Nadja
The Bungled and the Botched


4.0
excellent

Review

by joshuatree EMERITUS
February 4th, 2009 | 73 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nadja continues to prove that they're truly the kings of experimental metal.

2008 proved to be another largely prolific year for Nadja, a two-piece out of Toronto that creates some of the most intelligent and awe-inspiring drone metal you’ll find anywhere. Unfortunately, 2008 also proved to be a rather mixed year as far as quality goes, as Nadja’s first two releases of the year--a full-length titled Desire in Uneasiness and an EP called The Long Dark Twenties--simply weren’t up to snuff. Desire in Uneasiness was the big offender, being a repetitive and rather boring release that featured songs that never really built and seemed to go nowhere for waaaay too long. It was, as far as Nadja full-lengths go, the band’s first misstep in a rather solid discography.

Enter The Bungled & the Botched. Released near the end of last year, Nadja’s twelfth full-length in only five years stands with Radiance of Shadows, Truth Becomes Death, and Thaumogenesis as a highlight in their discography. Throughout its two colossal tracks and its hour-length, The Bungled & the Botched mostly never tires and is magnificently composed, proving that Desire was simply a teaser to get Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff warmed and ready to tackle the big guns.

The Bungled & the Botched opens with its title track, which clocks in at a ridiculous half-hour in length. While “The Bungled & the Botched” does take some time to get going--its acoustic intro is slightly overlong, but is impressive and calming for the first few minutes--it all pays off massively once the track builds up and that first smack of feedback washes over you. From there, you’re hooked: Baker and Buckareff pull off many of the same tricks we’ve come to associate Nadja with throughout this track, such as epic build-ups, beautiful drones, and blasts of densely layered guitars that produce a feeling that’s synonymous with the feeling one might have if a bus happened to be dropped on their face. You’ve heard it all before; that doesn’t mean it’s any less awe-inspiring or addictive.

Despite my claims of “bus/face/smashing drones”, “The Bungled & the Botched” really isn’t that heavy of a track: true, its middle section consists mostly of dense, crushing, and brain-splitting sound, but much of “The Bungled & the Botched” is ambience and slow and quiet build-ups to the epic that follows it, which is titled “Absorbed in You”. And what an epic it is.

Baker has stated in interviews that he’s been influenced by abrasive and noisy artists such as Glenn Branca, Swans, and Merzbow: if so, “Absorbed in You” is more proof of those claims that anything else Nadja or Baker has released to date. “Absorbed in You” doesn’t build up to any epic monster middle section like its successor, instead, the track opens with ear-splitting feedback and face-crushing drones. It doesn’t let up either: in fact, the only true solace you’ll get from this screeching track is when it fucking ends. However, that doesn’t mean “Absorbed in You” isn’t interesting: Baker guides the listener smoothly through the bombing and the crushing with various tempo changes and the inclusion of a quieter, piano-led part near the middle that actually doesn’t rescue the listener from the obnoxious droning, instead building intensity, only to dive back carefully into the holocaust a few minutes later. The effect is fucking monstrous, and the thirty minutes fly pleasurably.

At this point in their career, with five years and twelve albums under their belt, you’d expect Nadja to try some different shit out with their newer stuff, just to stay slightly relevant and keep their music fresh. Oddly enough, The Bungled & the Botched completely disregards that, with Baker and Buckareff instead choosing to perfect tricks they’ve already tried on previous works. Maybe it’s because Nadja’s music was so revolutionary to begin with, but the trick works: The Bungled & the Botched comes off as one of the more polished pieces Nadja’s released to date. For The Bungled & the Botched, drone meets funeral doom meets shoegaze--again--and I couldn’t be happier.



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user ratings (71)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
February 4th 2009


48994 Comments


Nadja = Viagrafied erection. Good work, I need more than 1 Nadja album in my company.

Digging: Protector - Golem

scyther
February 4th 2009


1606 Comments


Is that a hot chica in the profile pic or am I gay now?

Mendigo
February 4th 2009


2299 Comments


great review. wanted to get something by the band anyway, and now it's probably gonna be this.

BallsToTheWall
February 4th 2009


48994 Comments


My chick is hotter. And Magmar >>>> Scyther. Not in terms of awesomness or suave but in elemental advantage.

joshuatree
Emeritus
February 4th 2009


3741 Comments


this is a great album to start with them, but you can't really go wrong with mostly anything of theirs


also balls which nadja album do you already haveThis Message Edited On 02.04.09

robin
Emeritus
February 4th 2009


4522 Comments


i'll have to get some of their stuff off your blog i guess.

BallsToTheWall
February 4th 2009


48994 Comments


Desire.

pixiesfanyo
February 4th 2009


1223 Comments


that is a Pharoahe Monch album.

joshuatree
Emeritus
February 4th 2009


3741 Comments


than get this


to balls not fanyoThis Message Edited On 02.04.09

scyther
February 4th 2009


1606 Comments


Get tha fucc up

BallsToTheWall
February 4th 2009


48994 Comments


Well,a Pharaoe Moch album too, yeah, but I was too lazy to post Desire in Uneasiness. Not anymore. It doesn't matter which Nadja album i'll blog spot since this band puts out a ton of material in a short span.

NortherlyNanook
February 4th 2009


1285 Comments


I'll have to look into this. Hopefully it's as good as Thaumogenesis.

joshuatree
Emeritus
February 4th 2009


3741 Comments


it's not but it's close

rasputin
February 4th 2009


14968 Comments


Still need to listen to these guys, I'll start with this one first I think. Good review, except recommending four other Nadja albums wouldn't be something I would have done.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 4th 2009


4970 Comments


new york city titty committee

edit: pity the fool that act shitty in the midst of the calm, the witty.This Message Edited On 02.05.09

zielwolf
September 4th 2009


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I disagree that Desire In Uneasiness was below par. I thought it was excellent and showed a real change in direction and evolution in their sound. If they'd done yet another "Corrasion" it would have started to get dull.

Rev
March 3rd 2011


9819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I need this. I only have Radiance of Shadows and Thaumogenesis

Rev
March 3rd 2011


9819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's my favorite, but I've only listened to thau like once

Rev
March 3rd 2011


9819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I also base what albums I download by how much I like the artwork haha



Gonna get this asap

BloodSweatandBeers
March 3rd 2011


1035 Comments


good choice potato, under the jaguar son is awesome



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