Isis with Dälek and the Oxes

Tuesday, October 1; Hi-Pointe

Sep 25, 2002 at 4:00 am
In the superheated and hard-boiled math/metal parallel universe, Isis stands slightly ahead and to the side of its peers. Bands such as Knut, the Dillinger Escape Plan and Cable are masters of the shifty rhythms and dense structures math/metal requires, but Isis has a substructure that marks it as slightly more innovative, slightly more challenging. Over the course of three EPs and one full-length album, Isis has constructed a mechanized hive world teeming with metallic insects, ominous watchtowers and the radio telemetry of the SETI satellite dish. The cold roar of industrialization, the perpetual drone of consumerism and the focused, spiteful howl of the individual bearing the lonely weight of this monstrosity are the sounds of this other world. Isis' music is angular machinery ratcheting itself to death, the hiss of burning oxygen, the numbing thud of human-shaped cocoons dropping from the sky in dead gray constellations, all swathed in a thickly clotted wash of distortion, rust and regret. No other band, save Neurosis, is as effective at presenting a unified worldview that is simultaneously horrific and compelling.

But rather than blame the machinery, Isis places the burden of truth on humanity. People lie; people betray; people destroy. Isis offers no utopian solutions, no apologies for this world. What is, is. What isis. Isis.