Monday, August 15, 2011

Isis - Live 3 (2005)

Isis continues their glut of live albums with Live 3, which features almost all of Panopticon (only "Syndic Calls" is missing) and the addition of "The Beginning and the End," a song that is apparently mandatory on the live Isis albums. In fact, the only live album that doesn't contain this track is Live 4.

This album opens with "So Did We," the Panopticon opener, and it gets underway after a minute or so of silence and sound effects. Panopticon translates very well to a live setting, and this track is no exception. It starts with the power and force seen on the album and sounds great from a technical standpoint. The audio quality isn't great and feels like a step down from Live 2, which sounds a bit less muddy. The band, however, sounds great, and they add enough variation to the live tracks to keep them interesting.

As with Live 1, there is an issue with people talking and laughing over the ambient intros, but it feels at slightly less obnoxious here. This issue, however, plagues "Backlit," "In Fiction," and "Grinning Mouths," and "Altered Course." "Grinning Mouths," in particular, suffers from people talking and laughing during the quieter sections. I also love the neckbeard yelling "fuck you" during the intro to "The Beginning and the End." I'm not sure what he was expecting from a live Isis show, but they're not exactly Cannibal Corpse.

However, all of the songs that kicked ass on Panopticon also kick ass here. "Grinning Mouths" translates well to a live setting despite assholes talking through it, as does "In Fiction" and all of the other songs featuring quieter sections. The bass on those tracks is phenomenal, and the mix is such that it is allowed to shine without being either overpowering or absent, something I appreciate immensely.

Despite a few blemishes, this is one of the better live Isis releases and would be the one to own if it weren't for Live 2.

Verdict: Win [7/10]

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