Nadja, the long-running heavy ambient guitar duo of Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff, have a new album of typically dense sonics out on the Gizeh label. The Stone Is Not Hit By The Sun Nor Carved With A Knife is good for blasting away what ails you, and is available both on CD and on vinyl: the LP edition has the interesting quirk of a locked groove halfway through one side, meaning infinitely sustained drone!
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New Nadja! I could say that literally any given week and it’d likely be true, but still: new Nadja! I press play, wait thirty seconds for an elegiac little guitar line to mingle with the chitchat coming across the office way (all complaints about Phil), and then it hits: a full-throttle but ever-delicate shot of bitty feedback and slowmo thrash. It’s beautiful and heavy, just the way Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff have proved, time after time, they like it.
This is one of the loveliest doomgaze openers I’ve heard, rivalling Boris’s “Farewell” for sludgy prettiness before it curls into some of the most clear-cut evil they’ve made, raising its hopeful key into something darker and more demonically metal; the riffs circle chugged bass and a bedrock of unfathomable noise. The way they trade-off a beautification of heavy that’s near Deafheaven proportions and a proper slab of doom is something to marvel at, especially when you consider how fucking long they’ve been making records -- still this fresh, really?
The record unravels into something of an epic yarn, putting together its distanced melodic inclinations with a flurry of slow riffing, marching percussion and the ear-scraping noise that’s come to define much of Baker’s solo work. If the listener permits, the duo get carried away prog-ifying their soundscape, invoking Kayo Dot with a soulmate-searching riff on “The Knife”, which opens onto a whispered post-metal epic into an airport drone hymn into a furious doom lament. With so much said and about a thousand bridges burned, “Untitled IV” merely decays the record, its lilting ambience easing the listener back into whatever the fuck they (forgot they) were doing. Excellent epics.
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