Isis Announce Break-UpPosted by Gabriel Arguelles
Late Tuesday night the mighty Isis announced on their blog that they’ll be calling it a day after their next tour. According to the posting, they’ve chosen to go out while still strong instead of staying together and becoming obsolete. Truly a sad day for metal (or “thinking man’s metal,” as Hydrahead founder and Isis guitarist/vocalist Aaron Turner would put it) and for music as a whole, but their decision should be applauded. Nothing is more sad musically than seeing a band that was once exciting and groundbreaking become a bore. Wavering Radiant (2009) was already a step in that direction, and it’s good to see Isis, a great, often genre-defining band, not go further into the land of the boring.
In their short existence they grew from a band that released and toured with Botch on a strong demo that wore its Bloodlet and Neurosis influences on its sleeve to a band that collaborated with many of its heroes from Neurosis and Justin Broderick (of Godflesh and Jesu, among many others) to members of Tool and Mike Patton. Each of their first five or so EPs and albums were memorable and stretched the conventions of slowed-down metal and hardcore, first with thundering, seismic charges, and then with multi-layered melodies and electronics. Their blend of Neurosis-styled metal and Explosions in the Sky-ish post-rock was unseen until that point. Celestial (2000) and Oceanic (2002) were completely different records that displayed an incredible amount of growth and change but retained the band’s initial sense of dramatic heaviness, and as a result they were both genius.