Song(s) of the Day

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14 avr. 2009, 9h33m

Well, because I'm an album fiend, I can't always be limited to one song a day, so there may on occasion be a couple from the same album :p

Songs of the Day - 14th of April 2009:

Isis - Backlit and Isis - Altered Course from Panopticon

Isis are a fantastic band, but I hadn't been able to fully appreciate their works until I listened to them while lying in bed. There's an emotional and atmospheric complexity to the music which is somewhat lost when absent silence and darkness. While the music is not highly technical, or even sonically challenging (for a seasoned audiophile that is), there is a depth to the sparse melodies that requires deep thought and a good imagination to fully appreciate. Where bands like Baroness and Mastodon will layer guitars by playing the same (or very similar) flashy riffs at some interval apart, or use a chugging chord progression beneath a melody line, Isis prefer to give the voices more separation, and utilize devices such as cannons and call & answer, among others. Add this to the fact that they play at gloomily slow tempos and you begin to realize that deep concentration and a good memory is required to see how the different pieces of melody fit together to form an emotionally rich, though highly impressionistic landscape or story.
'Backlit' impresses me a lot with its tempered use of a major key to create a very bright and yet forlorn feeling. This track probably features Isis' best blending of highly distorted and clipped sludge with soft clean doom guitar work to date. 'Altered Course', on the other hand, the longest on the album, just creates a beautiful landscape, with a melody that evolves gracefully throughout the composition. Some nice ambiance is combined with the guitars in this track, as well as pushing some more metaphoric buttons at various points, it reminds me of journeys along desolate and unfamiliar roads at dusk; the complex but minimalistic drum pattern played delicately reminiscent of the sometimes charming monotony of tyre on tar.

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