Nadja's sound is so solid, convincing and consistent that if we hadn't know “Excision” is a double CD compilation of discarded cuts, split releases, rarities, vinyl exclusives and deleted tracks, we would have thought it was a new release. The Canadian band make a brand of doom metal that is narrow and dark like a Norwegian wood at night, extremely slow and ambient-like, in spite of the bass, guitar and drum instrumentation, and though they've been around long enough to see an evolution in their sound, they are instantly recognisable, no matter what sound is fashionable at the moment. Their music is hard to digest, implosive, meditative and introspective rather than violent or tense.
With that in mind, and aware that “Excision” is a compilation, the album endorses what we already knew about the group formed by Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff. They like their tempo funerary, their riffs hammering, their bass lines extremely distorted, their drums cascading and their crescendos well justified. That's the definition of “Jornada Del Muerto”, the first of the eight tracks included on the double CD, previously released on the now impossible-to-find “Trinity”. As usual, Nadja take their time to express their ideas, which is why the average duration of their tracks is 19 minutes. That's how they roll, and the truth is, the dynamic makes sense in their musical language. They're playing with mystery, liturgy and the empathic abilities of their listeners, from whom they demand a full and almost religious devotion to their compositions.
Nadja make the purest and most authentic type of doom, taking it to the limits of slowness and contemplation and accepting the consequences. Of the eight tracks on “Excision”, only two, the two reinterpretations of “Autosomal”, defy the laws of their own formula, entering other fields (noise, to be exact), free from rhythm and instruments, submitted to the insidious and deafening torture of drones. These two remixes break with the more or less uniform tone of the album, however they're not disturbing or strange, but rather complementary. They have better and more convincing records; after all, this is a collection of various recordings made over a period of three years, but on “Excision”, still a notable record, the goal is the same as always: to take us to the limbo of the hammering riff and never-ending rhythmic structures. Over two and a half hours of intimidating music for us to lose ourselves in the black hole of our existence.
Jornada Del Muerto