Celestial (Isis album)

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For the RBD album, see Celestial (RBD album). For other uses, see Celestial (disambiguation).
Studio album by Isis
Released April 3, 2000
Recorded January–February 2000
Genre Sludge metal, doom metal, post-metal
Length 51:58
Label Escape Artist
Hydra Head
Ipecac (reissue)
Producer Isis, Matt Bayles
Isis chronology
Sawblade EP
Re-release cover
The cover of Ipecac Recordings' 2013 re-release

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.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3]


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.[original research?]

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.[4] Towers are described as ‘thematic’ material by Decibel's Joe Gross.[5]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[6]
Stylus A[7]

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."[5] Rock Sound placed it at #3 in their rundown of their top albums of 2001.[8] 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”.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Isis. 

No. Title Length
1. "SGNL>01"   0:55
2. "Celestial (The Tower)"   9:42
3. "Glisten"   6:35
4. "Swarm Reigns (Down)"   6:02
5. "SGNL>02"   0:51
6. "Deconstructing Towers"   7:30
7. "SGNL>03"   0:35
8. "Collapse and Crush"   5:55
9. "C.F.T. (New Circuitry and Continued Evolution)"   5:43
10. "Gentle Time"   7:02
11. "SGNL>04 (End Transmission)"   1:07



  1. ^ Slevin, Patrick (26 May 2009). "Interview with Aaron Turner of Isis: Radiating Energy". The Aquarian. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "PRIMER: Aaron Turner Revisits Isis’ Entire Catalog". Self-Titled. Pop Mart Media. 4 June 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "ISIS Reissuing ‘Celestial’ – Remastered and New Artwork". Nefarious Realm. 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  4. ^ Rauf, Adam (18 June 2010). "The Isis Interview: Exclusive". Blow the Scene. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Gross, Joe (November 2009). "53: Isis – Celestial". Decibel (The Top 100 Greatest Metal Albums of the Decade): 21. 
  6. ^ a b York, William. "Celestial – Isis". Allmusic. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  7. ^ Jarvis, Clay (1 September 2003). "Isis – Celestial". Stylus. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Rock Sound: Critics' Poll 2001". Rocklist.net. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Celestial (Media notes). Isis. Escape Artist Records. 1999. EA7.0.