Prolific to the point of becoming perilously close to ridiculously so, Toronto duo Nadja has followed the examples of Sunn O))), Khanate, and Boris, in combining doom metal, ambient drone, and shoegaze into one massive-sounding, hipster-pleasing mishmash of distorted chords, plodding tempos, funereal atmosphere, and subtle melodies that range from morbid to sumptuous. With at least a dozen releases since 2005, deciding just where to start isn’t exactly easy when it comes to this band, but the Guilted By the Sun EP is as good a place as any, serving as a good primer for drone/doom novices. Comprised of four tracks spanning 28 minutes, each song takes its time, methodically churning away, so while the overall feel is decidedly epic, it’s still concise enough to avoid wearing out its welcome. Of the four tracks, the ten-minute opener “Guilted” emerges as the strongest, its opening half dominated by Godflesh-like guitar crunch underscored by waves of ambient noise as guitarist Aidan Baker groans away, but it all quickly gives way to a gorgeously somber coda that shows there’s more to Nadja than pentatonic riffs played as slowly as possible.
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// Notes from the Road
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