Recommended Aussie Tunes:Psycroptic | The new single "A Fragile Existence" | Listen

Album Reviews : ISAW – The Identity

By on July 5, 2012

The Identity is a monstrous kick in the face from the very beginning. It’s overflowing with grooves, full of great riffs, and just sounds absolutely enormous. The drums are thick and punchy, the vocals range from huge growls through to well-used (and thankfully not whiney) cleans, and there’s enough melody and variety to keep things relatively fresh for the whole fifty minutes. Adelaide’s ISAW have packed pretty much everything you’d want from a straight-up metal album into this, their debut.

ISAW’s aggression is present from the get-go with “Catch 22” kicking the album off at full pace, and while the track is a great summary of what you can expect from the album, things only get better from there. Second track “The Black Stone” alternates between melodic, almost alt-rock material and big jagged riffs. “Sickness in Visions”  heads a bit into thrash territory, with some spoken growls showing just how versatile vocalist Matt Kavanagh is. “Horizons” tricks you into thinking it’s a mellower one to break the album up but it lurches once again into big riffs with some spoken samples, and “Drones” has some of the most infectious grooves on the album.

ISAW never deviate too far from the style that they do so well, but the balance of heaviness and their more melodic side, plus the ever-changing vocals, keep it from ever feeling repetitive. There are clear death and thrash metal influences all throughout, with touches of metalcore and nu-metal which are used well enough that even avid haters of those styles won’t be turned off. And the whole sound is held together by tight but powerful drums and production that’s big and modern without being sparkly clean, thanks to producer Forrester Savell.

If bands like Machine Head, Fear Factory and Pantera are your thing, then The Identity is for you. 8/10


Band: ISAW
Album: The Indentity
Year: 2011
Genre: Metal
Label: Independent
Adelaide, Australia

Track list:
1. Catch 22
2. The Black Stone
3. Shot Down
4. Gods For Guns
5. Blood Stains The Memory
6. Sickness In Visions
7. Horizons
8. A Synthetic Ending
9. Remember Shame
10. Colour Blind
11. Drones
12. Dead Inside


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.