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Panopticon

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (359 ratings)
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Panopticon album cover
01
So Did We
7:30
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02
Backlit
7:43
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03
In Fiction
8:58
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04
Wills Dislove
6:47
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05
Syndic Calls
9:39
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06
Altered Course
9:57
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07
Grinning Mouths
8:27
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 7   Total Length: 59:01

Find a problem with a track? Let us know.

Wondering Sound

Review 0

J. Edward Keyes

Editor-in-Chief

Joe Keyes writes about music.

11.23.05
ISIS, Panopticon
2004 | Label: Ipecac Recordings / The Orchard

All things dark and beautiful indeed: LA combo Isis are masters of sculpting the darkness, teasing out the weird shapes that lie just out of view. The music on Panoptician is blank and searching, stark chiaroscuro whorls of sound that pitch and roll over and over and over. "In Fiction" is marvelous monotony, a single series of riffs circling over and over and over until the bottom falls out and the whole song goes rushing… read more »

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user avatar

If not for the vocals...

FankyMaloon

Listened to the preview, and just fell in love. Very smooth, strong instrumentals, takes you places. Downloaded the album and was really enjoying it.... Until the "vocals", if you can call it that, came in and completely ruined the album. Absolutely unlistenable. It's not singing, it's that ridiculous "inward breathing screeching" thing that all terrible hard rock bands these days seem to do. There are no notes to it, it's screaming multiple off-key notes simultaneously in a way that conveys neither emotion nor harmony, just yelling in a monotone multiplex. Don't buy based on the demo alone, beware the ruining vocals.

user avatar

If not for the vocals...

FankyMaloon

Listened to the preview, and just fell in love. Very smooth, strong instrumentals, takes you places. Downloaded the album and was really enjoying it.... Until the \"vocals\", if you can call it that, came in and completely ruined the album. Absolutely unlistenable. It's not singing, it's that ridiculous \"inward breathing screeching\" thing that all terrible hard rock bands these days seem to do. There are no notes to it, it's screaming multiple off-key notes simultaneously in a way that conveys neither emotion nor harmony, just yelling in a monotone multiplex. Don't buy based on the demo alone, beware the ruining vocals.

user avatar

Favorite Isis album

Thedave

I finally found an album i like more than oceanic.

user avatar

truly awesome!

ElVomito

I took a chance with Oceanic and was blown away!!Now I'm getting all thier stuff and you should too.This is an amazing band in a world of boring crappy "metal",Isis has restored my faith - thanks you guys!!

user avatar

i cant listen to them in the car

killerpotato6

im usually a good driver. until i burned this album, and put it in my car. i ran 2 stop signs because i became so absorbed in this music, and found myself going only 20 mph on the 45 mph marked road. IF YOU CANT DRIVE WHILE ON ECSTASY, DONT DRIVE WHILE LISTENING TO ISIS!!

user avatar

What metal should sound like, but usually doesn't

rowleyj

As someone who grew up listening to heavy metal on the radio I realize that THIS is what heavy metal should sound like. Long, textured songs with minimal vocals and a wide range of dynamics.

user avatar

Thick and lush vs. sparse and delicate

JCBurchett

This album was my introduction to ISIS, and it remains my favorite of their work. Their music is crushingly heavy or glistening and crystalline, but always well-conceived, artful, and interesting. More than that, it's quite good to listen to. This album is worth every one of the songs on it. Don't let it pass you by if you're a fan of heavy, mostly-instrumental music.

user avatar

New Isis Album Under Wrong Band

VelvetUnderdog

The new Isis album "In the Absence of Truth" that we have all been waiting for on eMusic is posted under the band name of Isis(2) which is another band with the same name. I don't know how this album got placed under the wrong band while all the others are here.

user avatar

Fabulous

antiface

A revalation for me, how something so heavy can be so layered and melodic at the same time is astonishing. Along with Opeth (who are stylistically different), the future of heavy music for me. They share the post-rock tricks of layering guitar after guitar, and despite the non-melodic vocals, manage to create something which actively repays repeated listening. Highly recommended.

user avatar

wow

HB3

Of note to anyone who thought they'd be better if they 'lightened up' on the vocals: this will make you reconsider. Buy it. Now. Essential to all musicians.

eMusic Features

0

Who Are…Morne

By Jon Wiederhorn, Contributor

Impacting with the same bleak emotional pounding as Neurosis, the lumbering drone of Sleep and the stylistic flair of groups like Isis and Pelican, Morne are outsiders who dwell far beyond the trendy circles of post-metal or the insular enclave of stoner metal. Polish-born front man Milosz Gassan relishes his role as a mercurial outcast. When he's not working at a Boston theater building stage sets, he spends endless hours obsessing over every tone and… more »

They Say All Music Guide

If the glacial dynamics of previous metal and hardcore abstractions Celestial and Oceanic didn’t prove that Isis was a heavy band in every sense, then Panopticon should do the trick. The title comes from 18th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s prison design, which was later referenced by Michael Foucault in the 20th century. The idea is that a centrally placed guard or watcher can keep track of a large number of prisoners, and it excited Bentham and concerned Foucault. Heavy stuff for a metal band, huh? Both are quoted in the liner notes, bookended by aerial industrial photos laying out society’s open sprawl. It fits perfectly with the epic music on the disc itself, which is as angular as post-rock forefathers Slint and as cosmically expansive as Neurosis, yet closer to the intensity of hardcore than either of them. Panopticon has the same cagey wall of noise as Oceanic, although the end product here is a little more polished. Aaron Turner is still howling and growling, but he’s less reluctant to actually sing, just as the music is more inclined to stretch out into Pink Floyd’s velvet atmospherics, which were a part of Oceanic, too, but just not as pronounced as they are here. Turner’s lyrics are impenetrable, buried in the mix, but when they do pop through the haze of guitars and electronics they’re appropriately weighty and tied to the omniscient paranoia of the title. – Wade Kergan

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