Monday, August 15, 2011

Isis - Live 1 (2004)

This is the first of five live albums that Isis released and is named, appropriately enough, Live 1. Sadly, this is also the weakest of Isis's live releases, despite having better sound quality than some of the later live releases.

There are only four songs here, and I'm not sure if this was a full set or not, but I would be tremendously disappointed if I had been there just to see these four songs, all of which are from Oceanic. While the band throws in some extended sections, there isn't any real reason to own a copy of this, particularly when there is a great deal of redundancy among their live releases, particularly since the final live release is Oceanic in full.

That said, the band sounds tight here, and "Hym," in particular, sounds great despite the questionable sound quality. They also play a couple of my favorites: "The Beginning and the End" and "Weight." However, between songs and during the ambient intros to some of these tracks, the audience overpowers the music and makes it hard to focus on what Isis is doing. It's a shame too as the ambient intro to "The Beginning and the End" is rather nice, and the intro to "Weight" is extended, adding an additional four or so minutes to its run time.

It really doesn't matter, though, as there is a far superior version of "Weight" on Live 2, which features Maria Christopher on vocals, while the version on Live 1 is purely instrumental. They also show off the intro to "The Beginning and the End" on Live 2 without annoying jerkoffs talking over it. Unless you're a completionist, you should probably steer clear of this release and pick up one of the later live albums. At least Isis decided to reprint it so it's no longer going for over $50 on eBay.

Verdict: Indifference [5.5/10]

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