It's amazing math and science majors don't outnumber metalheads at an average Isis show, as the Boston-born, LA-based quintet's insistent cadences dovetail with such point-counterpoint precision that it captivates like covalent bonding. Strained bellows and a cascading, gnawing ensemble of guitars and electronics equally flesh and flay atop skewed meters of drum accents, building to serenity-splattered crescendos. However, Panopticon, while often crystalline, is never a transparent album, though the veneer is taut. To experience Panopticon -- named for a prison devised in the Eighteenth Century that allowed for unfettered surveillance -- is to sit within a pentagonal lattice, buffered by a 360-degree, hour-long sustained gait that is monolithic without being monosyllabic.

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Tony Ware