomammut;Unida USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
ISIS the red sea 2006 E.P. 8" Clear Vinyl + INSERT SN014 doom metal record USD $24.75 Buy It Now 2 days
Pelican/Young Widows "split" 7" vinyl OOP Isis Russian Circles Maserati Sealed! USD $26.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Isis (Female) Isis - Sealed vinyl LP album record USA BDS5605 BUDDAH Sealed USD $38.62 Buy It Now 2 days
Isis - Celestial - CD USD $10.34 Buy It Now 2 days
ISIS limited 300 pink/white marbled Vinyl 2LP Abscence Of Truth (2006) USD $79.99 Buy It Now 2 days
ISIS limited 80 transluscent blue/green Vinyl LP The Red Sea (2008) USD $89.99 Buy It Now 2 days

More places to buy ISIS music online Buy ISIS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

ISIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ISIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.30 | 78 ratings
Celestial
2000
4.06 | 188 ratings
Oceanic
2002
4.12 | 243 ratings
Panopticon
2004
3.75 | 167 ratings
In The Absence Of Truth
2006
4.02 | 194 ratings
Wavering Radiant
2009

ISIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.11 | 9 ratings
Live I
2003
3.19 | 8 ratings
Live 2 - 03.19.03
2004
3.71 | 7 ratings
Live 3
2005
4.20 | 5 ratings
Live 4
2006
4.20 | 5 ratings
Live 5
2009
4.50 | 4 ratings
Live VI
2012
4.33 | 3 ratings
Live VII
2017

ISIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.19 | 12 ratings
Clearing the Eye
2006

ISIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 4 ratings
Oceanic Remixes and Reinterpretations
2004
5.00 | 1 ratings
Temporal
2012

ISIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.91 | 16 ratings
Mosquito Control
1998
3.00 | 18 ratings
The Red Sea
1999
3.60 | 5 ratings
Sawblade
1999
4.50 | 2 ratings
Isis / Pig Destroyer
2000
3.44 | 18 ratings
SGNL>05
2001
2.98 | 18 ratings
In the Fishtank vol. 14 (with Aereogramme)
2006
4.00 | 2 ratings
Holy Tears
2008
5.00 | 2 ratings
Not in Rivers, but in Drops
2008
4.00 | 1 ratings
Melvins / Isis
2010

ISIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In The Absence Of Truth by ISIS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.75 | 167 ratings

BUY
In The Absence Of Truth
Isis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Following up classics like Oceanic and Panopticon would be a tricky enough prospect in itself, and whilst I respect Isis for choosing to evolve their sound at this point the fact remains that In the Absence of Truth is a bit of a transitional album which simply doesn't grip me to the extent that those albums do. The band seem to have been experimenting with a somewhat more atmospheric and less direct take on their sound, but on balance I think they succeeded much better at this sort of thing on the following Wavering Radiant; here, it's still a work in progress and it doesn't quite come together.
 Wavering Radiant by ISIS album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.02 | 194 ratings

BUY
Wavering Radiant
Isis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Having knocked it out of the park with Oceanic and Panopticon, Isis can afford to experiment with their style a bit. Wavering Radiant doesn't radically overturn the Isis sound, but it does offer up more space here and there for the band to work through the quieter side of their sound, to the point where at stages this sounds like a gentle Explosions In the Sky release here and there. As far as their distinctive blend of post-rock and sludge metal goes, it's not going to sell you on it if you didn't dig their top-tier releases, but if you've already found that you like this particular sonic territory it's a reasonable expansion of it.
 Live I by ISIS album cover Live, 2003
3.11 | 9 ratings

BUY
Live I
Isis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by thwok

3 stars As my fellow reviewer Sularetal has suggested, ISIS' Live I will mostly appeal to post rock lovers and established fans of the band. I generally adore ISIS' live albums, unlike most live albums. I would give it 3 1/2 stars - 4 for genre or band fans and 3 otherwise - but that's not an option. The sound quality is just fair, but that's not surprising considering Live I was self-released.

Aaron Harris has obviously been a fantastic drummer since the band's beginnings. There is almost no singing, but vocal quality was never a priority for ISIS. I won't single out individual songs for merit, even though ISIS was definitely not your run of the mill post rock band from the start. Their music became increasingly more varied and interesting over time. I would call ISIS' first live release more of an EP than an album. It's only four songs lasting a total of 40 minutes. However, that's just semantics. Over all, this is a very listenable 40 minutes.

 In the Fishtank vol. 14 (with Aereogramme) by ISIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
2.98 | 18 ratings

BUY
In the Fishtank vol. 14 (with Aereogramme)
Isis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is an EP in the In the Fishtank series that highlights two similar bands together performing new tracks together to see what comes out of each pairing. This one features Isis and Aereogramme, Isis being a post-rock/metal band and Aereogramme leaning more towards the alternative side of post- rock with more electronics. What you get are 3 pretty decent tracks, 2 long ones and a short one.

"Low Tide" is the best track to come from this union. It is a mid-tempo track somewhat similar to the cleaner songs on Isis' "In the Absence of Truth" album, but it features the lead vocals of Craig from Aereogramme, which I believe are much better than Aaron's vocals, who often sings either growly vocals or more subdued "under the mix" vocals. The pairing works well in this track, which has a long, atmospheric opening before the vocals start in. After the vocal section, the track continues picking up a more electronic sound, but continues to be an excellent mix of styles. The 2nd track is "Deliel" which is a short and more straightforward metal sounding track with Aaron's gritty vocals, sounding more like an Isis track, with enough going on in the background to keep it interesting, but not as interesting as most of their music on their usual albums. The 3rd track is more of a droning style with a free floating feel, featuring Crag's vocals again. This one is very experimental sounding with a nice spacey atmosphere, and once again uses the pairing to it's greatest benefit.

All in all, it's not a bad little EP, but not one that you would use to introduce yourself to either band. The music could have been released under a different name than either one of the band's names and would have been a respectful sound for a new band, but this series of experiments of pairing bands together is a very interesting experiments. The curious listener can pick up quite a number of these EPs to hear the interesting combinations of bands, which also includes other progressive bands like Tortoise (pairing with The Ex) and Motorpsycho (pairing with Jaga Jazzist Horns). Quite an interesting collection. This particular EP is interesting enough, especially with the excellent starter track, but the other two are only just good. 3 stars for this EP

 Oceanic by ISIS album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.06 | 188 ratings

BUY
Oceanic
Isis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

3 stars These guys were listening to a lot of Mogwai before they made this, their second album. Compared to the first album there is a strong post-rock influence here, which becomes even more important on the following albums (some of the members will later form their own post-rock group Red Sparowes). Oceanic by this Boston group is considered one of the earliest examples of what would be called 'post metal'. There is no verse/chorus structure, no guitar solos, no virtuosity. Atmospheric sludge metal with hardcore yelling type vocals. There is also female vocals that aren't really singing anything. There is some electronics and organ which works well with the guitars. A water theme to the album. A concept album about a guy who commits suicide after he finds out his love is cheating on him with her brother. Lovely.

"The Beginning And The End" begins the album as one of the more traditional metal sounding songs. Centred on changing riffs and the rough, yelled vocals. Already after a minute things mellow out and go into a light groove. Later gets faster and more aggressive sounding. Keeps the pace but gets less heavy. "The Other" basically starts out in mid-paced Mogwai territory, the music is fairly easy-going and not in a hurry to go anywhere. Then we get some metallic guitar (which Mogwai themselves sometimes have) and yelling vocals before it goes back. A lot more traditional metal sounding later on. Goes through some repeated chords before doing some riffs.

"False Light" starts out very sludge metal sounding. Just before halfway goes into mellow Mogwai territory (as opposed to loud and distorted Mogwai territory). "Carry" is one of the highlights. Beginning with atmospheric guitars and electronics, this is the most melodic part of the album yet. A very simple drum part lays the groundwork for the Mogwai-ish guitar playing. A Mogwai-like crescendo is developed as the yelled vocals make an appearance. Then female vocals in the distance. Gets more metallic and riff oriented towards the end. "Maritime" is perhaps the most 'post-rock' sounding track. A simple, repeated drumbeat overlaid with clean picked guitars and some lovely organ for the majority of the song. A vaguely Middle-Eastern guitar motif appears towards the end.

"Weight" is another highlight. It starts off very mellow and atmospheric. Some guitars and drums can be heard in the distance. The tom-tom heavy drumming gets more upfront in the mix before playing a beat. Simple repeated guitar picking and female vocals join in. The guitar picking becomes strumming as the music builds a crescendo. The female vocals repeat gibberish at the end. It finishes with some sampled and modified orchestra sounds. "From Sinking" opens almost sounding like Tool with growls. Later goes into Mogwai territory before returning to a Tool vibe. Halfway the drumming stops and there is some of the finest guitar sounds on the album. When the drums return the music is again more Mogwai sounding. Except for the vocals, even the loud distorted part at the end sounds more Mogwai than metal.

"Hym" begins with some memorable riffage before going 'post metal' on us. Then some sludge metal/stoner rock type riffs. Goes back to a more mellow vibe before building up a crescendo. The music on Oceanic is generally very good but the vocals leave a lot to be desired; I wish they just had the female vocalist. The album is over an hour and tends to sound too samey after awhile. They would refine their sound on the next few albums. Overall a decent effort and influential. I would give this a 3.5 but can't quite give it 4 stars, so 3 stars it is.

 In The Absence Of Truth by ISIS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.75 | 167 ratings

BUY
In The Absence Of Truth
Isis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by bartosso

4 stars I'm in sackcloth and ashes

Okay, I was wrong. I was terribly wrong. This is not just a passable album. With their penultimate release Isis turned me off initially (in 2006) but I was young and stupid then. IN THE ABSENCE OF TRUTH is indeed a journey one of its kind, a journey setted in a peculiar dream in which one experiences both things already seen but those unknown and singular as well. Landscape is blurry and distorted, seen through hundreds of rainy lenses. And there is bleakness.

Every album from the band has different sound that suits its concept and highlights its specific mood. IN THE ABSENCE OF TRUTH is obviously not an exception. As this is their most "post" and least "metal" record, the sound is more airy and organic than ever before. Its oneiric, gloomy atmosphere is highlighted with organic guitar distortion and naturally sounding drums. Since we're on the subject, the drumming is based mainly on tribal, loopy tom-tom patterns. It may seem a bit repetitive to some, but it suits the mood pretty well.

I took a dislike to this album due to strong Tool influence I immediately spotted in it. I loved Tool at the time and Isis seemed to insolently imitate them. I was obviously an ignoramus as this is not the whole truth about IN THE ABSENCE OF TRUTH. While being strongly influenced by Tool's evolutionary approach to composition and unique mood of LATERALUS, Isis adds a huge amount of their own style to the music. Sludgy heaviness and genuine depressive mood known from such albums as PANOPTICON and OCEANIC, pervades the record thoroughly. With the opening track the listener's mind is immediately flooded with feelings of anxiety and imminent menace. From now on the music takes him to terrains of sadness and shows him surreal, gloomy visions of life and death. It's an intriguing construct made of sludgy build-ups, atmospheric post-rock passages and emotional post-metal climaxes.

Plenty of post-rock albums oozed through my headphones within the space of the last 3 years and 99% of them bored me half to death. I'm glad I survived long enough to finally appreciate Isis. Although the album is a bit uneven, it has some real post-metal masterpieces on board. And most of all, unlike legions of uninspired post-rock clones, this REALLY is emotional and deep stuff. Let it sink in your mind. It's worth it.

TRACKS BY RATINGS: 10/10[masterpiece!!!]: Not in Rivers, but in Drops; Dulcinea || 9/10[fantastic!]: Holy Tears || 8/10[great]: Wrists of Kings; 1,000 Shards; Garden of Light || 7/10[very good]: Over Root and Thorn || 5/10[not bad]: Firdous E Bareen || OVERALL = 81/100

-- Originally posted on METALMUSICARCHIVES.com --

 Panopticon by ISIS album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.12 | 243 ratings

BUY
Panopticon
Isis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Panopticon by Isis is the brilliant companion piece to Oceanic and continues the adept fusion of post-rock and metal set forth on that album. With strong competition in 2004 from Cult of Luna's excellent Salvation, Isis manage to remain ahead of the game with their cohesive compositions and their absolute command of mood and atmosphere. If bands like Godspeed You Black Emperor, Sigor Ros and Mogwai are the conceptual leaders of the post-rock movement, Isis surely occupy a similar position when it comes to the post-metal subgenre, and the shimmering, majestic walls of guitar in Panopticon only underline this point. Highly recommended.
 Oceanic by ISIS album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.06 | 188 ratings

BUY
Oceanic
Isis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars It took me a while to wrap my head around Isis' brilliant Oceanic, but it helped that I've listened to plenty of post-rock and could readily see how the band were applying the song structures and almighty crescendos of that genre (as expertly applied by the likes of Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor) to metal. Oceanic is a fantastic musical trip, which delivers waves of tidal fury between spells of deceptive calm - much like the ocean the album is inspired by. Unlike, say, Maudlin of the Well's compositions on Bath/Leaving Your Body Map, the quieter more post-rocky sections and the louder metal sections sit together much more naturally in the context of the compositions, creating a fantastic and cohesive musical experience.
 Wavering Radiant by ISIS album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.02 | 194 ratings

BUY
Wavering Radiant
Isis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by JJLehto
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Isis may be the very definition of a progressive rock band.

Starting with their first EP, Isis has maintained their core sound, (sludge) but on each subsequent EP and album have refined the sound, tuning this and changing that. Not a progressive band that jumped all over the place with wild leaps and experimenting, but truly progressing, slowly and surely up the mountain until finally reaching the summit, with this album, their magnum opus.

Wavering Radiant showcases their classic sound, (moreso than their last album) but this is not a throwback. Instead it features more of a soundscape feel than wall of sound. The extensive use of keyboard on this album adds a perfect touch. It plays a filler role, and is used with honest perfection.

Balance is the key to this album, balance in each individual song, the overall album and flow. Wavering Radiant's overall journey takes you up a hill, then over the top and down into a valley, up another hill over the top and ends gently rolling to a place like where we started.

The aggressive and heavy/mellow and ambient musical dynamic is as present as ever, though both sections have more nuance than ever and are soundscape influenced. The chilling sometimes space rock keyboard backdrops both, and Turners vocals are split evenly between his harsh, tortured gasps and melodic clean singing.

Notice I didn't mention any songs, which was the case with most of my Isis reviews. That's because Isis has always been greater than the sum of its parts. Each song by itself is a part of the grand clock, and this album is perhaps the best example. Wavering Radiant may actually have the most diverse song experience on any Isis album, but also displays the best overall experience. Taking the album as a whole, single experience is far more rewarding than every song on its own.

While "In the Absence of Truth" grew on me to become my favorite personally, "Wavering Radiant" is the best actual album Isis put out, their crowning achievement. Not a single bad moment on the whole album, filled with emotion and deep planning, this is cerebral metal and an absolute masterpiece.

Five Stars

Isis may also have felt they reached the pinnacle with this album, as they decided to retire after the subsequent tour, choosing to go out on top and not fading painfully into an overdue retirement. In the typical, extremely well thought out fashion, Isis played their final show where they played their first one, and ended it with the song "The Beginning of the End" appropriate on many levels.

Just to make sure, without any doubt, Isis was bowing out Turner took a stuffed bear that had been on stage with them since their very early years, threw it into the crowd, and walked off stage.

 In The Absence Of Truth by ISIS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.75 | 167 ratings

BUY
In The Absence Of Truth
Isis Experimental/Post Metal

Review by JJLehto
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Isis has perfected the post metal sound so well, they now sound like everyone else!

Indeed, by this point post metal bands were starting to come out of the woodwork, and many previous sludgy doomy metal bands have since converted. In a sea of students cheating off each other, leave it to the professors to change it up.

In the Absence of Truth, continues the progression of Isis. Clean guitar sounds dominate this album, which tends to dive into heaviness a bit less than previously. There is often a "clean heaviness" which I can't really describe, but you'll hear it, and only the songs "Holy Tears" and "Garden of Light" make prominent use of the classic wall of sound.

So basically, this is a much cleaner and melodic album than anything Isis has done. This seems be a bit of a turn off for some Isis fans but this may be my favorite album by them. Any Isis fan should know deep listening reveals the true musicianship on this album. Often beautiful, always subtle and sophisticated, the soundscapes created by Isis are amazing.

Also of note, the drumming is a drastically different style featuring a very "tribal" style. It's awesome and provides an interesting base for this album. Adds some more power and intensity. There's also greater use of clean vocals, and true clean vocals not even the kind of strained clean singing of past. The balance is in fact probably shifted to the clean side.

While it may sound like a mellow and beautiful album, (which it is) what makes it metal? What makes it Isis? Well don't worry, it's all still there. Just less prominently. This actually gives the album an even stronger post metal feel, as the build ups are really powerful now!

The clean/heavy/clean/heavy format was getting a bit tiresome, and by using less heavy sections they feel so much more substantial now. This album is more post rock sounding than previous, since the songs are more steady and progressive, moving continuously towards the finale and not through peaks and valleys.

"Holy Tears" is a standout song, while "Garden of Light" is one of the most powerful endings to an album I've ever heard. The final few minutes sent shivers down my spine.

For metal fans, and even Isis fans, this album may be a bit of a challenge. It's not the Isis of previous two albums but more subdued and post rock influenced, but be patient and submerse yourself to realize the greatness of this album. The greater the challenge the greater the reward, and those perpetually fine tuning metal engineers assembled another brilliant work.

Five Stars

Thanks to useful_idiot for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives