I don’t have a lot of regrets in my life but one of them is missing the last show that Isis played in Boston due to unforeseen circumstances. Regardless, I still love the band to this day and wear my Isis/Pelican/Tombs limited edition Shirts And Destroy tee from the last show I had the honor of witnessing proudly on a regular basis.
Classifying the band as merely “metal” is often a disservice because once you hear them, it’s oh so apparent that Isis is so much more (However, one listen to their cover of Godflesh’s “Streetcleaner” and my previous statement can go out the window). Temporal is now here to not only put the final nail in the Isis coffin as the various members go on to new ventures (Split Cranium, Palms, Old Man Gloow redux, MGR, etc) but to clarify that Isis is far beyond metal.
Comprised of B-sides, demos, live tracks, and other rarities, Temporal is a handy beginner’s guide for new Isis fans and a dream for longtime completists. Covers of Black Sabbath are the most “normal” or “commercial” sounding Isis has ever sounded and even a cover like this still makes them sound like The Melvins. Other highlights include the stripped down demos section including a blistering and even more aggressive “Threshold Of Transformation” along with instrumental versions of “Ghost Key” and “Wills Dissolve”. More standouts include the post Wavering Radiant b-sides “Pliable Foe” and “Way Through The Woven Branches”, both monoliths in their own right and further proof that Isis definitely went out on a creative high note.
Ending with a rare acoustic song in the form of Wavering Radiants bludgeoning “20 Minutes/40 Years”, Isis quietly drift into the black and remind us how empty our lives are now that they will not be creating anything new.