....those wouldn't be your typical words for describing a sludge/metal/hardcore album, but there just arent any others!
I was apprehensive about this release because Oceanic and Celestial are two of the greatest albums of all time (in my humble opinion), how can they possibly match them?
Isis, like Neurosis, are an evolving band; each album is a natural progression from the last. Neurosis have been getting more progressive and folky from the evil churning of earlier albums. Isis have been maturing greatly too; from the adolescent sludge of The Red Sea E.P. evolving into a more sprawling, textured sound as on Oceanic. This is the next logical step for Isis.
Panopticon takes the progressive nature of Oceanic and the beauty of the melodies and multiplies them by 10. But this does scarifice a big chunk of heaviness and Turner's gruff hardcore vocal. Rather than hitting you with a slab of distortion like Celestial, Panopticon builds and swirls into heaviness.
Some of the melodies, especially the way the basslines intersect the guitars, are stunningly beautiful.
To be honest, i prefer the old Isis, Celestial and Oceanic, the new Isis, while still amazingly good seem a bit watered down to me. But that's just me i suppose.
If you like Isis get this now. If you like bands like Mogwai or Godspeed you Black Emperor and wnt something a little heavier, get this now.
In short, its really really good!!!