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CD Feature/ Nadja: "Guilted by the Sun EP"

img  Tobias

To Aidan Baker, the differences between his solo output and the Nadja Doom-Drone project are fluent and mostly superficial. To the rest of the world, they are immense. What started out as an exploration of the harsher facets of Baker’s music has by now evolved into a small-scale  underground sensation, uniting the most diverse factions in adoration and devotion, as well as a fully-fledged band: The impact on the group’s sound by the advent of Leah Buckareff can hardly be underestimated. While the relentless fields of their albums may occasionally have scared off the interested, there are no more excuses after this EP for not at least having tasted this black wine at least once.

For “Guilted by the Sun” is an open invitation to the Nadja cosmos, a boiled-down version of their full-lengths and a thickly flowing substrate of everything they stand for: Melancholy and majesty, razorsharp edges and finely woven textures, screaming pandemonium and deafening silence, introversion and rabid fury. Lifting the veil and taking just that deciding amount of blurr out of their opaque distortion mantras has suprisingly enough not taken away anything from their mysticsm, but only served to back it up. Even though the crunching and piercing guitars have remained in the focus of the arrangements, the atmospheric contributions have shifted from mere background tremmors to the status of equitable elements – a movement, which had already set in with their most recent Fear Falls Burning collaboration and has now taken them yet another step further. Baker and Buckareff are no longer afraid of juxtaposing the violence with the volatile, resulting in moments of solitude and reflection amidst the guided cacophony. As a direct result, the structure of the pieces has become more flexible, with a plethora of open breaks in continuation - the opener, a ten-minute long and tripart progressive doom-metal miniature opera, being a point in case.

Interestingly enough, while the duo has refined its music in about every single aspect and taken some courageous steps, “Guilted by the Sun” is not the most difficult, but rather the most accessible work of their catalogue. Partly, this can be explained by the fact that they are playing together tighter than ever, intuitively dabbling in near-song-structures and even integrating vocals in a very straight-forward manner. The other reason may well be that thanks to their growing interest in breaking their arrangements wide open, the current Nadja sound, despite the clear-cut stylistic differences, is approaching the multi-layered drones of Baker’s solo output. He may have been right after all.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Nadja
Homepage: Elevation Recordings

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