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Excellent Sludge stuff. - 85%

caspian, January 21st, 2005

I'm redoing my review because the last one of it was SHITE.

One thing that you don't typically associate with Isis these days is the phrase 'Crushing sludge riffage'. Panoption was heavy once in a while but tended to go for more of a wall of sound feel, whereas ITAOT pretty much failed at all the heavy parts. It's sad that the heavy, more metallic parts of Isis's music has slowly been filtered out over the years.

So it's nice to be able to return to EPs like this one, from way back in the day when Isis were kind of a sludgier, crustier version of Neurosis with their songs mainly consisting of epic, planet destroying riffs that just shat on your head AGAIN AND AGAIN.

Yep, this is some heavy and brutal stuff. 'Charmicarmicat' is rather strange in it's perplexing, completely unstructured noise, and it sets the tone (to an extent, anyway) of what's to come later on in the EP. Ignoring the rather unnecessary samples, 'The Minus times' and the title track offer up some really quality riffs. It's rather hard to say much else but 'these riffs are super distorted, slow and really crushing', but that's basically all there is to say, really. For those only familiar with Isis's later work, imagine Celestial sped up a bit, and given a much, I guess "Spikier" guitar tone.

Needless to say, those looking for epic guitar atmospherics won't find much to love here- there's a bit of a concession in the mellow part of the title track, but otherwise this is sludge with some seriously massive riffs- the final riff of the title track would be up there with Hym as the most epic thing Isis have ever done, just a massive, massive riff.

Also, it's worth noting that Isis slapped their '98 demo on here as well. I didn't originally have that with my version, but I've heard it since and it sounds pretty damn huge. It's basically the same as the rest of this EP but perhaps a little bit simpler, Isis finding one or two huge riffs and just plugging away at them, nice stuff indeed. Combined with the excellent sludge of the Red Sea songs, it's a very enjoyable package, full of epic riffs and not much else.