Friday, January 23, 2009

Isis – In the Absence of Truth

In the Absence of Truth

Among those-without-clues, this record has received a bum rap. Everyone wants to rip on In the Absence of Truth for being a Tool knock off. While the album is certainly Tool-influenced, accusing Isis of plagiarism does a disservice to both bands.

When Isis first emerged in the late 1990s, during the Mosquito Control/Red Sea-era, it literally sounded like they might go down the traditional metal/hardcore route. Instead, Isis took the less-travelled Neurosis Blvd. all the way to musical glory and commercial success (for the most part). Now, 10 years into this voyage, why would you expect them to not make a record like this?

In the Absence of Truth is the most ambitious Isis record to date. It’s a sprawling epic that doesn’t have the space-rock vibe of Celestial and is far more focused than Panopticon. There are even fewer lyrics and vocals on this album than usual for Isis; which isn’t many to start. Isis uses their instruments to take the listener on a journey into the ethereal. They accomplish this with well-placed tempo changes, layers of feedback and unusual song arrangements. Isis knows how to build an atmosphere. Their down-tuned heaviness is a mental victory. Isis is not a slave to technology. This is recommended for the progressive-minded. In the Absence of Truth is Tool influenced; like that’s a bad thing.

Isis – In the Absence of Truth


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