Bunch of folk emailed to enlighten re. who the fuck Isis are. The album in question, Oceanic, represented “a real moment when the direction in metal shifted”, says John Darnielle, even though he personally is “lukewarm on the whole Big Painterly Gesture school of metal that Isis represents”. Far more enthused is Baal of Erase the World fame: “Isis are post-metal, really: no silliness, no solos, just awesome, gut-wrenching tidal riffs, surges of relentless power… Like MBV meets Black Sabbath via Neurosis 'Through Silver in Blood'…. a new kind of metallic wonder… utter majesty.” Sam Macklin takes a quite different view—“Isis are a not-very-good post-metal band”—but avers that the Low album that is getting the onstage-and-in-sequence recreation treatment—Things We Lost in the Fire--is verily their masterpiece (and flippineck, a second Low show has been added in response to “overwhelming demand” sez a new press release from the Don't Look Back people!*)
Still, the merits of the albums in question or even their genre-local epochal-ness wasn’t my point, which was simply to register bemusement that recordings that were relatively obscure and relatively recent—Oceanic only came out in 2002 ferfucksake!!--had so swiftly become grist for the retro mill.
Still I sense that I’m already moving out of the “this is deplorable” stage vis-a-vis all this anachronesis bizniz and am starting to feel more “bring it on!”… Like, why not see how grotesque and weird retromania can get... it feels like we’re getting close to some kind of brink, a total implosion of culture.
* in that same press release: a new night has been added to the Don’t Look Back season--John Martyn performing Solid Air, September 11th at the Barbican!!!!! Now that is something I would pay to see …