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Isis - SGNL>05 CD (album) cover



Experimental/Post Metal

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3 stars After the brilliant studio album "Celestial" released in 2000, Isis release an ep named "Sgnl>05" one year later. For all of you who own Celestial, it will be easy to understand that this ep is linked to it. Celestial had a series of interludes named Sgnl>x with x being numbers from one to four. Celestial's last track was named "Sgnl>04 (final transmission) and the opening track of this "Sgnl>05 (final transmission). Apart from this we can see similarities in the production and the concept of the ep. The concept is again focused on control tower and female characters, which is really obvious when looking at the song titles. Anyway this ep is Celestial's little brother and can be found either alone or in a deluxe edition which offers you both this and Celestial.

Many will wonder way did they release an ep after such a good debut album. Well, in my opinion the material wasn't enough for a full-length album (the material on the ep is surely not enough but I'm not in a position to know if they had more material which they just didn't use). Another good explanation could be that while Celestial expanded into four "Sgnl parts" this one is just the fifth, like the last chapter of a book. The last reason I can think of is because in this album they are experimenting very much with vocals and electronics. I'm just trying to guess here.

While the line-up remains untouched you sometimes may have the idea the vocalist has changed cause Aaron Turner experiments a lot with his voice here. The style of the compositions and song structures is really similar to the debut album but somehow I seem to like it a bit less. While at first listen you may think it's just another sludge/hardcore metal bands, listening carefully while soon change your opinion. Behind the heavy riffs and the disturbing vocals you can see the beauty. The music is much deeper than it may seem. While someone would say the heavy riffs are simple and nothing special in terms of composition I would say that it's a whole way of thinking. Less is more. I've said this again in my review on Celestial but the minimalist riffs and drums prove this all the time. They prove that just a few chords and a very simple drum pattern can be much heavier than having fast songs full of double bass and insane riffing. I just see Isis as a "sophisticated" metal band and probably metal is even a wrong word to use. I say all this just for what Isis did before Oceanic cause after that Isis stop being a very good metal band and become a unique band and one of the best in this category.

Anyway, I think it's a good ep. Surely not essential or as good as Celestial but will definitely please an Isis fan and is really likely to attract many people. The last track of the ep is a remix of the song "Celestial" (appearing on the debut album). It was remixed by Justin Broadrick, who is well known for his work in Jesu and Glodflesh.

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Posted Thursday, December 14, 2006 | Review Permalink

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