Review Summary: Isis compilation exceeds all expectations for..well,..a compilation.
5 of 5 thought this review was well written
Post-metal’s finest bless us one last time with an excellent compilation that highlights all aspects of their legendary career. This three disc compilation includes a few rare cuts, some covers, some originals, and a DVD with all their music videos on. Although some of the tracks on Disc 1 are unnecessary, Disc 2 fully makes up this blip with excellent songs and only a few mediocre songs. The DVD, on the other hand, seems only there to complete the collection but nevertheless is an essential for any die-hard Isis fan. Also it was inevitable that they would be accused of just making this compilation for money with no care for it, but Isis destroy these accusations owing to the high quality packaging the discs come in, the awesome cover art reminiscent of Panopticon, and of course, the great music held within especially on Disc 2.
Although incredibly good, the tracks displayed on Disc 1 seem to be a repetition of past works but in a rawer context as they are all demos. “False Light (demo)” and “Carry (demo)” are just poorer versions of the fantastic originals, and are unneeded. The first track “Threshold of Transformation (demo)” is the last song of their final album, Wavering Radiant, and whilst still being a repeat, it is executed with stunning musicianship and serves as an excellent incentive to re-listen to their newer albums for fans, like myself, who were underwhelmed by them. The alternate demo songs introduce some interesting twists and differences, especially on the “Wills Dissolve (alternate demo version)” which removes the weird electronic effects from the original to play the song in a more human way and simultaneously makes one of my personal favorites even more breath-taking. The pick of the bunch has got to be the “Grey Divide (demo)” a previously unheard song that, in true Isis style, creates an incredible atmosphere with its use of dreamy keys, drums, and a high pitched drone to become among one of the finest songs in Isis’ catalog. The variety of interesting arrangements in the song highlights the intelligence of their music and fully justifies the existence of Disc 1.
Disc 2 starts off with the very mediocre “Streetcleaner”, but is lifted up a notch by the incredible “Hand OF Doom” cover which has more raw energy in it than an epileptic monkey addicted to red bull having a fit. Isis manages to make the Sabbath classic their own with the rhythmic groove of the drums accompanying the funky guitar riff. Similarly, the two remixes introduce a new take on Isis’ music and show the variance of the compilation. The “Holy Tears (Thomas Dimuzio Remix)” is a 12 minute epic ambient fueled journey that treads on the borders of electronica by intertwining the awesome riffs into the ethereal keys, producing a serene mixture. The lesser remix, “Not in Rivers, But In Drops (Melvins/Listmord Remix)” is a mash up with mixed results, and the title track “Temporal” is a short but sweet atmospheric track that oozes with eeriness. The newer stuff is showcased with the final three tracks; one of them includes “20 minutes/40 years (acoustic version)” that sheds a whole new light on the Isis sound with lush acoustic work that is calming as well as beautiful, and one of the stand out tracks for me. “Way Through Woven Branches” and “Pliable Foe” both represent the masterly song writing Isis has perfected. They are 2 slices of complex, layered and otherworldly goodness created as some of the last recordings Isis ever did. They are a fitting goodbye to an incredible band.
The DVD presents us with the 5 Isis music videos, all of which stumble onto Tool-like weirdness for their strange and complex plots. They are all very mesmerizing to watch, especially with the Isis vibe encapsulating them all to convey their deep and complicated messages. The videos do seem slung on to the end of the compilation, but must be seen to be believed with some of the bat*** crazy happenings going on in them.
“Temporal” is not recommended to Isis virgins (go check out Oceanic and Panopticon) but will appeal to all Isis fans who want to complete their collection with some of the band’s best recordings. It is clear the band did want to make the compilation worth it as there are no sub-standard original Isis tracks to see. This collection of carefully handpicked tracks is credit to how respectful Isis are to their fans, and is a perfectly fitting, signing out.
Sure, I'll give you some feedback since I have the time to do so. Here we go:
The first paragraph is very solid, but it's a little jarring without an intro. It's a difficult art to jump right in without an introductory paragraph, but it's doable - go read some Adam Thomas reviews (redskyformiles) for a better idea.
with excellent songs and only a few mediocre songs.
something about this seems "wrong." Maybe some sort of adjective before "excellent," or better yet take out either the "excellent" part or the "mediocre" part.
the tracks displayed on Disc 1 seem to be a repetition of past works but in a rawer context as they are all demos.
I may be wrong, but isn't that the point? I thought this was a compilation - it's all repetition. Also I don't think "rawer" is a word.
The first track “Threshold of Transformation (demo)” is the last song of their final album, Wavering Radiant, and whilst still being a repeat, it is executed with stunning musicianship and serves as an excellent incentive to re-listen to their newer albums for fans, like myself, who were underwhelmed by them.
Excellent sentence, my one problem is that you don't need the commas around "like myself" - they just slow down the sentence unnecessarily.
As I'm reading through this, I'm struck by how good a review it is, especially from someone with only four reviews like you. The writing is coherent, you use words well, and your ideas are well-placed. Keep it up!
Overall comments - as I said before, very very good review, have a pos. One thing I learned after a while is it's not always good to talk about each track individually - it's your job to talk about the album as a whole, not pick apart each track (we can do that for ourselves). Your job as a reviewer should be to break the album down into a single bite-sized piece for us readers, and talking about every single track doesn't really do that well. Really good work, have a pos!
As I'm reading this, it's a good review, but what's up with two spaces in between each paragraph? It's a small gripe but, one line skip in sufficient. It just looks really off if there's more than one. Anyway, have a pos.
What? lol. It's a paragraph dude, I don't really think they need definition, being able to tell paragraphs apart by a single space is one of the most basic things about reading. It really throws you off when you're trying to read it, it doesn't flow smoothly.
It's fairly different from The Godflesh version, despite it being not much different at all, if that makes any sense. This sounds like early ISIS and Godflesh sounds like Godflesh. The Godflesh version is much darker and ominous.
On that note, dude fucking listen to Streetcleaner (album) and Pure first chance you get.