Metal Monday: How To Close A Career The Isis Way

posted in: Rock

Perhaps one of the touchiest subjects in all of music is the decision of when an artist or band should call it quits and throw in the towel“especially if they’re one of your favorites or an incredibly revered act. Some artists, such as Ella Fitzgerald or Willie Nelson, have the capacity to be great late into their lives; others perhaps not so much (at the risk of offending someone, I’ll let you think of your own here). In some instances, such as the case with Isis, they decide to call it a day before many fans were really ready or it seemed sensible to do so. Many people, including myself, were shocked and a bit saddened by the news that Isis decided to break with a fantastically crafted goodbye letter to everyone via their blog. But this wasn’t actually the end of Isis, not completely anyway.

Not long after their May 18th announcement, Isis announced the dates of their farewell tour, released information about the series of live EPs that would come a year later, and alluded to other plans that would would be announced in the future. Not too long ago now these plans came to fruition when Isis revealed the details for their upcoming collection, Temporal, which will be released on November 6th. This is a collection of rarities, unreleased remixes and each of the band’s music videos“not just a “best of” release.

That’s more than two years after they announced that the band is coming to an end. How is it that the metal world isn’t clamoring for a legitimate comeback or tour alongside the handful of releases since the announcement? Is Isis ever going to do a reunion tour or get back together? At this point it seems unlikely, at least in the near future, with the volume of work each of its members have been working in Isis’ wake. The band executed the last couple of years masterfully, bowing out in a graceful and respectful manner“something I’m sure many fans now appreciate (and wish more bands would do before tarnishing their legacy).

As the band outlined in a recent Hall of Fame feature in Decibel Magazine (issue #095 from September 2012, in case you’re wondering), they’ve always done things their own way“no managers, no real external forces that dictated how the band should operate, etc. It was certainly a blessing when it came to how the band would handle its end and subsequent legacy, and as luck would have it, their fans have been (mostly) pleased with how they’ve done so. Who’s to say when a band should call it quits? Certainly not the fans, as much as they’d like to believe they can“fans can simply cross their fingers and hope the band feels the same way they do about its legacy. Quoting Isis’ goodbye blog post, “In the interest of preserving the love we have of this band, for each other, for the music made and for all the people who have continually supported us, it is time to bring it to a close.”