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Nadja

Guilted By the Sun

(Elevation; US: Jul 2007; UK: 15 Aug 2007)

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.

Rating:

Adrien Begrand has been writing for PopMatters since 2002, and has been writing his monthly metal column Blood & Thunder since 2005. His writing has also appeared in Metal Edge, Sick Sounds, Metallian, graphic novelist Joel Orff's Strum and Drang: Great Moments in Rock 'n' Roll, Knoxville Voice, The Kerouac Quarterly, JackMagazine.com, StylusMagazine.com, and StaticMultimedia.com. A contributing writer for Decibel, Terrorizer, and Dominion magazines and senior writer for Hellbound, he resides, blogs, and does the Twitter thing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Tagged as: nadja
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Dagdrøm is definitely Nadja's most luminescent album, but it’s not a radical change in direction. Much of it is par for the droning and sludgy course, which is not a bad thing.
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Here’s to hoping Nadja pull a Radiohead and emerge jazzily, victoriously; sounding less like a two-hour Aztec sacrifice and more like Agalloch meets Orthodox, while keeping close that stylish, Canadian Aidan Baker dark flair.
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On their second album for Alien8, this Toronto doom metal duo craft an abstract opus that's both hot and heavy.
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