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Nadja: SV

Canada’s metal-gaze duo head too far into stealth mode

Nadja are certainly prolific, having released nearly 20 full-lengths and an incalculable number of EPs, splits and collaborations since their inception in 2003, and yet Sv represents their first proper recorded output since 2014’s luscious ‘dreamgaze’ opus, Queller.

It’s is a near-total departure from the Toronto natives’ usual glacial, ambient guitarscapes and melancholic walls of noise that sounded like all seven trumpeting angels being thrown down a black hole at once. Originally composed for two festivals in Berlin, it’s a 42-minute, single-track exercise in build and dynamics, eschewing almost all their usually prominent guitar textures.

It’s built instead around layers of processed drum patters, clangorous, industrialised sturm und drang and the constant torrent of static and noise manipulation that creates a sensation similar to that of Justin Broadrick’s JK Flesh or Greymachine projects.

With virtually no change in direction or tempo from the first minute to the last, Sv is a masterfully wearying listen, but in lacking even the smallest chink of light, it’s an ultimately unrewarding addition to their canon.