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If this week’s Opeth and Enslaved bill at the 9:30 Club was an inspired pairing, the combination of Isis and Pelican tomorrow at the Black Cat is almost too obvious. Imagine post-rock played with heavy metal riffs and you’ve got the right idea for both these groups. Isis are touring in support of new release Wavering Radiant, which sees the band cutting back on the gorgeous distorted fuzz of earlier works like Panopticon in favor of a looser, more psychedelic vibe. Vocalist Aaron Turner (also the boss man of Hydra Head Records) has added a decent singing voice to his repertoire to augment his guttural screams, and uses it to good effect on the new material. Isis’ current output is somewhat less sweepingly epic than their earlier work, but it’s still very much widescreen in nature.
Openers Pelican might glibly be called the Explosions in the Sky of metal. Pelican’s music is entirely instrumental and immediately accessible: melodic and major-key, yet still heavy. On their own they might be a little lightweight, but paired with Isis, they should offer a nice counterpoint to the headliners’ more doom-laden heft.
Isis, Pelican and Tombs play at the Black Cat mainstage Saturday night, $15 at the door, 9pm.