From their Gaulish city of Reims, Isaac—stylized as ISaAC—just released Évasions manquées, their sole release since 2011, if we don’t count their split with Térébenthine in 2014, which would still leave a wide gap between the two. The band has been likened to The Mars Volta, among others, but the similarities, although present, are threadbare. Let’s see what the band has to offer.
Évasions manquées is a three-song EP, with the longest song, self-titled, topping the twelve-minute mark. At first, with “Aliocha”, we’re greeted with a droning post-hardcore piece. The Mars Volta parallels are not to be drawn here, or thinly so, but rather on “Molloy”, the middle track. While Isaac is an instrumental band, there are some resemblances with the famous Texas progressive post-hardcore crew on the level of what the musicians here are playing. Dense guitar chords, harsh and in rapid fire mode, are backed by the overdriven bass and creative drumming. To end the comparison, Isaac play an intrinsically different kind of the same thing.
Noise rock, krautrock, post-hardcore, drone, and avant-prog are all tags that come to mind at various points during Évasions manquées. To simplify the band’s sound with a single comparison is doing it a disservice. Isaac’s brand is unique and interesting on its own; for their introspective passages, harsh without being overly distorted, noisy environments, and progressive structures. Go in, and let yourself sink.