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Nadja: Skin Turns to Glass

Skin Turns to Glass is the grotesquely pretty title of what's bound to be one of the more suffocating atmospheric-metal albums released this year or, to be more accurate, re-released. Canadian veterans of the noise scene with several albums to their name, Aidan Baker (guitars, vocals, woodwinds and drum machines) and Leah Buckareff (bass and vocals) have re-recorded and rearranged this monumental slab of dirge-like, ethereal metal that's the perfect soundtrack to your deepest fears. The new and improved Skin Turns to Glass, originally released in 2003 by the CD-R label Nothingness Records and now out of print, appears on The End Records.

Comparisons to Sunn O))), Pelican and Om are fair but not really necessary, because Skin Turns to Glass presents Nadja's wholly distinct, diverse and dramatic soundscapes. "Sandskin" prickles with programmed percussion and epic swirls, while the title track is an uncomfortable swarm of aliens and humans in an orgy of effects. By comparison, not much happens in "Slow Loss." With three heavily layered songs plodding past the 14-minute mark and an at-times barely audible, untitled closing bonus track clocking in at nearly 30 minutes (with a brutal surprise ending), experiencing the 80 minutes of Skin Turns to Glass is a protracted process that may just ruin your day but in the best possible way.

Track Listing:
1) Sandskin
2) Skin Turns to Glass
3) Slow Loss
4) Untitled

Added: May 14th 2008
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Nadja Web Site
Hits: 3534
Language: english

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Nadja: Skin Turns to Glass
Posted by Ryan Sparks, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-05-14 20:44:06
My Score:

With more than a handful of releases scattered across many different imprints over the past five years, along with extensive touring across Europe and North America, Toronto based Nadja has certainly been a prolific musical venture for Aidan Baker (guitars, vocals, woodwinds and drums) and Leah Buckareff (bass, vocals).

The music on this album Skin Turns To Glass can best be described as experimental / ambient and improvisational in nature, but with a very muscular edge to it, courtesy of the punishing, multi layered dissonant guitars and straight ahead mechanical sounding drums, which are still effective even though they are slightly further back in the mix. Sometimes the listener will have to pay particular attention and listen very carefully to pick out the eerie melodies which are buried beneath this vast, swirling, dense wall of sound, but they are there. At just around the 80 minute mark Skin Turns To Glass might be a bit hard to take in all at once, as each of these 4 tracks blend together seamlessly together to form almost one incredibly long, and unrelenting sound collage. If you're into bands like The Swans, Godflesh and Sun O))) then chances are Skin Turns To Glass should definitely satisfy.

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