If doom metal had a slightly awkward sibling who wrote poetry, this would be it. Nadja’s release on Archive consists of a single 62 minute track that showcases their talent for creating fuzzed out ambient soundscapes infused with sludge guitar noise. The Canadian duo’s work recalls Jesu’s death shoegaze mixed with Sunn O)))’s monolithic riffing, but they still manage to retain an identity all their own.
The overall formula is pretty basic: fuzzed out drone guitar, subtle bass, a distant metronomic drum machine, and ambient synth-like sounds. With only guitar and bass credited, we could simply be hearing heavily processed guitar work, but either way, the rhythm’s are there. Structurally the disc varies tempos and densities throughout, but all the while retains a lush, floating feel.
On the whole the disc remains more calm and mellow. The playing swells to a Cop/Young God-era Swans level during the first half of the album and then eases into more riff-oriented parts following. Even the guitar noise/feedback section towards the last 15 minutes of the album is buried low in the mix; it expands quietly beneath layers of ambient guitar and bass.
Thaumogenesis is an enjoyable work. My biggest gripe would be that a bit of variation in textures would go a long way in fleshing the album out. The guitar and drum machine sounds stay relatively unchanged throughout the entire track, making it less of an “all the time” listen than it is an “in the mood” one. A wider variety of guitar effects and drum machine sounds over the span of this hour would have made for an even more compelling listen than it already is.