ISAW: The Identity

Aussie metallers offer an example of the dystopian future

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

South Australia’s ISAW might infuse their particular brand of chest-beating with wave after wave of lyrical metaphors of mankind’s synthetic future, but the end result is still one that already feels cheap and dated.

A keg-chugger metal skin stretched over an awkward 90s metalcore endoskeleton, for an album called The Identity, ISAW’s debut sounds about as individual as a new car rolling off a factory production line. From the froggy, Dez Fafara-lite gurgling of vocalist Matt Kavanagh to the cut’n’shut riff-stitching and leaden pacing of tracks like The Black Stone, the songwriting feels less a work of craft and more the result of a child’s maniac Lego construction.

They hide the clumsy welds with pinch harmonics and a silent prayer that a precisely placed vocal ‘Woooaah’ or ‘Yeeeaaahh’ will let such uninspiring writing go unnoticed. There may be a kernel of talent somewhere within this confused creation, but given The Identity’s clumpy construction, it barely seems worth taking the time to uncover it.