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A Warning to Post-Rock Fans.......
on 16 December 2007
....If, like me, you are coming to Isis through cross-referencing to acts like Mogwai and Godspeed, be aware that `Oceanic' is a metal album. Full stop.
Apart from two restrained instrumental/sound pieces in the record's middle, expect monstrous, riffing guitars and an utterly unintelligible vocalist whose muffled screams sound like they were recorded in the next room to the band.
However, before the hardcore metal fans start clicking on the `No' button at the foot of my review to register their disapproval, I have to say that I quite like this record. The titanic, layered guitars deliver a real visceral punch and the vocals make more sense with repeated listens, adding power to the music through raw sound rather than lyrical expression.
If you are feeling p****d off then this record makes perfect sense. I cannot quite agree with other reviewers' opinions that `Oceanic' delivers soundscapes, but I am not a metal-head and am trying with this review to offer an opinion from outside of the genre.
Viewed objectively, the problem with `Oceanic' is that, at 65 minutes, it is too long to sustain interest to the end. The record does not have the wit of Mogwai, the variety of Explosions in the Sky or the creativity of Godspeed. This metal beast is fun to ride for a while but ultimately has leaden feet. Go on, you can click `No' now!!