Oceanic review by ISIS

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  • Released: Sep 17, 2002
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 9.1 (24 votes)
ISIS: Oceanic

Sound — 8
I'm new to Isis, so Oceanic is my first impression of the band. The sound of the album is good. The music and instruments create a mesmerizing ocean of sound that grabs hold of you. This ocean is no better exemplified on Maritime and Weight. The guitars can be crushing and powerful, but also soft. The sound brings to mind similar bands such as Tool and Neurosis, but Isis has managed to take the best of both bands and create their own unique sound.

Lyrics — 6
Although it's somewhat difficult to find the lyrics to their respective songs in the booklet, what I have read on websites is absolutly beautiful. The lyrics could be mistaken as poetry, they're so good. My biggest problem with this album is Aaron Turner's vocals. My first impression was that he was simply shouting the whole album. It's hard to match the lyrics with the vocals. Most of the time, you won't hear him, as the album is largely instrumental. The three part instrumental of Untitled, Maritime, and Weight is a fitting break from Turner's relentless vocals. If his voice had a more Maynard James Keenan type of style to it, maybe this album would've been better.

Overall Impression — 8
The album overall seems fair. If I give it a few more listens perhaps my opinion will change. It's not as good as other progressive metal band records such as Tool's Lateralus. It has the potential to be great, but it falls short. The songs that stood out to me the most are the aformentioned three instrumental tracks. From Sinking also stands out to me. Other than that, I can't name any really stand out tracks. I love the music and how the album is chaotic yet beautiful at the same time. The only drawback is Aaron Turner's shouts. I'm not sure if I would buy this album again. It seems good, but not what I expected it to be.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I love the music, but i agree with the first review that Aaron's voice brings the feel down a bit. But he did fix that with In the Absence of Truth, this is still a good cd though.
    I have to disagree with your bashing on Aaron's voice. It definitely fits this sludgy music perfect. If you want Maynard, listen to Tool or APC. If you like Aaron toned down a bit, go for their latest effort, "In The Absence Of Truth". My favourite song on this, is "Carry", an absolutely mesmerizing song. I just float away in a dreamworld every time I listen to it. It's like a pleasent nightmare, it's hard to explain. Anyway, love this album!
    The lyrics could be mistaken as poetry, they're so good.
    All lyrics are poetry... they're just sung (or screamed).
    they lyrics arent hardcore/screaming the style that the vocals are sung at in oceanic is used by many sludge metal bands. this album is amazing, everytime i listen to it i just cant pause or stop it until the entire album is over, underrated band, excellent album
    i believe the first reviewer doesn't see why this album is so great at all.. these guys are nothing like tool, so why compare it?? you need to judge this seperatly rather than just comparing everything to tool and maynard. tool was my favorite band until i heard this album... also, i think it's funny that "carry" is actually the most popular song of this album. my absolute least favorite song out of them all, i can't get a feel for it's mood at all and it IMO lacks the beauty that alot of the other tracks have, mainly "from sinking"