Music » CD Reviews


In the Absence of Truth (Ipecac)


Shimmering guitars? Check. Throbbing bass lines? Check. Vocals like a trapped bear's howl? Check, check, check. Despite some electronic trickery here and there, In the Absence of Truth is unmistakably an Isis album. From the slowly rising feedback that opens "Wrists of Kings," to the last jangling chord of the closing "Garden of Light," the band is bringing more of the same. So is this album really necessary? To many ears, Isis peaked with Oceanic and its associated remixes; Panopticon was monochromatic, beloved mostly by folks coming late to the party.

This, Isis' fourth full-length, is the most diverse to date, but in the process of adding new facets to its sound, the band winds up reinforcing self-imposed limitations. Isis' music is not about catharsis, which is a big problem for metalheads or anybody else looking for a reason to get worked up. No matter how loud the guitars get, they always sway gently, never crashing or exploding. Isis has already toured with Tool; if the band keeps pushing this stoic, we're-above-rocking-out shtick, it'll be opening for Coldplay soon.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.