ISIS Wavering Radiant CD/LP

While the post-metal house that Aaron Turner and friends built seems largely unchanged from the curb, inside there's a different kitchen. Waving Radiant, the fifth Isis studio album, sips influence from veteran stoner rock producer Joe Barresi, who underscores the wheeze from the keys of Clifford Meyer--are those stems in the gatefold?—and adds wiry depth to the soundscape. “Stone to Wake a Serpent” is an eight-and-a-half minute highlight where the Isis subconscious apocalypse is countered by a bit of prog whimsy. The album's closer, “Threshold of Information,” is another winner with a crisp assault, a space out, and a closing fussilade from multiple angles. With its expertly shuffled swathes of cirrus and isometric riffage, Wavering Radiant doesn't waver much from the Isis in evidence across a decade of recordings. It's just more better. Perhaps only the vox lags. Command of the middle ground between the roar and the bleat would seem to serve Isis well at this point in their evolution. I guess I'm ready for an instrumental album (or Pelican). A quibble. On the whole, Wavering Radiant is solid, well-designed and a welcoming abode for anyone with a taste for refined iron. [Ipecac]

-Patrick Whalen



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