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Isis - Clearing the Eye CD (album) cover

CLEARING THE EYE

Isis

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.12 | 8 ratings

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sularetal
4 stars -Clearing The Eye-

A brief introduction to the band (which you may skip):

Isis is a Los Angeles, California-based band that started from sludge metal and hardcore releasing two eps during 1998-1999. Isis debut album, Celestial (2000), was a real surprise and showed Isis is a band that has much to offer. After another ep, which was like the last chapter of the debut album being linked by the concept, Isis release the first masterpiece, Oceanic (2002), which was heavily influenced by the post-rock movement. Isis had however kept many "heavy" elements from the previous albums and that didn't allow them to be placed in that category and as a result they were put in a new category under the name "post-metal" (which also includes bands such as Pelican, Jesu, Red Sparrowes and Neurosis among others). The raw sound and heaviness appeared even less in Panopticon (2004), the bands third studio album, which is considered the best one by many people. In 2006, after becoming famous and touring all over the world several times and after supporting bands like Tool, they thought it was time to release a DVD. A fourth album was also released that year with the title "In Absence Of Truth".

The dvd:

The dvd is a collection of visual material taken from many Isis shows. Like the band states in the booklet: "While we consider some of the content to be less than perfect for a variety of reasons, we do feel that it is a fairly accurate representation of what we do-or at the very least certain aspects of it. and that's really most we could cope to accomplish with such an endeavor".

The first seven tracks are from the first two studio albums of Isis and they aren't all filmed really well. There are a few that have a bad visual quality and most of them are shot only by one camera but the sound quality is much more than good. The result is really pleasing since the bad visual quality fits well with the music and its aesthetics and doesn't really bother you (or at least that happens to me). It's also mostly from shows in small clubs which I prefer by a mile compared to the shows in huge arenas. I just love them. On the second track, "weight" which is from Oceanic", there are the guest appearances of Tool's bassist Justin Chancellor and percussionist Troy Zeigler.

The full performance is a great show in Sydney's Annadale. While the previous live videos were more focused on the first studio album of the band, this one includes songs only from Oceanic and Panopticon. They play "So Did We", "Backlit", "The Beginning and The End", "In Fiction", "Wills Dissolve", "Grinning Mouths", "Altered Course" and close with "From Sinking". The sound quality is pretty good but the guitars are in my opinion as dominant as they should and the vocals are far from the best Turner can do.

Moreover, the dvd includes a picture gallery, extensive info and images on the band's discography and a music video through very nice menus created by Alyssa Dressman and Jesse Lee Stout supported by bits and pieces of the band's music. The video clip is from the song "In Fiction", a brilliant track from the Panopticon album, and was directed by josh graham. I can't say I really like it but it's clearly a matter of personal taste.

Last but not least, the booklet. The booklet provides you with info for every track in a very informal and friendly way. It also the lyrics for those who would like to know what Turner says. Turner did the packaging while Harris mixed the audio for the entire set in Annadale. Furthermore, I really felt that I had to mention Greg Moss who is Isis live sound engineer and shows how good he is in his job. He is often named as the sixth member of the band.

Overall, I really enjoyed this dvd. Isis are brilliant on stage. They have a very good sound and have the ability to play extended versions of the songs that can be better than the ones on the albums. Pure power! I also really liked the attitude of the band for many reasons. It's a must for people who like Isis and a very good recommendation for people open to heavier stuff.

sularetal | 4/5 |

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