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Touched

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 13, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

"Imagine Jesu, but dosed to the gills on Prozac, a shiny happy Godfleshian dirge, or a My Bloody Valentine riff looped and repeated forever, underpinned by some Can drum loop at 16 rpm, or a Teenage Filmstars 45 played at 33. This is epic ultradoom metal, but with the metal replaced by soft billowy clouds of fuzzy distortion, the howling fury twisted into dreamlike tranquility, the blasting beats pulled apart and sprinkled here and there like percussive raindrops. This is as soft and pretty as a dirge-y drone can get while still retaining its inherent doomic mass. Utter and absolute loveliness drenched in a thick patina of crushing heaviness. Impossible but perfect." -- AQUARIUS RECORDS

The avant metal genre has really taken off over the last couple of years, and while some projects may suffer from its over-saturation, Nadja's versatility will allow it to escape this fate. Aidan Baker, the project's founder, is an insanely prolific musician under his own name, releasing solo works for such prestigious labels as Germany's Die Stadt as well countless CD and CD-R releases all over the world. Leah Buckareff rounds out the band on bass guitar and backing vocals.

While credit is owed to the likes of pioneering legends Earth and current kingpins Sunn O))) & Boris for defining the genre, Nadja take more inspiration from artists hailing from the dark ambient and electronica fields. Passages on this latest release can be compared to saturated wall-of-ambient-noise perfected by the likes of Tim Hecker and Fennesz or Justin K. Broadrick's Jesu project.

Like earlier release Truth Becomes Death, Touched is ambient music being pushed to its breaking point, yet the overall feel is slightly gentler. Parts of the album feature the use of clean, undistorted vocals--rather unique in the genre--hinting at the sounds of such bands as Codeine, Swans, or Joe Preston's Thrones project.

In a very short time, Nadja has established itself as a band to watch due to its work ethic, prolific output, and live performances. In the past year, Nadja has managed to tour with (or open for) ISIS, Khanate, Tim Hecker, Troum, Fear Falls Burning, Helios Creed, and The End, among others.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 13, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alien8 Recording
  • ASIN: B000N4SAFA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,809 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Doom metal, metalgaze, funeral doom... whatever. There are tons of different descriptors for this type of music but for me there are only really two bands that really sink in and get to the core of what this drone music is trying to express: jesu (who have much more structure to their material, especially after "Silver EP" and "Conqueror", and of course, Nadja.

I was really looking forward to this release after listening to their earlier re-release of "Bodycage". The first track on that album, "Clinodactyl" is quite possibly one of the most beautiful bits of fuzzy crushing ecstasy that I've ever heard. "Touched" is a bit of a mixed bag for me. "Mutagen" and "Stays Demons" are what Nadja is all about; gorgeous layers of noise.

Here's the benchmark for if you'll like this type of music: First, listen to My Bloody Valentine's shoegazing perfection album Loveless. Let that sink in for a while as you listen to it on repeat. The move over to jesu's Silver EP.jesu is has a much darker tone than MBV and is more bass heavy. Once you've hit jesu's Conqueror and absorbed that for a while then it may be time to move onto Nadja. "Bodycage", "Touched", and "Thaumogenesis" IMO are their best releases so far. "Truth Becomes Death" is another fine release by them but is not quite up to the standard of the other three albums. Also, look for the online, 21-minute "Numb" single by Nadja... another excellent song.
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Format: Audio CD
Nadja does heavy and does it well. Absent are fruity vocals or power riffs and chinas boring holes into your ears. Ambient Doom Metal, they call it. Whatever, it's good and heavy.
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