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Isis - Celestial CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.42 | 97 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars All bands have to start somewhere and in terms of recorded music this is where Isis began. Celestial provides a slice of Post Metal that is undeniably heavily infuesed with the sludgy, industrial feel of Neurosis, the progenetors of the Post Metal scene. But, to describe them as simply a Neurosis clone would be doing Isis quite the disservice as they are already adding something of their selves to the style with a higher level of detail in the quiter moments as well as a far broader pallette of sounds in the programming and samples department to flesh out the sound.

However, heaviness is quite definitely the name of the game with big, chugging, mid-tempo riffs from Aaron Turner and Mark Gallagher supported by Jeff Caxides pulsing bass lines dominating the album. Sadly though, this is part of Celestials undoing as the riffs are too repetative, lack for variation and outright development to truly lift the level of this album to something great. I cant help find the switches from the wall of sound to the calmer moments and back again to be largely clunky in feel and these problems all add up to kill the atmosphere of the album before its had a real chance to get a hold of the listener. All of these problems can be put down to the fact that they are a new band on this album and as such havnt had a chance to develop their skills in the art of composition, something they will rectify in the years to come. Mind you, its not all bad, not by a long shot. Celestial (The Tower), Swarm Reigns (Down) and Gentle Time are 3 excellent tracks. Swarm Reigns (Down) shows this Neurosis inspired style of Post Metal at its best, whilst Gentle Times points to things to come with an allecraty that is quite surprising. And then there's the title track, Clestial (The Tower). This magnificent piece of work shows the band at its best and the loose structure has made for ample oppurtunity for improvisation in their live shows (witness the 17 minute version the live album Live II), all of which has meant that this track has a remained a fan favourite and a staple of their live act for 10 years now.

An interesting debut but in the end it pales into comparison with what they wil be able to do on future releases. Celestial also marks the end of an era where Neurosis where the dominant force in Post Metal because from the bands next release, Oceanic, Isis will take that mantel. 2.5 stars, good but nothing special from a band capable of far more.

sleeper | 2/5 |


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