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Isis - In the Fishtank vol. 14 (with Aereogramme) CD (album) cover

IN THE FISHTANK VOL. 14 (WITH AEREOGRAMME)

Isis

Experimental/Post Metal


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GoldenSpiral
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3 stars "In the Fishtank" is an ongoing project from Dutch record label Konkurrent. The idea is to bring together artists who the label feels are "strongly related" and get them to collaborate in the studio. Perhaps they will find the things they have in common and amplify them to new levels, or perhaps they will focus on their differences and come up with something that is uncharacteristic for both artists. Volume 14 of "In the Fishtank" brings together Scottish indie-rock band Aereogramme with American post-metal masters Isis. I had never heard Aereogramme before I heard this, but it turns out they're a pretty average (though decent) indie rock band who alternate between soft melodies and explosions of lush electro-sonic layers. So, what will happen when one of my favorite metal bands works with a band I know nothing about, and probably wouldn't listen to regularly by themselves? The results of the collaboration are surprisingly good.

The EP contains three songs in total: the first is about 9 minutes, the second about four, and the last track is over 10 minutes. It seems that the groups came together and focused on their love for creating good rock with lots of atmosphere. The first track begins with a low drone and some clean guitars that will sound familiar to Isis fans, until Aereogramme enter with their bits of synthesized ambience, and Aereogramme's vocalist provides the bulk of the lyrical work. The song drones on for the rest of the time and rather sounds like an Isis song that is being played by a different band. The second track is more like an actual "metal" song, and sounds like a more digestible version of some earlier Isis tracks, and actually features Aaron Turner on vocals. The last track is a much more ambient piece than the others and can be quite haunting at times. This song sounds like more of a drawn-out, ambient Aereogramme song with creepy touches laid on by the members of Isis.

I would call this seemingly random collaboration a success. The bands found what they had in common and ran with it, creating new levels of atmospheric beauty that neither band was likely to create on their own. This album gets three stars because while it is good, it should certainly not be anyone's introduction to Isis. Wait until you have their other major progressive releases, then try this out.

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Send comments to GoldenSpiral (BETA) | Report this review (#99746)
Posted Monday, November 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Golden Spiral's review says everything you need to know about the Fishtank series. Well this Fishtank brings two ands with a few common characteristics together. Being a huge Isis fan I wanted to buy this one. To tell the truth I don't enjoy Aereogramme as much. Aereogramme, while at times heavy, has a more alternative and electronic approach. What I expected was an interesting but surely not essential and that's exactly what I got.

The album is really pleasant but it's only 25 minutes. It consists of three songs which are pretty much in the vein of Isis but softer and with electronics added. "Low Tide" is the opening track. It sounds like most post-rock based Isis songs with very nice electronics added. Vocals here by Aereogramme's vocalist give a new perspective to the Isis-based music and may sound a bit odd in the begging to Isis fans. I really enjoy the ending where the electronics lead the song. The second track "Delial" is the shortest of the album with distorted guitars this time which along with bass guitar and drums create a strong rhythmic base for Turner's vocals to take over as the melodic instrument. The last track, "Stolen", is the longest track of the album. Like Golden Spiral said, it's an ambient song that reminds me of massive attack. I really seem to enjoy the vocals in this one.

Overall, I think both bands had a great time doing this. Both bands show how influenced they are from post-rock. I give it two stars (Collectors/fans only) because while non- Isis/Aereogramme fans may like this album, it's too short to be recommended. It's probably mostly for curious people.

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Send comments to sularetal (BETA) | Report this review (#104932)
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permalink

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