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isis - SGNL 05
SGNL>05 was originally released inbetween Isis's debut album 'Celestial' and their second 'Oceanic', it's hard to define it as merely an EP or a stopgap though. At 35 minutes in length, it is easily as long as many classic albums, and Neurot recordings have been kind enough to re-issue it fleshed out with an exclusive remix from Brummie industrial metal don Justin Broadrick (Jesu, Final, ex-Godflesh, ex-Napalm Death). The music itself is quite different from the 'proper' Isis albums which is maybe why it didn't receive quite so much hype on it's original release, but this is exactly what makes it so interesting. The album starts with the title track, a Lynchian mix of tape recorded piano and industrial clanks and groans - killer intro, only 3 minutes in and we're blasted into the Neurosis-style metallic epic 'Divine Mother' which surely ranks as one of the bands most crushing tracks. At this point they had not defined their 'post-metal' sound quite so obviously, but the traces of this are present and obvious in 'SGNL>05' far more than with 'Celestial'. Third track 'Beneath Below' takes an overdriven drum line and drenches it in ancient synthesizer sounds and 'Constructing Towers' is Isis at their droning, epic and harmonic best. 5 years on since its original release there are quite a few more open minded metal fans in the world and 'SGNL>05' is a crucial jigsaw piece in the history of one of the scene's finest acts. Highly recommended.