Wavering Radiant by Isis
10 of 10
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I was a post-metal greenhorn when I was introduced to Isis' music. But I was instantaneously captivated by their 2006 album, In the Absence of Truth, even more than Pelican's The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw. Its music -heavy, sludgy and melodic- can be both terrifying and mesmerizing. It's like listening to a whale call while descending into the bottom of the ocean floor, drowning, with anchors tied on your feet. It was a magnificent album. One that I never thought Isis, or any other post-metal acts, would surpass. But I was wrong.
3 years after In the Absence of Truth was released, Isis brings us another sublime album, Wavering Radiant. This time, however, the band has mellowed down, minimizing the elements that makes them metal. But, trust me, it is for the good. Gone are the sludge fest of riffs and the barrage of rolling drums. Instead, they replaced it with droning guitars, contemporary riffs and subtle drum works that creates a sound dense with emotions. The only thing that can pin the band down as a metal act are Aaron Turner's (vocalist) growls. But that too has been used sparingly throughout the entire album.
But even without the metal elements, I'm still loving Wavering Radiant. In fact, I think this album is Isis' masterpiece. It's just so full, so thick with moving sounds that will drive your ear into sonic orgasm. Every inch of the album, from start to finish, is detailed with different textures of rhythm and melody -not just fillers- leaving no blank spots. The vocals -growls and whispers- also blends with the music, adding more viscosity to it. The words, however, are unintelligible. But that's okay. Wavering Radiant is the kind of album that tells a story through its music, not songs and lyrics.
Wavering Radiant is definitely Isis' greatest work to date. The band has learned to move cohesively as one, creating total harmony in this album -a feat only reserved for Tool (Adam Jones of Tool also played a part in this album). The music is so dense in here it will fill every pore in your mind and body. Although former fans of Isis might be put off with the changes they've made in this album -the downsizing of metal parts. But give it a spin or two, I say, and it will definitely grow on you. As for me, Wavering Radiant is the most beautiful album I've heard since Mirrored (Battles). This one is definitely album of the year!
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