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Releases of the Week: This Providence & Isis by subsonicd1sc0rd
March 22, 2009, 8:12 pm
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: , ,

This Providence – Who Are You Now?

It takes a lot of skill and experience to maintain an indie sensibility while possessing the songwriting aptitude needed to reach the mainstream. Few bands are able to achieve this goal, however, This Providence’s latest album entitled Who Are You Now? is proof that these Seattle-born rockers have what it takes to appeal to multiple demographics. Not only is the record full of catchy hooks and radio-ready singles, it captures vocalist Dan Young’s most sincere performance yet. The music is creative and the production is beautifully layered; two key ingredients that will help catapult This Providence’s career to a new level.

Opening with the simplistic and gorgeous “Sure As Hell”, Young pours his heart out while singing “As long as there’s a God in heaven, I will want you/As long as hell is still burning, I will want you back.” It’s hard not to get chills when listening to each unique nuance in his voice during this fitting introduction. The twelve tracks that follow are a combination of upbeat, memorable contributions to the pop-rock genre. This Providence even went as far as to re-record “My Beautiful Rescue”, a key song from their self-titled album. The new version includes strings and keys, bringing an orchestrated feel to a once stripped-down, raw piece of music.

There is not one moment on Who Are You Now? that feels artificial. This Providence crafted a fun, straight-forward record that conveys more honesty than most bands in this scene can fake. The album title asks Who Are You Now?, but its obvious that This Providence are aware of their musical identity and the route they wish to pursue in the future.

Isis – Wavering Radiant

Isis: a goddess of motherhood and fertility in ancient Egyptian culture.

The origin of the word and the ambient metal band do not have much in common, but Isis have successfully given birth to an epic, musical journey that goes by the name of Wavering Radiant. If you are familiar with the Isis sound, you know to expect stunning soundscapes and an organic heaviness that is unrivaled by other groups. Wavering Radiant is no exception. The disc is basically Panopticon on steroids. The beefy production makes the heavy parts sound particularly menacing while giving the tranquil, atmospheric sections new depth. By stressing the dynamic shifts that have made Isis the force it is today, listeners are sure to notice a more diverse and surprising musical interplay.

“Ghost Key”, a standout track, has a particularly haunting aura; the jazzy, reverberant guitar work mixed with agonizing screams and melancholy crooning proves that the Isis formula is as heart wrenching as ever. The band continually impacts younger acts and is sure to be elevated with the release of Wavering Radiant; a hug accomplishment and contender for album of the year.

Fans of post-rock and metal: Come together to celebrate this astonishing disc!

– Jeremy Garber

1 Comment

Haven’t heard the new Isis yet, but I hope it has more staying power than “In the Absence of Truth” – good album still, but it ran together. “Panopticon,” as you say, is the shit, so you got me hopeful.

Comment by Liam

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