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Although rooted heavy metal and the punk/hardcore aesthetic, Isis' music relies just as heavily on ambience, atmosphere, and tone as it does complexity and aggression. Not so much a band per se as a musical collective, the members of the Boston-based quintet layer their compositions with feedback, power chords, quiet/loud dynamics, and vocals that are sometimes shouted, frequently screamed, and occasionally sung. The band was formed by Hydra Head Records owner Aaron Turner, who was hoping to combine the minimalism of Earth and the Melvins with the experimentalism of Godflesh, backed by the depth and power of the band's most obvious musical counterpart, Neurosis. It was the union of Turner with bassist Jeff Caxide and powerhouse drummer Aaron Harris that formed the core of the Isis project in 1997. The band recorded a demo that year with guitarist Randy Larson, garnering the attention of Escape Artist Records. With noisemaker Chris Mereshuk on keyboards/samples and minus Larson, the band recorded the The Mosquito Control EP at God City Studios in 1998, establishing Isis as a band with artistic vision and conceptual foresight. Former Cast Iron Hike guitarist Mike Gallagher joined the lineup in time for a tour with Converge and Cavity, just as Mereshuk exited and was replaced by Agorophobic Nosebleed's Jay Randall. In 1999, Isis released an EP titled The Red Sea through Second Nature on both 8" vinyl and CD. Randall exited the group shortly thereafter and was replaced by Cliff Meyer, and Isis subsequently toured with Cave In that summer before supporting Neurosis -- who had become admirers of the group -- that winter. In 2000, Isis produced their masterwork, the Celestial opus, which built upon the promise of the EP releases while expanding the band's scope to include more warmth and melody than its decidedly brutal predecessors. The band toured relentlessly in its support with the likes of the Dillinger Escape Plan, Candiria, and Burn It Down, releasing a follow-up of material from the Celestial sessions through Neurosis' own Neurot Recordings in 2001. Dubbed SGNL>05, the EP expanded the conceptual and musical threads of Celestial, complete with a remix by one of the band's heroes, Godflesh's electronic wizard Justin Broadrick. Oceanic became the band's breakthrough record, receiving positive reviews upon its release in 2002. The follow-up effort, Panopticon, appeared two years later, while the two-CD remix collection Oceanic: Remixes/Reinterpretations landed in 2005. One year later, the band collaborated with the Scottish pop band Aereogramme for the 14th volume of the Konkurrent label's In the Fishtank series. Isis then released their next full-length album, In the Absence of Truth, before touring alongside Tool, whose guitarist Adam Jones opted to join Isis in the studio upon the tour's completion. Jones lent his instrumental prowess to two songs, both of which appeared on the band's 2009 album Wavering Radiant. In 2010, Isis announced their decision to break up, and later that year they played their last show in Montreal. Though the band was done, a split EP with the Melvins featuring unrleased tracks from the Wavering Radiant sessions would appear later that year. Isis' final release, the sprawling rarites and demos compilation Temporal, appeared late in 2012. ~ Ryan J. Downey
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Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   So Did We
  3.   SGNL>02
  4.   Hand Of The Host
  5.   Charmicarmicat Shines to Earth
  6.   Grey Divide
  7.   Hall Of The Dead
  8.   Ghost Key
  9.   Wills Dissolve
  10.   Hand of Doom
  11.   From Sinking
  12.   Weight
  13.   Carry
  14.   False Light
  15.   The Beginning and the End
  16.   SGNL>01
  17.   Sgnl>04 (End Transmission)
  18.   Poison Eggs
  19.   The Minus Times
  20.   Pliable Foe
  21.   Threshhold of Transformation
  22.   Stone To Wake A Serpent
  23.   20 Minutes/40 Years
  24.   Garden of Light
  25.   Holy Tears
  26.   1000 Shards
  27.   Syndic Calls
  28.   Backlit
  29.   Streetcleaner
  30.   Hym
  31.   Collapse and Crush
  32.   Glisten
  33.   Divine Mother (The Tower Crumbles)
  34.   Lines Across Eyes
  35.   Catalyst
  36.   Way Through Woven Branches
  37.   Temporal
  38.   Wavering Radiant
  39.   Firdous E Bareen
  40.   Over Root and Thorn
  41.   Not in Rivers, But in Drops
  42.   Wrists of Kings
  43.   From: Sinking, To: Drowning by Destructo Swarmbots
  44.   Carry: Like I Will Love Her Forever? (Fuckin Die!!!) by Speedranch
  45.   Grinning Mouths
  46.   Altered Course
  47.   In Fiction
  48.   Maritime
  49.   The Other
  50.   SGNL>03
  51.   Relocation Swarm
  52.   Hive Destruction
  53.   Life Under the Swatter
  54.   Gentle Time
  55.   C.F.T. (New Circuitry and Continued Evolution)
  56.   Swarm Reigns (Down)
  57.   SGNL>05 (Final Transmission)
  58.   Celestial (Signal Fills the Void)
  59.   Deconstructing Towers
  60.   Beneath Below
  61.   Red Sea
  62.   All Out of Time, All Into Space
  63.   Smiles and Handshakes
  64.   [Untitled]
  65.   Ochre
  66.   Dulcinea
  67.   Forbidden Treasures
  68.   [Untitled Track]
  69.   [CD-Rom Track]
  70.   Not In Rivers, But In Drops (Live Washington DC 2006)
  71.   Improv 1 (Endless Nameless)
  72.   No Name
  73.   Full Performance
  74.   Photo Gallery
  75.   Credits And Contacts
  76.   Discography

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