Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pillars of Taste: Bliss Torn from Emptiness

As far as drone goes I was like the fat kid at the swimming pool party. I saw everyone else enjoying the water in the baking hot weather, but insecure with my girth I sat awkwardly in a chair simply watching all the  people having fun. Like dipping my foot in the water, I discovered Sunn 0)))'s The Black One, which appealed to my black metal appetite and cooled my body down just for a second to realize that there might be something to this. I further dipped my leg in and it was with Nadja's rerecording of Bliss Torn From Emptiness that I nearly drowned my fatass in that pool of drone amongst all those little twerps.

Nadja's discography is vast and daunting, much of the older stuff I've avoided due to its label of being sub par and lacking. This rerecording serves as an excellent place to delve into all that Nadja has to offer. Nadja, while obviously Nadja on all the records I've heard, employ distinctly different attacks and approaches to song writing, and more often than not form a tight cohesion between those said styles; this LP is no exception. Equal parts of heavily distorted guitars and serene effects swim out of the speakers to construct a powerful monolith of peaceful and superb drone.

Staring with a dreamy and surreal ambient atmosphere for the better part of six minutes "Part 1" slowly evolves to a mammoth distorted doom riff and jaunting and off sounding drums. The atmosphere is established and then Nadja build and build a sonic staircase that hits a wall of streaming effects and eventually transpires into a swarm of dreamy little noises and tidbits creating a very pleasing and relaxing atmosphere. Finally the effects fall to the background and the riff cuts up and plays quarter notes and gets a heavier feel then the track slowly fades out into strands of distortion and faint effects. Perfectly composed and absolutely absorbing, Part 1 starts the album right.

Similar, yet different, "Part 2" carries on the heavy drums and fuzzed out wash of a guitar and the heavy humming bass which lead the way for a consistent stream of wonderfully indulging effects. The chemistry between the fuzzy and harsh guitars and the warm bass and dreamy effects works so well only to burn themselves out in a wonderful flame of dreamy droney goodness. Effects becoming sparse and  the feedback settles, looping and modded vocals come in creating a hypnotic soundscape. The vocals loop, repeating the odd line of "My whole life has just  been one long hot fuck with God" for what feels like forever. While the phrase might be off kilter, it is soothing and  lulls you away.

"Part 3" carries along where "Part 2" left off and develops a chaotic, but utterly blissful wall of noise as the record comes to an end. Concluding the LP, Bliss Torn From Emptiness sets itself up as an effigy of dreamlike music that detaches the listener from reality's constraints.

This is my go to relaxation album, my favorite drone release, and really, the album that pushed me into this realm of music. I think many people become attached to a particular album because of circumstances surrounding it. For Bliss Torn from Emptiness, it was a rainy Saturday morning. The air was thick with moisture and the sun was a good hour or two from rising. I played this album in it's entirety as I zoned out to a video game and I felt completely removed from my bedroom. Maybe it's because of that memory that I love this album so much.


DesiccatedVeins said...

Wow, this is awesome. Nadja are a band I've known about for a long time and always meant to check out (partly because I love both the Breton novel and the unrelated surrealist vampire film). I'm definitely getting this ASAP.

Perpetual Strife said...

Happy to have turned you on to this.
Never read the novel or saw the movie, guess we might have a role reversal here.

As for Nadja, they've done a lot of stuff. Some of it complete crap (most of their stuff in the past 3-4 years) so be weary of what you're after. Personally I really like

Bliss Torn From Emptiness (rerecorded)
Truth Becomes Death

Then their Swans cover on Trembled is outstanding as is the Kids in the Hall tribute Long Dark Twenties ( the first thing I actually heard by them).

Hope that's some guidance.

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