The "thinking-man's metal" tag that hangs on Isis seems bad for business, but guitarist/vocalist Aaron Turner and his comrades don't appear to mind. After all, the jacket of their new CD includes the quote "Nothing is true, everything is permitted" that inspired the album's title, as well as a quasi-footnote conceding that historians debate whether the line should be attributed to the 11th-century missionary most often given credit for it. Then again, honesty in advertising is appropriate, since Isis' exciting work requires that listeners know how to use their heads for something other than banging.

Every track here, from "Wrists of Kings" to "Garden of Light," contains more than its share of fascination, but "Dulcinea" could serve as a template. The tune juxtaposes lovely singing and harsh growling, not to mention delicate guitar arpeggios and surging power chords, even as it makes room for Aaron Harris' roiling drums, Jeff Caxide's inventive bass lines and Bryant Clifford Meyer's atmospheric electronic treatments. The results prove that beauty and brutality aren't mutually exclusive.

And that's the Truth.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts
Contact: Michael Roberts

Latest Stories