Newest Review: ... the seas, Panopticon's title refers to an 18th century social philosophy theory whereby prison inmates who are watched by an unseen wa... more
Panopticon - Isis
Member Name: Burning_Darkness
Panopticon - Isis
Date: 29/11/09, updated on 29/11/09 (10 review reads)
Advantages: great concept, great riffs and songwriting, intelligent theme
Disadvantages: Doesnt manage to top its predecessor
After their excellent 2002 progressive sludge album 'Oceanic' there was a widespread feeling that there was no way that US post-metal band 'Isis' could top it, and though this has proved to so far be true their 2004 follow-up album 'Panopticon' is nevertheless an excellent progressive metal album in its own right.
Whereas 'Oceanic' was themed around the seas, Panopticon's title refers to an 18th century social philosophy theory whereby prison inmates who are watched by an unseen watcher are coerced into conformity by virtue of their being under under omniscient observation. Essentially then the album is about a kind of ethereal perception from realms above, and this is rflected both in the blue-tinged, aerial cityscape shot on the front cover and in the music itself, which is still drum-led, sludgy and full of gradual, momentum-bulding riffs and gratifying moments of crashing convergence, but here this is accentuated my a geater emphasis on gentle, reflective melodicisms and soaring (yet still coarse) vocals, giving the album a more 'floaty' feeling than its more earth-bound precessor.
Once again Isis have produced a consistenly excellent album, and the fact that it is now quite as directly engaging as its prececessor is appears to be not so much a fault as a deliberate act of design, with panopticon both building on 'Oceanic' whilst taking the band's sound in an interesting new direction at the same time.
1. So Did We 07:30
2. Backlit 07:43
3. In Fiction 08:58
4. Wills Dissolve 06:47
5. Syndic Calls 09:39
6. Altered Course 09:56
7. Grinning Mouths 08:27
Total playing time 59:04
Summary: Another superb progressive/sludge metal album