Thursday, February 22, 2007

Always Upon You, But Never Tasting

Isis – Clearing the Eye

The Isis love on the Wildebeest Asylum is not quite over just yet. As well as their new album and their recent concert they also have a new DVD out. Clearing the Eye contains a good two hours of live footage, plus their solitary music video.

The video (for 'In Fiction') is OK but doesn't do justice to what is a truly outstanding song. (Plus there are edits! Fucking edits I tell you! That song was meant to be nine minutes long and making it any shorter is an abomination unto the Lord!)

The live footage is more interesting, covering material from a range of albums up to and including Panopticon. About half of the tracks are older songs pulled from a variety of different gigs, but they also include a full concert (from the Sydney date on their last Australian tour, at the Annandale (a much smaller venue than the Metro where they played this year)) where they play Panopticon more or less from beginning to end, including my favourite 'In Fiction' and also a really great version of 'Altered Course'. The songs are included warts and all (with no post recording fixes) so you can feel sorry for the bass player when he is way out of tune for the first half of 'The Beginning and the End'.

The visual element of the live footage is more or less superfluous. Once you've seen Aaron Turner's guitar face up close a couple of times you don't need to see it again in the remaining twelve songs. As an auditory experience the DVD is highly recommended. You'll never get the transcendent experience of actually being at one of their concerts from a recording, but it's enough to evoke a nice memory of that feeling again.

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