Thursday, 13 December 2012

Isis - Temporal review

isis - temporal

For anyone who has an intricate knowledge and understanding of the thirteen year career of Isis, and the benefit of hindsight, “Temporal” presents itself as a history of a band who steadily evolved their sound and aesthetic to a point in which they became the epitome of “post-rock”. Layers of glacial guitar spread thickly over booming percussion, intermittently interspersed with isolated landscapes of sound, punctuated with voices that are occasionally brutal and at other times reminiscent of long forgotten, forsaken nightmares.

The first disc of this two CD set is made up chiefly of demo versions of previously available material. As we have highlighted, this provides the Isis historian with a plethora of interesting and valuable material such as the wordless version of ‘Ghost Key’ from the band’s final release “Wavering Radiant”. With this, and “Threshold of Transformation”, the account of the development of the Isis sound is charted over the disc in reverse chronological order. It may be argued that only the real Isis aficionado may be able to differentiate and appreciate the subtle differences between the versions here and the officially released versions. The percussion may come across as more lucid and less foggy in these embryonic versions and the vocals may be less distinctive and prominent in the mix. One of the previously unreleased tracks closes the first disc, the seventeen minute marathon ‘Grey Divide’. Here we have, encompassed into one piece of music, everything the Isis aesthetic encapsulated. Lumbering, yet focused tension, increasingly mounting by way of grandiose power chord progressions, which ebb and fade only to return with additional vitality and fury. ‘Carry’ and ‘Wills Dissolve’ are an intriguing insight into a band honing their sound, but in this primitive format obviously lack the stately production that uplifts the final releases....

Isis – Temporal

Read full review here....

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