The Wavering Radiant
Metal is a multifaceted beast. Certainly much of it can be indescribably shitty, but the stuff that is good can be downright transcendent. Consider Isis and Wavering Radiant. There’s quite a bit going on under the surface; the album is an album, not a group of recent songs collected together. Themes recur and repeat, and you just know there’s some sort of grand concept underlying the thing. This is not stereotypical chugga-chugga, Cookie Monster-festooned noise sludge, although it does contain all those elements. Where Isis diverge from much of the pack is their sense of space and the dynamics; the group is unafraid to play quietly, which makes the loud parts seem louder when they kick in. It’s basic music theory, and it makes the album a much more engaging listen.