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Isis | Panopticon | review | metal | Lollipop


Panopticon (Ipecac)
by Tim Den

This generation's Godflesh have returned. Panopticon follows the critically-acclaimed Oceanic, equally epic and bombastic but with a different focus this time around: Melodies instead of sheer crushing riffage.

Whereas Isis' previous works favored weighty noise, elongated doom spells, and pure attack to convey their message (it being that music doesn't always have to be heard; its nature, significance, and meaning can be felt and absorbed through trance-like repetitions), the band have obviously been learning from tourmates Mogwai. They've learned that it doesn't have to be either/or, it can be both. So on Panopticon, the brutal repetitions are still intact, but three shades deeper due to the blending of colors. "Wills Dissolve" harbors Isis' most delicately exquisite riff yet, and it's played without distortion! In fact, clean guitars are all over this thing. But rather than tone down the proceedings, they enhance it with effective moods and textures. The result offers just enough variety to appease the naysayers who never appreciated the band's "hit 'em over the head again and again" approach, and delight long-time fans.

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