Pyramids with Nadja
Pyramids with Nadja


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
January 5th, 2010 | 115 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist


As a collaboration between Canadian ambient/drone band Nadja and American post-rock/metal band Pyramids, Pyramids With Nadja fuses the styles of each respective band in a way that a split album just wouldn’t showcase. The rumbling of dissonant percussion and bombastic soundscapes lay a foundation upon which the genres keep piling up. Shoegaze, black metal, post-rock, indie-pop, post-metal, drone, ambient, doom metal; it’s all contained within this four-track, one-hour collaborative LP.

Upon listening to the album, the clear dominating factor to the music is Nadja’s drone/ambient combination, which fills a majority of the instrumentation and drives the music with sheer force and ringing, distorted ambiance. What really makes the album something else, though, is when the doom-influenced drone gives way to an entirely different sound, and with that the music shifts over to the beautiful atmosphere created by Pyramids, with their vocal-driven and dreamy atmospheres encompassed by drawn-out, smooth and soft female vocals. Also, even, a huge helping of post-rock is inserted into the second track, “Another War”, when out of the background comes in male vocals which are mixed extremely high in front of the keyboards and synth effects in the background. The indie-like qualities of the vocals and the post-rock or post-metal tendencies of the background keep the listener on-edge, because at this point halfway through the second track, four of five genres have already been presented.

It’s this constant shifting, this refusal to rely solely on the bound of one set sound, that makes twenty minutes of music feel like four, and it’s what makes Pyramids With Nadja such an expertly paired and cunningly composed piece. By the ending of the third track, with the soft male vocals still unknowingly singing away, they give way to a horrid, bleak, and suffocating sound, breaking into the darker, more metal-influenced aspect of the record. While undoubtedly subtle, the drumming and distorted chords of “An Angel Was Heard To Cry Over The City Of Rome” finalize the shift from the warm and peaceful beginning to the albums dark and bitter end.

However, the entire piece is not without its flaws. The drone, while an integral part to band’s sound, becomes tiresome over time, with the album's minimal and deliberately slow sense of change really driving this home. The presence of only two vocal styles, despite such impressive instrumental variation, is one of the biggest let-downs which keeps Pyramids With Nadja from, in my opinion, achieving it’s maximum potential. This is dense material, here, and it is not something which you should expect to love on first listen. It’s vast and almost imitating array of sounds is quite a lot to take in, and with a minimum track length of ten minutes, this isn’t an album for the drive to the supermarket or to go pick up some smokes. This is thinking music, and it should be treated like a fine work of fiction. As such, Pyramids With Nadja should be taken in slowly and carefully, because if you do, there is another world entirely to be found within.



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user ratings (36)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2010


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A bit pretentious, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

joshuatree
Emeritus
January 5th 2010


3742 Comments


edit that first sentence, good stuff otherwise

TheSpirit
January 5th 2010


17884 Comments


"Shoegaze, black metal, post-rock, indie-pop, post-metal, drone, ambient, doom metal"

Getting.

Digging: Wreodan Heahl - Laecig

BallsToTheWall
January 5th 2010


44477 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bout time.

Digging: Tove Lo - Queen of the Clouds

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2010


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

edit that first sentence

Yeah upon an initial proofread it seemed really stupid and gay. Edited.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 5th 2010


5793 Comments


What Spirit said, though I'll read up on it first. Good review.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2010


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Getting.

Just letting you know the metal influences here are almost tongue-in-cheek, they are pretty much only present in atmosphere.

BallsToTheWall
January 5th 2010


44477 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You definitely oversold the metal influence in your Vindensang review.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2010


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As I did with my Alcest review.... when I review albums which are outside of metal I tend to overstate influences back to it. Attempting to get away from that with this review.

TheSpirit
January 5th 2010


17884 Comments


Just letting you know the metal influences here are almost tongue-in-cheek, they are pretty much only present in atmosphere.





thats cool, i like atmospheric non-metal music too, so this should still be pretty good

Emim
January 5th 2010


26625 Comments


I read the title as "Pyramids with a Ninja", and thus I had to click...

Roach
January 5th 2010


2148 Comments


yh this record is cool

Wizard
January 5th 2010


19443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Pyramids With Nadja fuses the styles of each respective band in a way that a split album just wouldn’t showcase. The rumbling of dissonant percussion and bombastic soundscapes lay a foundation upon which the genres keep piling up. Shoegaze, black metal, post-rock, indie-pop, post-metal, drone, ambient, doom metal; it’s all contained within this four-track, one-hour collaborative LP.

Holy fuck, you found the wording. I love this paragraph dude, best description I've read so far.

The drone, while an integral part to band’s sound, becomes tiresome over time, with the album's minimal and deliberately slow sense of change really driving this home.

Smoking dope really helps sometimes hahahaha.

there is another world entirely to be found within.

You have no idea how much I love this album. Should have been higher on my list for 2009, dammit hahahaha. Review is one of your best, I shit you not!

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2010


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Why thank you Karl, like I said this was a difficult one to write....

Wizard
January 5th 2010


19443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Seems like you did it effortlessly. But hey, you've always been one of the best reviewers on this site so.....

ov420
January 5th 2010


300 Comments


this was suprisingly a great album, sux when u want it to suck then it turns out good omg

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2010


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha that's happened to me before, it kind of ruins your longing to trash the album on here... same happened to me with that Hacksaw To The Throat album.

Wizard
January 6th 2010


19443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

ov420, why the hell would you want to go into an album trashing it, especially something like this? If it's something predictable like Korn or something of that horrid nature, then sure. But these two bands together?

And Crysis, troll negger strikes again.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 6th 2010


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know, he's visited my last two reviews. Whatever, approval rating means jack shit.

Wizard
January 6th 2010


19443 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Hope that kid falls down a flight of stairs, inadvertently tripping on a something that triggers a huge explosion, killing him and his retarded family.



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