ISIS – Wavering Radiant (2009)

Isis - Wavering Radiant In my review of Kylesa’s newest album, I pondered whether or not the album (an energetic but questionably memorable affair) would hold fast in my brain until the end of the year. Well, a little under two months later, the answer to that question is a resounding “no” – Isis have, with Wavering Radiant, deftly rendered Kylesa’s Static Tensions an unimportant record. I don’t really know why I’m surprised by this; few bands are as aurally commanding and hypnotic as Isis are. Since the release of the too-perfect-for-words Oceanic in 2002, Isis have been steadily forging forth a path that most metal bands couldn’t follow if their lives depended on it – and the time to make room in the pantheon for Wavering Radiant is now.

It’s a bit difficult to sum up Isis’ complex sound; the band share Neurosis’ love of nigh-impenetrable walls of guitar (and flame-soaked screaming), but whereas Neurosis’ music often leans towards the earthly, Isis fall more on the esoteric side of things (feel free to examine the ebb and flow of their thematic material if you don’t believe me). Musically, Wavering Radiant surpasses the band’s previous album In The Absence of Truth (which, although by no means a bad album, is a comparatively more low-key effort); songs like Hand of the Host and Threshold of Transformation pretty much dwarf everything else (metal-wise) that’s been released this year. The scary thing is that Wavering Radiant is made up entirely of songs that are of the same caliber.

Obviously, any self-respecting metal fan needs to get their hands on a copy of this, but if you’re at all familiar with bands like Mogwai, My Bloody Valentine (or, for that matter, anything on the Constellation roster), you’d do well to check this out, also. Wavering Radiant is the kind of album that revelatory potential is nearly limitless. That’s not something one comes across very often, and it’s certainly not something to ignore.

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2 Responses to “ISIS – Wavering Radiant (2009)”

  1. […] warped, bone crushing experience. And if you want to experience some true guitar bliss, Isis’ Wavering Radiant just might make you black out from too much of a good thing. That being said, I’m not going […]

  2. […] This gave these quite passages a hint of menace; we were kept on edge, never knowing where the next Isis-like explosion was going to take place. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, no real explosions take […]

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