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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.   Smiles and Handshakes
  4.   Celestial (Signal Fills the Void)
  5.   Hand Of The Host
  6.   Swarm Reigns (Down)
  7.   All Out of Time, All Into Space
  8.   Wills Dissolve
  9.   Backlit
  10.   Maritime
  11.   Deconstructing Towers
  12.   Pliable Foe
  13.   Threshhold of Transformation
  14.   Stone To Wake A Serpent
  15.   Ghost Key
  16.   20 Minutes/40 Years
  17.   Garden of Light
  18.   Firdous E Bareen
  19.   Holy Tears
  20.   1000 Shards
  21.   Not in Rivers, But in Drops
  22.   Grinning Mouths
  23.   Carry
  24.   False Light
  25.   SGNL>01
  26.   Hive Destruction
  27.   Life Under the Swatter
  28.   Glisten
  29.   Poison Eggs
  30.   Charmicarmicat Shines to Earth
  31.   Way Through Woven Branches
  32.   Grey Divide
  33.   Wavering Radiant
  34.   Hall Of The Dead
  35.   Over Root and Thorn
  36.   Dulcinea
  37.   Wrists of Kings
  38.   From: Sinking, To: Drowning by Destructo Swarmbots
  39.   Carry: Like I Will Love Her Forever? (Fuckin Die!!!) by Speedranch
  40.   Altered Course
  41.   Syndic Calls
  42.   In Fiction
  43.   Hand of Doom
  44.   Streetcleaner
  45.   Hym
  46.   From Sinking
  47.   The Other
  48.   The Beginning and the End
  49.   SGNL>03
  50.   Sgnl>04 (End Transmission)
  51.   Gentle Time
  52.   C.F.T. (New Circuitry and Continued Evolution)
  53.   Collapse and Crush
  54.   Beneath Below
  55.   Divine Mother (The Tower Crumbles)
  56.   The Minus Times
  57.   Temporal
  58.   [Untitled]
  59.   Weight
  60.   Relocation Swarm
  61.   SGNL>05 (Final Transmission)
  62.   Lines Across Eyes
  63.   Ochre
  64.   Red Sea
  65.   Catalyst
  66.   SGNL>02
  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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