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Isis' fourth album 'wavering radiant' is produced by joe barresi (melvins, tool, queens of the stone age, kyuss) and tool's adam jones contributes guitar on two songs. the music of isis is a suitable metaphor for their 12-year career: patient, meticulous, fraught with tension and gradually building towards an apex of seismic proportions. from the hypnotically bludgeoning down-tuned riffs of their early years to the gracefully sprawling passages on their pivotal sophomore album 'oceanic' and continuing through the intricate rhythmic textures and increased melody of 2006's 'in the absence of truth', isis have successfully navigated the process of growing and evolving without disavowing their initial vision. there is no consensus among isis's cult-like fan base as to which album serves as the ultimate document of their art. each record is a piece in the puzzle. consequently, to brand their latest offering, 'wavering radiant', as the pinnacle of their achievements would be folly. yet it's a tempting proclamation. the factors that defined isis in the past are still present, but the band manipulates its tactics and strategies with a refined sense of purpose and a heightened knack for nuance. they've extrapolated on the polar nature of their music, it's simultaneously their most challenging and accessible music to date. while 'wavering radiant' is finely structured, dynamically varied, and melodically developed, it's also unpredictable,
expansive, and densely layered. every isis endeavor is an active listening experience - requiring an aficionado's ear for subtlety and a scholar's grasp of the larger picture but wavering radiant manages to provide instant gratification while also harnessing the slow burn of a classic, revealing the full extent of its mysteries only after repeated listens.
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