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caspian, July 23rd, 2008

Finally! As excellent as Christ Send Light was Nadja haven't really been near the top of their game for, well, a year or so, which means maybe 15 or so releases. It's such a relief to see Nadja getting back to writing proper drone epics with the usual touch of class and awesomeness that made things like the Touched remake, Bodycage and Truth Becomes Death just so good. I don't know if a band only 6 years old can have a "classic" era, but this is Nadja's return to their classic era; even if said era only finished 15 months ago- time moves ever so slowly in the world of Nadja, it seems.

But anyway this is a pretty damn excellent record; I was kind of nervous about buying this (The original version of Absorbed in You really sucked) but turns out that this is a pretty excellent beast of a release. It's typical Nadja but a good deal more purposeful then we've seen these guys for some time. Less "One riff, progressive layering" and in its' place some relatively interesting song structures that suggest Aidan and co. put a fair bit of time into the conception of the music found here.

Needless to say, it's not terribly groundbreaking; this stuff sounds like typical Nadja, just better then usual, I guess. The Bungled and the Botched is rather solid stuff- various ambient nonsense before a big riff just comes along and pounds away for a while. It's kind of reminscent of Touched, just in the way that there's this big riff that just keeps on going and going and going. It's pretty solid- there really needs to be more of said doomy pounding in Nadja's catalogue- but it's the next song that makes this album as good as it is.

Absorbed in You has a fairly terrible first ten minutes- lots of arrhythmic, pounding noise, but then it opens up into what is possibly the best 20 minutes of Nadja that we've seen yet. A piano line establishes itself (and some terrible drum machine fills almost kill the song), various time-stretched to hell bits of guitar fly around the mix, before everything gets all fuzzy and despairing and totally massive. I've always liked it when bands plod away on slow, repetitive jams, especcially when the motif or theme is of a very high quality; and this jam is of an extremely high quality. It's not really anything you haven't heard before from Nadja- piano and guitar supply the main riff, heaps of different fuzzy lines get dumped on top of it- it's just that it's done really, really well. Unlike many recent Nadja releases there's not an overload of distortion and noise, it's just this stately, beautiful steadily unfolding soundscape that's really quite beautiful to behold.

This is the first Nadja album for a while that I can really say is worthwhile getting even if you already own a heap of Nadja. Absorbed in You is terrific, and the title track certainly isn't too bad either. Well worth getting, whether you're new to Nadja or not.