ISAW: The Identity

Aussie metallers offer an example of the dystopian future

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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.