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Nadja / Black Boned Angel

Nadja & Black Boned Angel

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Album Review

It's almost surprising to realize it, but perhaps one of the most defining features of 21st century metal of any stripe has to do with collaboration — bands and performers now almost regularly join together for one-offs, larger projects, and other joint work across any number of genres or subgenres, an echo of the kind of approach long familiar from hip-hop and jazz. The joint self-titled effort from Nadja and Black Boned Angel is less immediately revelatory than other similar partnerships, but it proves to be an enjoyable alliance regardless, harnessing the acts' propensity for richly detailed, dark atmospherics. Consisting of two lengthy tracks, the album is unsurprisingly engaged most closely with steady atmospheres and slowly unfolding arrangements — the first full-on feedback roar and riff as such on "I" doesn't kick in until the seventh minute, preceded by little more than a softly repeating guitar chime and buzzing background noise. But the riff and drums add to that feeling of direct focus for a time before dissolving into pure ambient rampage, the metallic screeching of feedback, and drifting dark tones. It all melts slowly into "II," which feels initially like even more of an aftermath to a bomb, deep feedback hum and blasted atmospheres recalling some of the most alien work of Steve Roach or Mick Harris. From there it slowly builds back into another monolithic, majestic riff and release cycle, a huge stomping echo-laden crunch on a distant moonscape before ending on a last groan of noise and final drums. If the album will get more attention for being a collaboration between two known artists than for its own merits, it's still a worthy listen.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Based in Toronto, this ambient doom/metal/electronic duo was the brainchild (and originally the solo project) of Aidan Baker. Already a prolific musician who had released a number of works with labels worldwide — including a vast catalog of CD-R only releases — Baker used Nadja to explore the darker aspects of his musical soul. Taking on vocalist and bass player Leah Buckareff allowed the expansion of Nadja's sound, as well as the ability to play live. Established in 2003, Nadja's early...
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Nadja / Black Boned Angel, Nadja
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