In the Absence of Truth
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ISIS - In the Absence of Truth cover
4.03 | 20 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2006

Filed under Sludge/Post-metal


1. Wrists of Kings (7:45)
2. Not in Rivers, but in Drops (7:48)
3. Dulcinea (7:10)
4. Over Root and Thorn (8:30)
5. 1,000 Shards (6:17)
6. All Out of Time, All Into Space (3:03)
7. Holy Tears (7:04)
8. Firdous E Bareen (7:50)
9. Garden of Light (9:17)

Total Time: 64:48


- Aaron Turner / Vocals, guitars
- Mike Gallagher / Guitars
- Jeff Caxide / Bass
- Cliff Meyer / Samples, vocals
- Aaron Harris / Drums

About this release

October 31st, 2006
Vinyl released on the 15th of November. Pressing Info:
700 black
500 white with black streaks
500 clear with red streaks
300 white with red streaks- exclusive through Conspiracy Records.

With, and following, the release of this album, Aaron Turner maintained that he
won't be releasing accompanying lyrics.

Thanks to bartosso for the updates

ISIS MP3, Free Download/Stream


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

I'm in sackcloth and ashes

Okay, I was wrong. I was terribly wrong. This is not just a passable album. With their penultimate release Isis turned me off initially (in 2006) but I was young and stupid. In the Absence of Truth is indeed a journey one of its kind, a journey set in a peculiar dream in which one experiences both things already seen but those unknown and singular as well. Landscape is blurry and distorted, seen through hundreds of rainy lenses. And there is bleakness.

Every album from the band has different sound that suits its concept and highlights its specific mood. In the Absence of Truth is obviously not an exception. As this is their most "post" and least "metal" record, the sound is more airy and organic than ever before. Its oneiric, gloomy atmosphere is highlighted with organic guitar distortion and naturally sounding drums. Since we're on the subject, the drumming is based mainly on tribal-sounding tom-tom patterns. It may seem a bit repetitive to some, but it suits the mood pretty well.

I took a dislike to this album due to strong Tool influence I immediately spotted in it. I loved Tool at the time and Isis seemed to blatantly imitate them. I was obviously an ignoramus as this is not the whole truth about In the Absence of Truth. While being strongly influenced by Tool's evolutionary approach to composition and unique mood of Lateralus, Isis adds a huge amount of their own style to the music. Sludgy heaviness and genuine depressive mood known from such albums as Panopticon and Oceanic, pervades the record thoroughly. With the opening track the listener's mind is immediately flooded with feelings of anxiety and imminent menace. From now on the music takes him to terrains of sadness and shows him surreal, gloomy visions of life and death. It's an intriguing construct made of sludgy build-ups, atmospheric post-rock passages and emotional post-metal climaxes.

Plenty of post-rock albums oozed through my headphones within the space of the last 3 years and 99% of them bored me half to death. I'm glad I survived long enough to finally appreciate Isis. Although the album is a bit uneven, it has some real post-metal masterpieces on board. And most of all, unlike legions of uninspired post-rock clones, this REALLY is emotional and deep stuff. Let it sink in your mind. It's worth it.
The Angry Scotsman
Isis has perfected the post metal sound so well, they now sound like everyone else!

Indeed, by this point post metal bands were starting to come out of the woodwork, and many previous sludgy doomy metal bands have since converted. In a sea of students yearning to get the teachers respect by recycling their material, leave it to the professors to change it up.

In the Absence of Truth, continues the progression of Isis. Clean guitar sounds dominate this album, which tends to dive into heaviness a bit less than previously. There is often a "clean heaviness" which I can't really describe, but you'll hear it and only the songs "Holy Tears" and "Garden of Light" make prominent use of the classic wall of sound.

So basically, this is a much cleaner and melodic album than anything Isis has done. This may turn off many metal heads and even Isis fans, but I urge you to listen to this album. While it could seem boring on the outside, any Isis fan should know deep listening reveals the true musicianship on this album. Often beautiful, always subtle and sophisticated, the soundscapes created by Isis are amazing.

Also of note, the drumming is a drastically different style featuring a very "tribal" style. It's awesome and provides an interesting base for this album. There's also greater use of clean vocals, and true clean vocals not even the kind of strained clean singing of past. The balance is in fact probably shifted to the clean side.

While it may sound like a mellow and beautiful album, (which it is) what makes it metal? What makes it Isis? Well don't worry, it's all still there. Just less prominently. This actually gives the album an even stronger post metal feel, as the build ups are really powerful now!

The clean/heavy/clean/heavy format was getting a bit tiresome, and by using less heavy sections they feel so much more substantial now. "Garden of Light" is one of the most powerful endings to an album I've ever heard.

For metal fans, and even Isis fans, this album may be a bit of a challenge. It's not the Isis of previous two albums but more subdued and post rock influenced, but be patient and submerse yourself to realize the greatness of this album. The greater the challenge the greater the reward, and those perpetually fine tuning metal engineers assembled another brilliant work.

Five Stars
One can probably see where Isis was aiming on In the Absence of Truth. An album focusing a bit on atmosphere, creating a mystical aura among a somewhat heavy album. Isis probably meant for it to be haunting and meditative, though on many accounts of this album it misses the mark. Although the atmosphere on the album is atmospheric, it will most likely dissapoint fans of this type of music.

Most of In the Absence of Truth seems to lack passion or inspiration. One could wonder if they were lost on ideas when making this album. Guitar lines repeat but really don't build. Rather, once the band feels that their idea has come across, they seem to go to another section entirely in the song. Most of the album is percussion-based, with lots of toms on the drums along with syncopated or off time beats. The guitar is mostly clean, though the melodies seem to wander a bit aimlessly, and repeat quite a bit with their uninspired hooks. Vocals are clean a lot of the time, but really don't add much to the rest of the music, whether trying to make the album more haunting or adding to the heavyness of the sound by growling.

There are a couple great tracks though that stand out. "Over Root and Thorn" and "Dulcinea", two tracks who back each other start off hauntingly and build in a good way. Nice and haunting, but again suffer from the aforementioned lighter elements that disappoint fans of the heavier Isis. The standout track is obviously the closer "Garden of Light" which is filled with epic riffs that in true post metal style range from soothing to crushing. At least they end the album right.

Bottom line, In the Absence in Truth is probably not something to rush out and get. Isis fans may enjoy it, though others may feel that it's directionless and lacks the heavy epic passion of their previous work. For most other music listeners, they should probably just skip this one.

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