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Wavering Radiant


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Album Review

"Hall of the Dead" opens Isis' fifth album, Wavering Radiant, with a slow, ominous sound as if signaling the start of a science fiction/horror movie, before the band kicks in forcefully. "Threshold of Transformation" concludes the disc with the same strategy in reverse, as the band's stately hard rock suddenly gives way to a quieter, moody theme after more than nine minutes. And right in the middle of the album comes the becalmed under-two-minute title track, prefaced by more ambient music at the end of the first ten minutes of "Hand of the Host." Thus there is a structure to Wavering Radiant, which is hardly a typical heavy metal album, even if it has many of the trappings of one. The raging guitars of Aaron Turner and Michael Gallagher are certainly typical of the style, as is the locked-in rhythm section of bassist Jeff Caxide and drummer Aaron Harris, while Turner alternates between normal singing and the sort of heavy metal growl that sounds like a wounded bear. (The vocals are mixed a notch or two below what would be required for there to be a chance of comprehending their meaning, another familiar metal procedure.) But a big difference is provided by keyboardist Clifford Meyer, who provides texture, filling up the overall sound and also adding ethereal touches that sometimes make Isis reminiscent of Pink Floyd, especially as the lengthy tracks stretch on into their seventh and eighth minutes. Wavering Radiant works as a single piece of music rather than a series of songs, and it is cohesively played by an ensemble that is more interested in the dark majesty of metal than its potential for expressing anger.

Customer Reviews

Most of these reviews FAIL!!!!

Oh boo hoo isis did'nt make oceanic part 2. Wah!!! Aaron sings better on this album therfore it isnt as kvlt and HxC. Cry me a river. These fans never actually liked isis or music in general. They like the idea that the music they say they like is sooooo awesome and underground and how blah blah blah. Wavering radiant is a masterpiece. If you dont like what im saying, DO SOMETHING! Oh wait this is the internet and you can't HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH- Seacrest out

Joe Barresi brings out the best in ISIS

Wavering Radiant is a fantastic record, with the best brought out in both performance and sonic quality by Producer Joe Barresi(Tool, Melvins, etc.) The guitar tones are especially fantastic and the overall quality of the recording is just beyond anything the band has before accomplished. Wavering Radiant is some of the best stuff Ipecac has released in a long time. Definitely pick up this record. It's great to support fantastic heavy music.

F ucking beautiful in every sense of the word

Isis have done it yet again, this time with perhaps the furthest melodic take on their sound yet--one that is above all more atmospheric, experimental, and varied in structure than past albums--but no less amazing. Though at first this may not grab you, just go with its flow and let the music gradually take you to a new place. Trust me when I say that by the end of the first song, you will be sucked in, and that that feeling will not let go for the entirety of the album. It is just so full of great moments that you will not want to stop listening. However, you must give it your full attention, so I recommend headphones or a killer sound system to get the most out of your experience. When it is over you will thank me for that advice, because this album will literally encapsulate your life for a full 54 minutes. It's just that good. Overall, I'd highly recommend Wavering Radiant to anyone who loves progressive metal like Tool, Opeth, or Agalloch. VERY VERY VERY GOOD MUSIC


Formed: 1997 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Although rooted heavy metal and the punk/hardcore aesthetic, Isis' music relies just as heavily on ambience, atmosphere, and tone as it does complexity and aggression. Not so much a band per se as a musical collective, the members of the Boston-based quintet layer their compositions with feedback, power chords, quiet/loud dynamics, and vocals that are sometimes shouted, frequently screamed, and occasionally sung. The band was formed by Hydra Head Records owner Aaron Turner, who was hoping to combine...
Full Bio
Wavering Radiant, Isis
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Customer Ratings