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MOSQUITO CONTROL

Isis

Experimental/Post Metal


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2 stars Mosquito Control EP was released on 1998. It's the first sample of Isis music after 1998's demo, cassette. As you can read in the biography, Isis started more like a sludge/ stoner metal band but you can easily tell, even from this ep, that they were meant for something greater than another stoner band. This ep consists of four songs (30 mins) full of distorted guitars and screams. All songs are really simple, both technicaly and in terms of time signatures, without flashy or complex solos and in very slow tempos. All these elements create a chaotic atmosphere, something that would later turn out to be their best characteristic.

The guitar and bass parts are fine really (of course not as good as in the albums to come). The voice of Chris Mereshuk, who also plays keyboards in this album, may not appeal to many people but they really add to the whole atmosphere. The only bad thing about them is that they sound too forced. Chris Mereshuk will only appear again on "The Red Sea" ep and this time not as a vocalist. The interesting part of this album is the drums. Aaron Harris does a fine job with the drum parts, which without being technical, manage to create a rythmic background mostly seen in Doom Metal. No double bass pedal is used and no blast/scan beats or anything like that appears here. This shows that they are different from most heavy bands out there. The "open-minded" Aaron Harris will become even better on the next albums by developing an even more temperate style and focusing more into the sound!

Summing up, this is a fine album and a very good example of a band evolving and becoming more mature by the years. This ep shows that this band would concentrate on the atmosphere and the whole feeling of the music or an album rather than a band that would create a couple of good,heavy and memorable songs. A pleasant listen, though a bit tiring at times... Recommended for fan of Isis really. Surely not a good starting point for someone who wants to explore the "world" of Isis (Oceanic and Panopticon are good ones). Two stars!

Report this review (#90583)
Posted Wednesday, September 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Mosquito Control is the debut release from US ( first Boston, now Los Angeles) experimental metal/ post metal act Isis. Mosquito Control is an EP which consists of four songs and with a total playing time of 28:29 minutes. The EP was released in October of 1998 on the Escape Artist label.

The music is very heavy and slow yet groovy metal. The vocals are harsh harcore style. The most obvious influence is Neurosis, but the music on Mosquito Control is not only influenced by Neurosis. There´s also a very distinct industrial element in the music that occasionally reminds me of Ministry or Godflesh. The songs are all of high compositional quality even though I could use a few more hooks along the way and the last couple of minutes in Relocation Swarm should have been left out. Noise for the sake of it is best in a live environment and not on an album IMO.

The musicianship is great and if you´re familiar with Isis debut album Celestial (2000) you´ ll recognise the riffing style and the drum style from Aaron Harris.

The production is very good. Grand and hard hitting.

Isis has yet to prove to me that they are entitled to be mentioned alongside Neurosis when people discuss the greatest post metal acts ( I must add here that I have only listened to this EP and their debut album at this time), but Mosquito Control is definitely a step on the way and it deserves a 3 star rating from me. Good first release.

Report this review (#194490)
Posted Saturday, December 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars Boston based ISIS got its start in 1997 which resulted from the band member's dissatisfaction with previous projects. While in modern times, ISIS is recognized as one of the major pioneers of the post-metal and atmospheric sludge metal sounds that evolved the sounds of previous pioneers Neurosis and Godflesh, in the beginning it simply started out as guitarist / vocalist Aaron Turner, bassist Jeff Caxide, Christ Mereschuk (electronics/vocals) and drummer Aaron Harris engaging in musical experiments. The friends quickly concatenated their various influences into a cohesive whole and in 1998 began touring the East Coast of the USA. While famous for such landmark albums as "Oceanic" and "Panopticon," THE MOSQUITO CONTROL EP is where it all began and is the first official release after the 1998 demo.

THE MOSQUITO CONTROL EP is by far the band's heaviest release of their career which spanned from 1997 to 2010 before they disbanded. While all the albums were graced with heavy distortion and sludge metal bombast, they were equally pacified by hypnotic atmospheric embellishments and electronic surreality. On this first EP, the emphasis is on the heavy distortion and bombastic metal sludge riffing that exposes the band member's previous involvement in post-hardcore however while that exists in the chugging rampage of the riffs delivered at fast tempos, ISIS was already displaying the hypnotic repetitive cyclical loops that already existed in the world of post-rock. And like the compositions found on post-rock releases, THE MOSQUITO CONTROL EP linked four caustic tracks together so that they run seamlessly together in the EP's 29 minute run.

Decidedly misanthropic and critical of power structures from the very beginning, this debut release thematically tackles how humanity can be symbolized by the MOSQUITO in which the massive power structures that keep us under control treat us like insects and feel fit to exterminate us with impunity. These themes would become a staple of ISIS' subject matter such as the control towers depicted on this EP's 2018 remastered album cover as well as the themes on "Celestial," the band's first full-length debut which was released two years later. THE MOSQUITO CONTROL EP can be thought of as a transition release which would feature the last lineup of the early years and where the band would de-emphasize the hardcore bombast experimented here and focus more on the atmospheric electronic ambience however those elements do make their debut here. There are many moments in both "Life Under The Swatter" and "Relocation Swarm" that point the way to the future.

Overall, THE MOSQUITO CONTROL EP cannot be considered one of the essential ISIS acquisitions for a music collection but it is also just above the merely "good" status as well. This is some seriously heavy sludgy post-metal that borders on doom metal at times and displays some of the noisiest and guitar laden tracks that ISIS ever recorded. This was a very much DIY sort of beginning with the entire production process only costing 600$USD. This album may exhibit post-metal meanderings but is heavily distorted and bombastically brutal with ugly feedback and industrial grade scariness lurking around every cadence. Personally i love this early filthy raw material that is both manic and hypnotic at the same time with moments where one mood dominates over the other. An excellent portrayal of early ISIS with only hints of what was to come. The ending is particularly chaotic and threatens your very sanity. Great job, guys!

3.5 rounded down

Report this review (#2278174)
Posted Monday, November 4, 2019 | Review Permalink

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