From: Boston, MA, United States
Last Known Status: Active
Isis is a doom-fusion group from Los Angeles, CA (US). They have borrowed from and helped to evolve a sound pioneered by the likes of Neurosis and Godflesh, creating heavy music consisting of lengthy songs that focus on repetition and evolution of structure. As such, a great range of musical labels are used to describe their sound, including avant-garde metal, post-metal and experimental rock.
Several sessions of experimentation in origin town Boston, Massachusetts led friends Aaron Turner (guitar/vocals; also the owner of Hydra Head Records and its subsidiary, HH Noise Industries), Jeff Caxide (bass guitar), Chris Mereschuk (electronics/vocals) and Aaron Harris (drums) to form Isis in late 1997. As Turner states, "Isis formed as a result of the dissatisfaction with past bands of the founding members [Aaron Harris, Jeff Caxide, Aaron Turner, and Chris Mereschuk]. None of us were happy with what we were doing musically at the time, two of us lived together, we had similar tastes and similar record collections." Isis released a demo and their first EP, Mosquito Control, in 1998, with this line-up. After an East Coast tour in the summer of 1998 where they were joined by Randy Larsen of Cable on guitar, Mereschuk left the band. Jay Randall (now of Agoraphobic Nosebleed) soon replaced him, working on Red Sea (1999). However, his stay would not last; this ultimately led to the addition of Bryant Clifford Meyer of The Gersch as well as former Cast Iron Hike guitarist Mike Gallagher in 1999. After releasing their debut full-length entitled Celestial and its sister EP, SGNL>05 (on Neurot Recordings), in 2000, Isis gained national underground attention in the metal/hardcore scene through tours with Cave In and Neurosis.
Turner has gone on record saying "I like the idea of preserving at least a little shred of mystery and making the band to be more an entity—without hopefully sounding too pretentious — as a work of art [than a traditional rock band]".There is a definite attitude that art and music are interchangeable and synonymous to the band; he feels that "the songwriting and the artwork come from the same place".This logic relates to visual and aural aspects as well as overt intellectualisation, through literary references and driving philosophies.Books such as Don Quixote, House of Leaves, Labyrinths and the philosophies of Jeremy Bentham all play a role in shaping the themes of Isis' releases.
There is an overt intention of progressing heavy music present in Isis' output; a desire to further the intellectual cause that pushes them forward.This is evident within the clear progression of their sound from release to release, their influence on heavy music, and their acceptance in art circles where other metal bands are not so readily embraced. Their stated goal is "not to break away from the scene that [they] came from, but to expand upon it". Publications such as Terrorizer attest to how Turner has completed his goal, explaining that "Aaron Turner has loosened hardcore from its geographical roots, and in the process created an intimate, yet immeasurable vision all of his own". Turner has complained that "metal in general has long been unjustly maligned as solely the province of knuckle-dragging meatheads...That said, there's never been a group of musicians like there is now, who are helping to advance the form."
Latest Isis News
Below is our complete Isis news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.
Man, poor Isis - named after an ancient mythological goddess and then some awful militant group comes along and takes your name with an acronym. The band may have hung up its collective hat after "Wavering Radiant" back in 2010, but there's still more Isis material coming as the group unleashes the seventh in a series of live albums.
This one, simply titled "Live VII" will drop March 31st via Ipecac Recordings. The collection will see a limited worldwide release of 3000 CD copies, 2000 vinyl copies (vinyl will be available at a later date) with an additional 600 made available exclusively to indie retailers.
Pre-orders are available now physically and at Bandcamp. The nine-song set was recorded on February 25th, 2010, at The Corner hotel in Melbourne, Australia during a stint on the venerable Soundwave Festival. More...
Sumac - formed by Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom), drummer Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists) and bassist Brian Cook (Russian Circles) - premieres the pre-release full-album stream of the band's upcoming new album "What One Becomes", which will be out in stores June 10, 2016 via Thrill Jockey Records.
Check out now "What One Becomes" in its entirety below.
Sumac - formed by Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom), drummer Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists) and bassist Brian Cook (Russian Circles) - premieres a new song entitled "Rigid Man", taken from the upcoming new album "What One Becomes", which will be out in stores June 10, 2016 via Thrill Jockey Records.
Check out now "Rigid Man" below.
Palms is a newly formed Los Angeles based quartet featuring three former members of ISIS (Aaron Harris, Clifford Meyer and Jeff Caxide) with Deftones' vocalist Chino Moreno.
"Clifford, Jeff and I started Palms a little over a year ago out of a desire to continue making music together after ISIS ended," explained Harris. "Chino joined shortly after and our sound took shape from there. We've worked really hard on this first release and are excited for people to hear it. It's nice to be back behind the drum kit, and with this line up."
"Being a huge ISIS fan I've always dug the moods these dudes convey with their sound," added Moreno. "I am excited to combine my sense of creativity with theirs, and to have fun doing so."
Palms' debut album will be issued by ISIS' former label, Ipecac Recordings, and is slated for a 2012 release with a release date to be announced soon. The album was recorded and mixed by Harris, and produced by Palms.
Palms is Jeff Caxide (bass/keyboards), Aaron Harris (drums), Clifford Meyer (guitar/keyboards) and Chino Moreno (vocals).
Isis have posted the following message online detailing its forthcoming live album release, "Live VI."
"Hello and happy new year. We hope it’s off to a great start for everyone. We have a few things in the works that we’d like to talk about. Some of you may have seen our Facebook post about a new release in the works.
As you may have guessed this is Live VI. It will be released digitally on Feb 14, 2012 and on limited double vinyl through our web-store soon after. This is a multi track recording from our 10 year anniversary tour.
It was performed at the Hawthorne Theater in Portland, OR in 2007. The sound quality is great as it was recorded and mixed by Aaron Harris, and mastered by James Plotkin. The track listing for Live VI is:
1. Hive Destruction
2. So Did We
3. Not In Rivers, But In Drops
4. Gentle Time
5. In Fiction
6. Holy Tears
7. Weight (featuring Ayal and Maria from 27)
8. Red Sea
9. Carry (featuring Maria from 27)"
After 13 years Isis decided to call it quits earlier this year. The band is leaving fans with one hell of a parting gift though, in the form of five digital-only live albums, documenting performances from 2001 to 2006, which will be released every two-weeks through the end of July.
May 31st already saw the release of the first album and this Tuesday, June 14th, the band will unveil its follow-up, "ISIS Live II," which was recorded in 2003 in Stockholm, Sweden.
The entire album is currently available for streaming on MetalSucks now by navigating over to this location.
Scion and Adult Swim have come together to release a new free compilation titled "Metal Swim." The compilation features rare and unreleased tracks from Isis, Torche, Skeletonwitch, Death Angel, Red Fang and many others. The "Metal Swim" compilation is availbe for streaming and free download at this location.
Here is the "Metal Swim" tracklisting:
1. Death Angel -Truce
2. Skeletonwitch – Bringers of Death
3. Torche – Arrowhead
4. Ludicra – Path of Ash
5. Kylesa – Forsaken
6. Black Tusk – Fatal Kiss
7. Red Fang – Hank Is Dead
8. Black Cobra – Frozen Night
9. Saviours – Dixie Dieway
10. Witch Mountain – Veil of the Forgotten
11. Isis – Pliable Foe
12. Jesu – Dethroned
13. Pelican – Inch Above Sand
14. Zoroaster – Witch Hammer
15. Withered – Extinguished With the Misery
16. Boris – Luna
There's an ongoing dispute about the sound quality of the Isis/Melvins split LP’s, which label Conspiracy Records claims is inferior. The label commented:
"We’re currently trying to get the pressing company to take their responsibility and after returning records to the pressing plant we are now sending a record to Hydrahead so they can check for themselves and put some pressure on the pressing plant. We’re very sorry for the delay and any inconvenience caused but we’d rather not send out broken records. We’ll keep you updated and will post more news as soon as we have heard back from Hydrahead."
After 13 years and a year after the release of their latest album, "Wavering Radient," experimental metal band Isis has decided to disband. Here's the message from the band themselves:
"ISIS has reached an end. It's hard to try to say it in any delicate way, and it is a truth that is best spoken plainly. This end isn't something that occurred over night and it hasn't been brought about by a single cataclysmic fracture in the band. Simply put, ISIS has done everything we wanted to do, said everything we wanted to say. In the interest of preserving the love we have of this band, for each other, for the music made and for all the people who have continually supported us, it is time to bring it to a close. We've seen too many bands push past the point of a dignified death and we all promised one another early on in the life of the band that we would do our best to ensure ISIS would never fall victim to that syndrome. We've had a much longer run than we ever expected we would and accomplished a great deal more than we ever imagined possible. We never set any specific goals when the band was founded other than to make the music we wanted to hear and to play (and to stay true to that ideal), so everything else that has come along the long and winding path has been an absolute gift. As with any momentous life-changing decision (which this certainly is for the 5 of us), we feel a very dynamic range of emotions about this and cannot express all of it within the space of a few sentences, and perhaps it's best to do what we've always done in and let our music speak for us. It is and has been the truest expression of who we are as a collective and in some ways who we are as individuals for the 13 years in which we've been together. The last and perhaps most important thing we might say in relation to all this is how grateful we are for the people that have supported us over the years. It is a lengthy list that would include those who put out our records, those that played on them and put them to tape, the many bands with whom we shared the stage, all of our family, friends and companions who supported us in our individual lives and thus made it possible for us to continue on in the band, and most importantly those who truly listened to our music whether in recorded form or by coming to out to our shows (or both). It is quite true that we would never have done what we have without those people, that is many of you who are reading this. Our words can never fully express what we feel, but we hope that our music and the efforts made to bring it into being can serve as a more proper expression of gratitude for this life and for everyone in it. Thank you.
"In more immediate and practical terms the tour we are about to embark upon is indeed our last. We are hoping that these final live rituals can help us bring a close to the life of this band in a celebratory and reverent way, and also provide us with a chance to say goodbye to many of those that have supported us over the years. While there is a measure of sadness that comes with the passing of this band, we hope that the final days can be joyous ones during which any and all that wish to come and join us will do so. It seems fitting that the last show of the tour and of our active existence will take place in Montreal, the site of the very first ISIS show in 1997 (though that was an unintentional move when booking the show initially). After the tour we also plan to follow through with other projects set in motion some time ago - pursuing the completion of a final EP, compiling live audio and visual material for future releases, and generally doing whatever we can to make our music available for as long as there are people who wish to hear it."
Mike Patton and Greg Werckman (Ipecac founders) added:
"It has been a complete honor to be a part of the ISIS team. ISIS is a major part of our label's foundation. Those 5 talented guys are our friends and we look forward to see and hear what they each do in the future."
The latest tour dates on the band's MySpace page are as follows: More...
It has been one year since post-metal outfit Isis released their superb "Wavering Radiant" album. And to celebrate that anniversary, they have released the complete lyrics for the album.
You can find the lyrics at their MySpace.
Isis will be on tour this summer with, at various points, Jakob, Tombs, The Melvins and Cave In. Check their tour schedule here.
Boston's Cave In have announced they will be performing two upcoming shows in support of Isis on their North American tour. The details of the tour dates are as follows:
6/22 @ Port City Music Hall, Portland, Maine
6/23 @ Club Soda, Montreal, Quebec
You can also check out several sample Cave In tracks via the band's official MySpace page.
Superfly and A.C. Entertainment recently announced that the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has added several artists to the 2010 event, but I thought I'd highlight the few heavier bands on the line-up:
You really have to be a general music fan to appreciate a festival like Bonnaroo, so diehard metalheads need not bother. The full Bonnaroo 2010 lineup can be found here. The music festival takes place on Thursday, June 10 through June 13.
Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Jack Johnson and other top artists are donating their music to encourage Americans to speak out on climate change. Organized by the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, HeadCount and the NRDC Action Fund, this collaboration marks the first time free music has been used to prompt Americans to contact their elected officials.
Best of Bonnaroo, a compilation of 17 different live performances from the festival (unfortunately none of the heavier ones), is available for free at www.Musicforaction.org.
Isis has issued the following update about preparing to hit the road:
"Happy Spring time Everybody - Hope everyone is warming up after such a dreadful snowy winter. Anyhoo we're back from our NZ / AUS / Japan tour and of course it was a blast, thanks to everyone coming out and to Baroness who were f'n shredding like the madmen they are. Now it's time for more shows - this time in our own territory. We're gonna be playing with some great bands - Jakob (killer post-rock from New Zealand,) Tombs from Brooklyn, Melvins (!!!) and Cave In (that's right.) We're also be playing at this years Bonaroo Festival which should be good times as well. Hope to see you in a few."
The currently announced dates are as follows: More...
Isis have announced they will be performing at this year's edition of the Bonnaroo Festival, which takes place in Manchester, TN. The festival will occur from June 10th - 13th, 2010. More information on the festival can be found at this location. Other bands confirmed for the festival include: Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Tenacious D, Weezer, Rise Against, Tori Amos, Les Claypool, GWAR, and Baroness.
At the end of their European tour Isis played their last show at FritzClub in Berlin. As encore they played Celestial and invited Mika Rättö, singer for Circle who were opening. Two clips of this performance have made their way online. Check them out below.
Tonight's Headbangers Ball on MTV2 at 2 AM ET/PT will feature Bam Margera and the following lineup of videos:
Isis - "20 Minutes / 40 Years"
Cradle of Filth - "Nymphetamine"
Janus - "Eyesore"
Mastodon - "Divinations"
Valient Thorr - "Tomorrow Police"
CKY - "Flesh Into Gear"
Killswitch Engage - "End of Heartache"
Killswitch Engage - "Rose of Sharyn"
Dream Theater - "Pull Me Under"
BARONESS has announced the first dates for their European headlining tour in support of "Blue Record." This tour will kick-off on January 18th in The Netherlands, working its way through the mainland and UK. A listing of confirmed tour dates and cities can be found below with more details to be announced shortly.
Additionally, BARONESS has announced that they will join ISIS for a three-day Japanese tour in early April. This run of dates will follow the band’s first Australian tour where they will be touring as part of the Soundwave Festival with JANE’S ADDICTION, FAITH NO MORE and many more.
BARONESS kick-off their US headlining tour last week in Washington, DC. Guests on this month-long tour include EARTHLESS, TORCHE, PIG DESTROYER, US CHRISTMAS, IRON AGE and more.
BARONESS recently premiered the first video from "Blue Record," for the track "A Horse Called Golgotha," online, which you can watch below. The "A Horse Called Golgotha" video was lensed in the band’s hometown of Savannah, Georgia with director Joshua Green for The Distillery Collective.
Here are the latest BARONESS tour dates: More...
Tonight's Headbangers Ball on MTV2 at 2 AM ET/PT will feature Valient Thorr and the following lineup of videos:
Valient Thorr - "Tomorrow Police"
Isis - "20 Minutes/ 40 Years"
Miss May I - "Forgive and Forget"
Otep - "Smash The Control Machine"
Converge - "Axe To Fall"
Echoes the Fall - "Break Away"
Janus - "Eyesore"
Isis have announced that their tour date in Milan, IT on November 23rd has switched venues. The show will now take place at the Tunnel due to the previous venue being shut down due to fire security issues.
Isis has the following upcoming tour dates: More...
Isis has announced Soundwave sideshows around Australia. Faith No More, My Chemical Romance, Placebo, The Weakerthans, Clutch and Jane’s Addiction w/ Rolo Tomassi have all been announced as sideshows as well. The Isis tour dates are as follows:
THURSDAY FEB 18 – BRISBANE, THE HI-FI
TUESDAY FEB 23 – SYDNEY, MANNING BAR
THURSDAY FEB 25 – MELBOURNE, CORNER HOTEL
In other Soundwave news, Glassjaw has been announced as the 8th band and Maximum The Hormone has pulled out of the tour due to their drummer going to hospital in a serious condition.