Isis - The Mosquito Control EP (1998)Release ID: 287

Isis - The Mosquito Control EP (1998) Cover
UnhinderedbyTalent UnhinderedbyTalent / September 17, 2023 / Comments 0 / 0

The debut EP from Isis shows a remarkable level of maturity.  The build to opening track Poison Eggs sounds like it is written by a band some ten years into their existence, not just twelve months as was the case with the band at the time.  This release shows just why Isis grew into staples of the sludge metal world.  Whilst there are spades of aggression and harshness for the listener to feast upon, there is a restraint to elements of the violence also.  Underlined by the tightness of the performances, as a whole The Mosquito Control is a real force to be reckoned with.

At not even a full half hour, there still feels a lot of activity to process on this EP.  Tracks shift and lurch beneath the monumental weight of the noise created by the fusion of drums, guitars, bass and vocals.  Yet no track ever descends into full-blown chaos, even on the manic Life Under the Swatter there is a more subtle passage that tempers the frantic pace and tempo really well, giving the listener a slight breather before launching them straight back into the pulsating fury of the track again.  The standout performance on the EP is without doubt Aaron Turner's vocals.  Rabid to the point of leaving him breathless, they fit so well with the instrumentation it is literally a marriage made in heaven.  That is not say that the rest of the group take a back seat.  The stabbing groove of the riff that starts Hive Destruction proper is infectious as fuck and I find myself clamouring for its urgent cuts as the slower, doomier riffs take precedent.  Likewise, the motoring bass of Jeff Caxide drives this sense of urgency and control throughout the whole EP, whilst Aaron Harris puts an amazing shift in on the drums.

The heaviness on display throughout The Mosquito Control is relentless.  Listen to any modern sludge act like Primitive Man and you will here the poisonous fury of Relocation Swarm as cornerstones of most of what they do.  This is possibly one the heaviest releases I have heard in my life and the production and mix job leaves it all sounding so fresh and organic.  This is oppressive music that is ironically very freeing an experience to listen to.  You absolutely should give this the attention it commands.  There are no short measures of focus allowed when listening to The Mosquito Control, close all the blinds/curtains, turn all non-essential devices off and let the music take you.

Shadowdoom9 (Andi) Shadowdoom9 (Andi) / October 24, 2020 / Comments 0 / 0

The Mosquito Control has been made great by its raw heaviness. This is more chaotic than Isis' more evolved works. If the earliest Isis album you have is Oceanic and you want something from them that's deadlier and heavier, just start with Celestial then head down to their EPs leading up to their first, this one!

The first song of their first ever EP "Poison Eggs" just so happens to be one of Isis' best songs! It starts with a minimalistic melody, then percussion and a radar-like noise gets slowly added in until finally reaching the heavy riff chaos with enraged vocals from the mosquito king (Aaron Turner). The song is both rough and great in the music and the vocals. The ending reaches a frantic climax before abruptly stopping for 10 seconds of radio distortion.

"Life Under the Swatter" is more extreme with riffing as fast as the mosquitoes' reflexes and as furious the exterminator they're dodging. The mosquitoes would swarm around him and suck out all his blood dry. Looking deeply, you might find the subtle melodies and percussion Isis would develop later.

"Hive Destruction" starts with an eerily soft melody then the guitars let it rip with something more frightening. "Relocation Swarm" has suspenseful percussion from the start, then adds in strange samples mixed with the brutal growls that is actually just torturous adrenaline. This isn't really the masterpiece people (like Daniel) thought it was, and as much as I'd like to say this is the band's longest at almost 12 minutes, I don't trust its length because the last 5 minutes is just guitar droning and screaming, like My Dying Bride's "The Cry of Mankind" but not that awesome. No wonder I gave this EP 4 stars. However, I enjoy the Japanese edition bonus track, their cover of the industrial sludge classic title track of Godflesh's Streetcleaner. Another reminder for me to step up my industrial metal game!

If you're a new Isis fan, even though this is their very first release, this is not the right place to start. You might get too attached to the heaviness of their EPs and not enjoy their full-length masterpieces. Of course, fans of Isis' full albums will see the grand difference. Though not the best start, this is where Isis' true innovation had just begun....

Favorites: "Poison Eggs", "Life Under the Swatter", "Streetcleaner" (bonus Godflesh cover)


Release info

Release Site Rating

Ratings: 6 | Reviews: 2


Release Clan Rating

Ratings: 4 | Reviews: 1


Cover Site Rating

Ratings: 5


Cover Clan Rating

Ratings: 4

The Mosquito Control EP
The Fallen
Sludge Metal

Sludge Metal (conventional)

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