Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Isis says 'Good Night'

One of my favorite bands has called it quits. Isis, a highly influential hard rock / metal band, have decided to part ways at the end of their current tour. They announced it on their MySpace and their blog, and the text is pretty much perfect, just like their music. Here's the key point:

"ISIS has done everything we wanted to do, said everything we wanted to say. In the interest of preserving the love we have of this band, for each other, for the music made and for all the people who have continually supported us, it is time to bring it to a close. We've seen too many bands push past the point of a dignified death and we all promised one another early on in the life of the band that we would do our best to ensure ISIS would never fall victim to that syndrome. We've had a much longer run than we ever expected we would and accomplished a great deal more than we ever imagined possible."

Their first EP and LP both sounded a lot like Godflesh and Neurosis, but then came their second full-length album ('Oceanic'), and they became influential for many other bands to come. 'Oceanic' is still one of my favorite records ever. Lyrically, it's a concept album about a man who falls head-over-heels in love with a woman, who eventually opens up to him about her ... well, I won't go into spoiler territory, but you can read more here. I'll just say that the entire album is epic, especially the track 'Weight', which has one of the greatest builds of any song I've ever heard. Take eleven minutes, put on headphones, then play the video below. Go ahead. I'll still be here when you're done.

They've toured with bands like Tool, and their founder started a record label (Hydra Head) that has an insane variety of artists. While I wasn't a huge fan of their most recent album ('Wavering Radiant'), I didn't like it for the same reason why the band is breaking up: They've said everything they wanted to say already. That album felt like they were running out of inspiration, and so I'm glad they're calling it a day now, instead of dragging on and on, or trying to write 'Oceanic 2'.

Still, I'm gonna miss 'em. They were one of the few bands that I'd always buy their new album, sight unseen and sound unheard.

EDIT: I just found a sweet wallpaper site for bands like Isis, Neurosis, The Ocean, Opeth, Tool, Type O Negative, The Gathering, and more. I downloaded close to 20 of 'em. Kudos to whomever put this together.

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