Review: Nadja, Sunn O)))
Recently I got into the habit of buying one new disc a week. I didn’t want to fall behind on new music, and I figured it was better to buy than to download. While I’m at it, I thought, I might as well start reviewing what I’m hearing – if only to have one more excuse to blog and buy regularly. That’s probably all the introduction this section needs, so let’s get on with it.
Sunn O))) is a drone metal band originally from Seattle, and Monoliths & Dimensions is their seventh studio release. Nadja is a Canadian drone metal duo featuring Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff, and 2007′s Radiance of Shadows is their eighth full-length release. They’re both heavy records that take a novel approach to the genre, and if you don’t mind the fact that none of the tracks on either disc are under nine minutes long, they’re worth checking out.
Arrangement and instrumentation are key to both discs, and there’s a great combination of loud and quiet moments. Sunn O))) blends them both seamlessly on a cleanly produced album, and by the time they end with “Alice” it’s almost mellow. Radiance of Shadows is a much fuzzier album with more starts and stops, to the point that title track in particular might have you reaching for the volume knob. But the result is a much more raw sound, particularly compared to Aidan’s wealth of ambient solo material.
If you’re new to drone metal, and lord knows I’m no expert, then the more accessible Monoliths & Dimensions is probably a better place to start than Radiance of Shadows. But both discs are well worth a listen.
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