| April 3, 2000|
| January–February 2000|
3 April 2000
Escape Artist Records
| Post-metal, Sludge metal, Doom metal, Post-hardcore|
Isis albums, Post-metal albums
Celestial is the debut album by American post-metal band ISIS, released in 2000 by Escape Artist and Hydra Head Records. It is their third solo release and first full length.
A year later, Isis released SGNL>05, an EP designed to act as an extension to Celestial; its tracks were all directly culled from the Celestial recording sessions. Frontman Aaron Turner describes them as being “part of the same whole”, separated from each other because releasing a double album for the group's first full-length may have been overbearing for listeners.
In addition to the regular CD and vinyl LP editions, Celestial is available in a double release, coupled with its sister EP, SGNL>05. On June 5, 2013, it was announced that Celestial would be re-issued by Ipecac Recordings with new artwork from Turner, as well as the audio having been recently remastered by James Plotkin.
Celestial and SGNL>05 reintroduce the control tower and female character themes; specifically, a central "mother" tower ("Celestial (The Tower)", "Divine Mother"), which is built ("Constructing Towers"), decayed ("Deconstructing Towers"), and finally crumbles ("Divine Mother (The Tower Crumbles)" which isn't featured until their SGNL>05 EP). As well, the SGNL theme is introduced ("SGNL>01" through "SGNL>05 (Final Transmission)"), and the mosquito (Mosquito Control) is linked through the artwork on both releases.
Turner has acknowledged that the album deals with the erosion of privacy as technology advances, in a similar vein to 2004's Panopticon; however, he states that the theme is dealt with in a “more primitive way” on Celestial. Towers are described as ‘thematic’ material by Decibel's Joe Gross.
Celestial was named the 53rd-finest metal record of the decade by Decibel, stating that "it's seen as a transitional record between the band's early work and the post-metal benchmarks such as Oceanic, but Celestial holds up in ways different from their later work [...] the elements of the greatness are present, but rawer, more direct." Rock Sound placed it at #3 in their rundown of their top albums of 2001. William York, writing for allmusic, described the album as Isis' best, and argues that the record needs to be “given time” – that it eventually develops an “almost epic feel”.
All tracks written by Isis.
1SGNL>010:55Celestial (Isis album) Wikipedia
2Celestial (The Tower)9:42