• Sun, May 31, 2020

Isis - Temporal


album Reviews Dec 31, 03:49pm

A review of Temporal by Isis.


Isis's (yes, the s's), latest release, Temporal, is a double album that hosts a bunch of demo tracks, new renditions, covers, and an out of the blue acoustic version, vocalizing almost the entirety of the band's identity and the way it moved across their 13 year period. The band, which made its mark with a trademark post-rock aura interspersed with ample sludge, aggressive riffing, and an unconventional growling/singing delivery, has been defunct for a couple of years now, so this one’s a keepsake for the scrapbook – a nice little excursion through the band’s past.

The first CD, comprising of unreleased demo versions of some of the band’s older tracks (including ‘Ghost Key’ and ‘Wills Dissolve’) in an alternate recording setting, provides a new flavour to their most tasteful songs. The magnitude of carefully administered distortion gives more sludge to the originally-cleansing feel the songs evoked, superimposing the nostalgia from their harsher-sounding early period. ‘Grey Divide’, at close to 17 minutes, ends the first installment, encompassing all the spheres of the band’s atmospherics that came to light through their career, and reconciling everything that has been witnessed till its arrival in the record – the collective consensus makes this probably the best offering of the album.

Part two of the compilation once again picks up the tempo through previous releases, unreleased songs, and remixes from years gone by. Beginning with the two covers from the Sawblade EP, with ‘Hand of Doom’ (Black Sabbath ) showcasing an interesting vocal performance, the album shifts pace with Thomas Dimuzio’s remix of ‘Holy Tears’, before adopting an almost-meditative stance, continuing into ‘Temporal’. The narrative reawakens soon after, entering a completely new realm with ‘Way Through Woven Branches’ and ‘Pliable Foe’ which, through their melodic crevices, sow the seeds for the grand culmination of Temporal in the form of a previously unheard acoustic version of ‘20 Minutes/40 Years’.

The album floats through its duration, finally settling as mostly a collector’s item, offering much to reflect for the old listener. It also comes with a DVD release with all of the band’s music videos. We suggest you check out the video for ’20 Minutes/40 Years’ that shows the creative side of the strange phenomenon of magnetism. 

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