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How much is there one can write about a monotonous piece of ambient drone? As I was in search of Atavist's full-length albums, I came across this collaboration with Nadja, a Canadian band who I have come to love and cherish over recent months. So, I decided i'd give it a whirl and see what it was like.
This isn't the most mind-blowing piece of work. Its not heavy, its not fast paced and nor is it one spectacular solo after another. Its beauty is subtle. A collage of repetitive riffs, placed one after another swells and is about ready to burst into a fast paced explosion of massive proportions. Perhaps a disappointment to most, this never truly gets going. Its slow and very rarely changes. When it does, its subtle but entrancing. Subtlety is imperative as both Nadja and Atavist struggle to get this piece heard over the hundreds of ambient drone bands out there.
Although subtlety reigns supreme, one comes to find it increasingly important to the outcome. Beautiful melodies and sweeping riffs crash together like waves onto a wall. No vocals are present, so it may take the listener some time to both appreciate this full-length and also to gain the patience to get through this in one sitting, which is needed due to both lack of vocals and the intimidating song lengths of the two tracks. I believe song length is a major turn-off to many. Most people have no time for songs that increase over the six minute mark as it can become quite draining. This collaboration is certainly that.
The repetitive style, which offers little or no variation is testing on the mind, body and soul. Its not until the heavy, low tuned bass comes to the foreground that any significant impact will be made. The lack of drums may be off putting as the music relies far too heavily on making an impact via other means, as well as the lack of lyrics due to there being no vocals. However, given this lack of both vocals and lyrics, both Nadja and Atavist do a surprisingly good job at making this a somewhat spiritual release. Drums can offer relief in terms of becoming a driving force, but do not let that take away from the brilliant musicianship behind this release. The swirling riffs and dark ambience have the ability to penetrate the mind and delve deep into the pit of your soul. '12012291920 / 1414101' is awe inspiring.
This is the epitome of drone. Crushing low bass, a distinctive ambient and atmospheric nature and swelling riffs which are fit to burst. Certainly not for the faint at heart.