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Isis - The Red Sea CD (album) cover

THE RED SEA

Isis

 

Experimental/Post Metal

2.73 | 13 ratings

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sularetal
2 stars After the release of their first ep, 'Mosquito Control' and an East Coast tour in summer of 1998, they came back to release their second ep, "Red Sea". Chris Mereschuk who had done the vocals on their first ep left the band but he helped Jay Randall who replaced him with the electronics. Jay Randall from Agoraphobic Nosebleed, joined the band playing also guitar and singing. However, Jay Randall left after 'The Red Sea'. Aaron Turner does this time the vocals on the cd since Mereschuk, had left and Jay Randall also sings on tracks 1 and 3.

'The Red Sea' consists of seven tracks three of which are the ep's tracks and the other four being the tracks that make up the demo tape released in 1998 by the band. The first three tracks tied together with spoken word samples from the short-lived television series, 'Hotel Room' (specifically, the third episode, entitled "Blackout"). From the disturbing introduction of "Charmicarmicarmicat Shines to Earth" to the last chord of the title track that slowly fades out, Isis show that they are capable for a mass destruction. It is much heavier than 'Mosquito Control'. It's not really like Isis later releases since it has less dynamics and the tempos are faster. I prefer the vocals from Mereschuk's on 'Mosquito Control' but they are still poor compared to the vocals on albums like Panopticon and Oceanic. The vocals here are also a bit pushed back in the mix meaning they are not really as dominant. The other four tracks are very similar to the ones on the ep. They have many elements from hardcore and are equally devastating. The production isn't very good but taking under consideration that they come from a demo tape there is nothing to be complaining about.

This ep also introduces two themes that would later be the main themes of other albums like the sea and generally the water that would later reappear on Oceanic and the female character which appears on Celestial. The "Ochre" contains a sample from Jim Jarmus film, 'Dead Man', with Johnny Depp on the role of William Blake. It is a reading of a portion of William Blake's poem "Auguries of Innocence". There is a version of this ep featuring a cover of Black Sabbath's 'Hand of Doom' played from an Isis point of view.

Overall it's not a bad release but it's for fans really since many will find it too heavy. Here we see many hardcored influences and less stoner-rock ones. The music is good, the lyrics are good, the artwork of the cover is amazing (like in almost every Isis release) but there is still very much this band can offer. For those new to Isis I recommend Oceanic or Panopticon.

sularetal | 2/5 |

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