Review: Nadja ‘Luminous Rot’
Monolithic in their prolific status Canadian power couple Nadja began in 2003 as a solo project by Aiden Baker and joined by Leah Buckareff in 2005. The two are also married making what might be the sweetest thing in the history of extreme metal. And. Well. I just got married so this seemed appropriate to review.
With somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty releases under their collective belts, there’s bound to be something there for everyone and anyone. Up to this point I have to admit the album, er song, I’ve spent the most time with has been 2007s Thaumogenesis. It’s consistently been a favorite of mine to play during insanely slow yoga sessions my now wife and I attend with other couples who are so pretentious we bring our reusable Trader Joe’s bags to Whole Foods.
So, when I suggested to a yoga instructor hippy in Joshua Tree during our honeymoon that their sounds help me to relax, and others would obviously feel the same. Bringing up the different frequency felt in the high desert Anthony Bourdain mentioned on No Reservations, she agreed. Three minutes into the session and the lyrics ‘Beneath the earth I crawl blind and numb, my fingers tease for any hint of you, the heat of you glows red behind my eyes, and I follow the trail and I follow your trail’, promptly got me kicked out and I think sage has been burning there ever since.
Okay. Let’s start the actual review. The whole thing affected me in a very different way all other Nadja releases have. Laying the foundation for the perverse noises we’re in for over the next forty minutes is Intro, which immediately sets an ominous tone. Like being strapped to an engine completely out of your reach of control. The vibrations will be the only memory of what it felt like to be a part of the physical world as you fade away.
Luminous Rot perfectly blends drone and doom into grooves, setting a sense of urgency, weaving into confident and raw delivered vocals telling a story of filth living up to the title. Reminiscent of traveling drunkenly while seeing an unfamiliar city. But I’m not driving. Drinking and driving is wrong, and we don’t promote that at The Sleeping Shaman, thank you.
Luminous Rot perfectly blends drone and doom into grooves…
Bending open my mind a bit further Cuts On Your Hands makes itself comfortable in my mind. It creeps, burrows, and brings the pace even slower, deep within infecting all senses rearranging them to a mesmerizing churn. Starres feels like a walk away from the sonic upheaval you’ve been subjected to since the albums first seconds. The tones take me mentally to a place of reflection as I notice how the bouncing and radiating soundscapes match how my mind currently feels. It’s like your central nervous system has just got off a trampoline.
On Fruiting Bodies Aiden and Leah layer their voices together. They flow perfectly with this riff and the drums make a hypnotic world I just want to get lost inside of. Dark Inclusions follows so flawlessly I legitimately thought it was still Fruiting Bodies on my first listen. The bass here is so sweet and thick it really takes center stage.
Depletion into nothingness ends our adventure and I’m staring at nothing, still wondering how I can successfully incorporate this into a less superstitious hot yoga class.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I feel like Aiden and Leah owe my compensations for a yoga experience that was completely ruined. In all seriousness, after planning out a beautiful ceremony with my favorite person on the planet, my life was feeling too warm and fuzzy. This hit the evil spot I need for balance.
Label: Southern Lord
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram
Scribed by: Richard Murray