After two EPs (Mosquito Control on Escape Artist and The Red Sea on Second Nature), ISIS issued their first truly definitive recordings via 2001's Celestial (Escape Artist) and its companion EP, Sgnl>05. The stunning Oceanic would follow in 2002, marking the beginning of the band's relationship with Ipecac and earning Album of the Year accolades from popular UK metal mags Terrorizer and RockSound. While tours of the US, Europe and Japan with (and at the behest of) underground legends such as Melvins, Mogwai, Dillinger Escape Plan, Dalek, Fennesz, Neurosis and Napalm Death solidified Isis' standing as masters of live performance, special engagements at 2004's All Tomorrow's Parties Festival in East Sussex, England (curated by Mogwai) - and, most recently, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles - attest to ISIS' reputation as avant-metal visionaries.

Fast on the heels of a series of 12" Oceanic remixes released on Robotic Empire (compiled by 2XCD by Daymare in Japan) - featuring ISIS re-workings by such heavyweights as Mike Patton (Tomahawk, Fantomas, etc.) Justin Broadrick (Jesu, ex-Godflesh), James Plotkin (Khanate, ex-O.L.D.), Thomas Koner, Ayal Naor (27) and Fennesz - ISIS unveil the incomparable Panopticon.

On ISIS' third full-length, the unblinking eye of counter-insurgency is exposed with mesmerizing sterophonic clarity. Ultradynamic sound-design takes on the heightened dimensions of institutionally-induced anxiety, and the carefully contstructed artifice of an omniscient predatory apparatus becomes the paradigm of surveillance culture. Meanwhile, panoptic cognizance, while ostensibly the utmost of all Orwellian implications, lends itself to far more insidious applications: Just as hidden crosshairs hold sway over every prison yard, to see everything is to know all. With guest bass (on "Altered Course") by Justin Chancellor of Tool and production courtesy of Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Pearl Jame, etc.), Panopticon is the pinnacle of ISIS' considerable sonic achievements to date; a sprawling epic that will cement their place in underground legend the world over.
WEBSITE: www.isistheband.com
BOOKING: susanne@flowerbooking.com
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The Red Sea
[November 2006] [12-inch/12-inch 10YRLTD/8-inch/CD]

Red Sea
[The Red Sea]