Thursday, June 18, 2009

Isis Destroys Paradise

On June 5, 2009, I had the pleasure of watching Isis destroy eardrums with their crushing riffs and hypnotize the audience through ambient jams at Paradise Rock Club in Boston. The set which lasted over 90 minutes included classics from their entire catalog but was heavy on tracks from Wavering Radiant, their excellent album released earlier this year. The band had outstanding chemistry as they dove headfirst into their signature mix of quiet and loud dynamics.

At times, they were rocking out with three guitarists during an intense crescendo and you could see everyone in the audience get absorbed in the music as the energy of the band fed back into them. This was very apparent during "Threshold of Transformation" which featured with an extensive jam before erupting into a devastating breakdown that absolutely blew me away. I was looking forward to hearing "Ghost Key" live since it is my favorite track off Wavering Radiant and not only did it live up to the power of the recorded version, but also expanded on everything that makes it one of the best songs the band has written. They ended the set with "Celestial (The Tower)" into "Celestial (Signal Fills the Void)" which could serve as the definition of epic. Below is the setlist as well as a video I found on YouTube of the band performing "Ghost Key" at the show.

Hall of the Dead
20 Minutes/40 Years
Threshold of Transformation
Ghost Key
In Fiction
Hand of the Host
Celestial (The Tower)/Celestial (Signal Fills the Void)

Unfortunately, I missed opener Tombs but I do have to recommend checking out their new album Winterhours. I did, however, catch the excellent set by Pelican. The set opened with "Far From Fields" which comes from their polarizing album City of Echoes which got everyone ready for more. The band picked up a lot of momentum when they placed the title track off their latest EP Ephemeral. The song is more reminiscent of their older, heavier material and was successful in inciting plenty of headbanging. They closed the set with a blockbuster version of "The Woods" from their debut EP which was expanded with plenty of sludgy breakdowns and searing guitars. Below, I posted Ephemeral and I highly recommend giving it a listen since it is their best material in years.


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