Perhaps the best categorization for this is 'stoner dream doom metal', 'cause Nadja sounds like early Black Sabbath barbled out to an impossibly slow tempo but still hellishly thick, rich with catastrophic sigils, demonic infestations, and vast barren wastelands given over to decaying brimstone and droney lament. What they're doing, though—and this is a threesome, but, good God, what a dense sound!—is creating ambient nightmares of a literate sort, not chart-hopeful heavy skull-splitters. As the first cut, One Sense Alone, clearly shows, the intent is artistic, not quite rage-encrusted or anti-social but a matter of painting with dark cloying colors that rise up and envelop the listener yet nonetheless possess their contrasts in intimately quiet passages offseting the hugeness of the mainstay.
The architectures in Dagdrøm are simple but very effective. Fripp tried in Fracture what Falling Out of your Head kinda establishes, though Nadja takes a much more alternating path commencing in repeating bass-oriented dronery before beginning to amp up. They prefer the intermittent approach rather than a continually mounting onslaught in this song, which brings out a whole new dimension. Originally, the unit was a duo, Aidan Baker (gtr., vox) and Leah Buckareff (bass, vox), using a drum machine but recently inducted percussionist Mac McNeilly from Jesus Lizard, and, hey, drum machines have their place in the music of, say, John Foxx, but rock and metal have always been much better served by human warmth in their baseline percussives.
All the CD's songs are long and succeed well at surrounding the listener with an ebony new world very much at odds with Earth yet eerily portentous of its future, should things continue to erupt as they have. The title cut contains a majestic atmosphere and is arguably the most intense of all four selections, but Space Time & Address cuts in like an early Pink Floyd spacer—think Nile Song or something from Ummagumma—with a keening mechanistic overdrive hovering just above your hairline, lowering the sky from benevolence to threat. This, then, is not music you listen to but instead live within…and I hope you're a Nihilist.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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