Nadja – Touched (Remastered)

Touched” was originally released in 2003. It only saw a limited CDRom release. Furthermore the quality of this material was, compared to other releases from that period, rather weak to Nadja’s standards. Mainly in production it failed to impress.
So the duo decided to release this new remastered version along with a new bonus track this year.

The album sounds completely different. The broad structure is still there but its so much heavier yet at the same time sounds crystal clear. The smoother guitar is further back in the mix compared to the original material.
The release opens with “Mutagen“, a 15 minute droning piece of ambient metal. Occasionaly we catch some more melody but it’s mainly just 2 riffs being droned the length of the song.
The second piece “Stays Demons” is arguably the best on this release. It starts in a dubby fashion with electronics and drums. But soon the droning guitars kick in again playing a simple but effective 4 chord riff . When the vocals make their debut on the record you know this is a Nadja release. Beautifully whispered voices lead out the walls of drone and form the path for a high pitched guitar that tries to take us up into thin air where oxygen is scarce. Only to decent violently again when the droning resurfaces. Fortunatly we get to do this several times again.
Up next is the two piece “Incubation/Metamorphosis“. This starts with some noise/sample experimentation and slowly swells post rock style into a full fledged song. Again whispered vocals just add subtle melody. When the drums kick in I am anticipating an explosion into another drone filled piece of metal. But they fake out the listener here and go for a more groovy effort putting the emphasis on rhythm rather than heaviness. Growls take over as the song meanders on like a river. A few minutes later, practically out of the blue, it does finally explode, but a lot more timid than we are used to from Nadja. These post rock dynamics work very well for them.
Next up is “Flowers of the Flesh“. A relentless 8 chord riff opens this song. It is similar to the second track using a high pitched guitar to create a modest melody. It is nice and gloomy but the formula worked better on track 2.
We have a fitting fade out with noise, samples and barely audible whispering. The album should have ended here becouse the bonus track doesn’t really add anything to the listening experience.

This is once again a strong showing by Nadja who made a good call restructuring this album. It’s always heavy and has some melodic touches at the right times. The only flaw I could find was the bonus track and perhaps some more clean vocals would have been nice. Still : this is arguably the best doom/ambient release of the year.

out on Alien8 , March 2007
Written 09/04/2007


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