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Isis - Panopticon CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.12 | 261 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars Panopticon continues the personal sound that Isis had found on Oceanic. It's a mellowed out version of Neurosis-alike post-metal, or brain metal as I sometimes tend to call it. The music is not too heavy generally and features lots of brooding post-rock parts, with a keen sense for melody and tension building. It's mainly instrumental, with only a few short sections with gruff vocals.

So Did We for example kicks the album off in a stately fashion and is one of the better parts of the album. Also In Fiction, Wills Dissolve and Altered Course are very strong and atmospheric. The main Isis asset is to work out brooding pieces with rich harmonic and semi-dissonant chords and to build those up to a forceful climax. They do that very well on those tracks.

Unfortunately it turns out to be the third Isis album in a row that is not entirely satisfying. While the approach to each song is very similar, the quality of the material is not. Backlit for example doesn't have one aspect that makes it remarkable, it mainly consists of predictable post-rock doodling, weak metal riffs and annoying vocals. Also Syndic Calls is pretty average.

Overall this album consist mostly of excellent music and is one of Isis' best. But there is also some average material that might be good enough for fans of the style but that is only mildly engaging for post-sceptics like myself. 3.5 stars

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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