Isis @ Stereo 25-10-09

November 9, 2009

Stereo, Glasgow, October 25 * * * *

Californian post-metal outfit Isis scored their biggest success to date earlier this year with the release of fifth album Wavering Radiant. The five-piece cracked the Billboard top 100 without airplay or mainstream support – no mean feat given the niche nature of this type of music.
Their most accessible offering thus far, you can just about understand why the band is calling this their “pop album”. Still hardly mainstream-friendly, it marks another evolutionary step in a critically lauded career.
Heads certainly bobbed in unison throughout as the sold-out crowd soaked up the intensity radiating from the stage. From crushing opener Hall Of The Dead to sprawling epic Altered Course, the quintet was locked in their own world.
However if they’d been aware of the inconsistent sound we in the audience had to suffer they might have been less focused. Heavy bass buried Aaron Turner’s albeit sporadic vocals while an overall murkiness on Dulcinea and Backlit lessened their potency.
At the epicenter of proceedings, Aaron Turner was a formidable presence. The front man of few words, both lyrically and in terms of chat, was content to let the music rather than the delivery do the talking. A risky decision, but one that paid off thanks to the compelling nature of the much of tonight’s set.