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Before I got a copy of this album I read some reviews about it in some websites, which tried to create the idea that this production is a great one, but I have to say that Njimajikal Arts made me feel unpleased. Fortunately, I did not buy the disc; I downloaded, what is the most sane decision people can take instead going to buy it just because some commentators or fans insist that this is a really good thing.
Njimajikal Arts has nothing understandable; there is not one memorable track in order that each one is basically noise; I mean that this full-lenght does not contain music, there is noise within it, and you can realize that because the songs do not have a recognizable structure, there are not any organized strident, melodic or harmonius sounds to enjoy, which could be found in various atmospheric productions (e. g. Die Verbannten Kinder Evas, Agalloch, Ancient Wisdom, Nonexistence).
The noise are also too much long and for no reason; if the song is a progressive composition, is reasonable it endures a long while because the idea needs more time to be developed, but in this atmospheric album that situation is missing, and the same no structured sound can be listened for too much time and that can only drive the listener to be no longer interested.
And that is not enough; the voices are not catchy at all. It does not matter you can identify clean or harsh voices for the reason that they do not vocalize anything, so they are more noise. Definitively, those voices are not interesting black performs enough to be listened for 1 hour and 39 minutes.
About the atmospheric concept of this band or precisely of this release I have to repeat that it does not create an atmosphere for me, not like Agalloch's The Lodge from The Mantle could do, wich needs just 4 minutes to take anybody to a forest, to somewhere else, where your surroundings are not the same where you really are; Njiqahdda takes your ears to a rubbish dump. The doom funeral metal works or Njimajikal Arts are not excellent music; they are very simple forms of music based on thick slow sounds, created to depress to anyone with some few notes (an example of this is Esoteric, but Esoteric makes more methodical works than Njiqahdda).
I disliked this disc; the only advice that can be given is: ¡do not buy it!; download it and then decide what to do with your 25 dollars -as the other reviewers has said it costs- is the best choice, but if the moderators of the Enciclopaedia Metalum permitted to give a punctuation lower than zero, this full-lenght deserves it.
I wouldn't think that Njiqahdda's second release after a first demo wouldn't be this fucking sweet. But it is. Its the perfect balance of abyssic dark ambient and black metal. Both of each genre is perfected so...well...perfectly. The dark ambient is as dark as an abyssic oceanic trench that contains a giant squid, and the black metal is spine chilling and melodic.
The first track is that of dark ambiance. Its starts with typical Lustmord dark ambient. If you don't know who Lustmord is, it basically sounds like a type of feedback. I thought it'd be 22+ minutes of this type of ambiance. But soon enough a new and interesting melodic ambient pad. I was pleasantly surprised by this. Throughout the song Njiqahdda plays around with different melodies and layering. The whole song kept me in a trance, and still does every time I listen to it.
The second track is one of his more black metal tracks. It doesn't use distorted guitars like most black metal, but it uses acoustic guitars as the main guitar. The acoustic guitar fades in with a very melodic and almost depressing riff. The drums soon join them. I can tell that the drums were done on FL Studio, and the only reason is because I've basically memorized all the hits of the drum kits on FL Studio. The drums were created with such complexion and talent that if I didn't know the sounds of FL Studio drum kits, I would otherwise think that they were real. Their really that good. Along with the entrance of the drums comes in clean vocals, a rarity in black metal. They sound almost like Gregorian chant, but with a Njiqahdda twist on them. They sound similar to the chanting that The Ruins of Beverast does. Eventually the typical wretched black metal vocals come in, but not by themselves. They go alongside the clean vocals. Its that kind of innovation that puts Njiqahdda on top for me. In the end the black metal cuts to weird, almost psychedelic sounds. They sound similar to a tape being rewound, or maybe even the sound with wind thats been messed with using different effects. It ends the song on a frightening note.
On a scale of 1-10 of how sweet this album was, I'd give it a 342. It's an amazing album, and it can be picked up through Dungeons Deep Records. It cost 25 dollars, but include all sorts of nature related items and what not. Its a real treat. Be sure to pick it up!
When this arrived, I was greeted with the sight of a black box with kind of a pinstripe pattern on it. Within, I found a multi-scented candle, a stick of incense, a feather, some musty-looking netting/webbing and finally the beautiful DVD box with 2 CDs inside. Words can't describe the immense awesomeness and inherent artistic value in this packaging (limited to 50 copies by Dungeons Deep Records, though I'm fairly certain the design was conceived of by Njiqahdda).
Anyway, I opened the case up and popped in the first CD. I had already heard an excerpt of "Blister In The Hive" from the band's Myspace page, so I knew what to expect; doomy black-styled metal in kind of a rawer Agallochian style with tremolo riffs closer to something on early Burzum with slight tinges of more melodic phrasing. Drumming is syncopated and programmed, but not too bad (rather loud at some points, though), and the elements all really work together to create a nice statement worth thinking about and contemplating. The track eventually melts into a quieter though still experimental ambient section before slipping into the second track, "A Tale Of Ancient Tongue."
This track is more black metal styled with psychedelic rock touches throughout. The clean vocal melodies are buried and rather great and very ritualistic. I can definitely see this as music meant for some kind of "majikal" process, so they absolutely succeed in the music fitting the title/aesthetic. The whole track feels sort of languid (in a good sense, not "lazy"), freely and amorphously changing between tempos and styles. Good stuff, drums are a tad too loud though.
On the third track, there is some repetition of themes from "Blister In The Hive" which is interesting and very cool. Ride cymbals in sparse sections mimic "melodies" by using unique sequence and pitch alternations. This is the most consistently "black metal" but often takes other influences from droning ambient, doom metal, psychedelic music, progressive rock (structurally) and shoegaze. The track definitely contains a feeling of the title "Blue Wintry Days" and is also very polyphonic and multi-faceted. Overall the first disc is very inspired, unique and wholly excellent. A great change apparently awaits me as I switch to CD2 though...
The second disc is actually very beautiful, poignant ambient with field recordings interspersed. The sounds remind one very easily of "Tomhet" by Burzum with much better production, louder and much fuller with a lot of other sounds than just a simple synth tone. The sound is crystalline and bright, not depressing or dark which is very interesting. Sometimes the keys will hit a sadder note which changes the mood, but overall it's quiet laudatory sounding and, well...magical!
Njiahdda really came out of nowhere this year, and I still can't find out who this guy is. Rumor has it that he's the guy from Light Shall Prevail, the unblack metal band from Illinois, but there is no concrete evidence. All we know is that this elusive character has just been producing music in spades this year, and great music at that.
On this release, Njiqahdda takes the standard atmospheric black metal formula, lets it ferment for a few years, and serves it chilled as the fine wine it is. Not only is this atmospheric black metal, it's also funeral doom, psychedelic noise, dark ambient, and even shoegaze in the last song of the first cd. Njiahdda has obvious influence from bands such as Nachtmystium, Vinterriket, Agalloch, and Shape of Despair, along with ambient projects Maeror Tri, Troum, and even middle-era Ulver.
The first disc is comprised of three lengthy metal songs, ranging from 9 minutes to almost the 30 minute mark. These pieces ebb and flow like the tide and enshroud the listener in lush soundscapes.
The second disc is two very long, minimalist ambient pieces around 22 minutes in length apiece. Normally built of of a small melody (around three notes), that melody remains constant and is then accompanied by drones or field recordings (one sounds like windchimes). Very relaxing and has almost qualuude-like effects.
Amazing release, one of the best of 2007. Keep an eye out for these guys, the releases are very limited and cost a lot of money ($25 USD), but he just keeps cranking them out, so if you miss one, get another!