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Isis | Oceanic | review | rock | Lollipop

Isis

Oceanic (Ipecac)
by Tim Den

It's incredible that Isis have already sought out and eradicated their biggest problem by album two. Oceanic, unlike the group's previous efforts, retains all the lung-crushing weightiness of the band's trademarks, but learns how to lay it on the listener unexpectedly as opposed to barraging them from the get go. The quintet no longer rely on a straight-ahead "wall of noise," instead submerging the listener in an ocean of effects (hence the title), building up suffocating dirges before the listener catches on to the thousands of leagues below. Spreading the accumulating heaviness over long stretches ("Weight") and faux-tranquil moments ("Maritime") give Oceanic a creepy, lurking feel... one that attacks you subconsciously rather than physically. The former Boston boys (now based in L.A.) have finally learned that psychological warfare can sometimes do much more damage than full-frontal.
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