Mike Gallagher, who many will know as the guitarist for post-rock/metal darlings ISIS, thrusts his new solo album Wavering On the Cresting Heft on an unsuspecting world. Using the moniker MGR (the acronym for Mustard Gas and Roses, which Gallagher has borrowed from a line of Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five), the guitar player delivers six tracks here of brooding minimalism, taking out the mammoth sounds and bombast of ISIS but leaving in the atmosphere, drama, and menace. With the exception of the Capricollis String Quartet on "Allusions", all the music is performed here by Gallagher, whose lilting and somber guitar chords, lines, and soundscapes creates a somewhat relaxing yet often times chilling tone. The weaving melodies of "It Darkens His Door" offers up plenty of intoxicating colors while Mellotron-like static gurgles underneath. Spooky dirges like "Ruminations of Before" and "The Night Splits Wide and Open" bridge the gap between doomy Black Sabbath melancholia, early Tangerine Dream, and classic Pink Floyd. For some, this ambient/psychedelic/prog/post rock fusion might be a bit too much to swallow and too soaked in soundscapey minimalism to really enjoy, but if you have a hankering for instrumental sonic layering, or just love anything about ISIS, then you'll want to investigate this one further.
2) It Darkens His Door
3) Ruminations of Before
5) The Night Splits Wide and Open
6) And It Falls By the Gallons