The cult success of drone-metal outfits such as Sunn 0))) and Khanate brought with it a glut of similarly sludgy and droning albums by other likeminded bands, to the point that it now takes something special for a new release in this genre to stand out. Nadja's Desire in Uneasiness does that, though, by combining the low-end sludge side of things with a more diverse range of outside influences. The lineup here is two bass guitars and, for the first time on one of the group's albums, a live drummer instead of a drum machine. These instruments are often fuzzed-out or otherwise altered (to the point that the drums sometimes sound like a distorted drum machine), and they're often cloaked in layers of electronics and synths that give the music a hazy, mysterious quality. The tracks all segue together on this album, with the slow-motion opener, "Disambiguation," starting things off in menacing fashion. The album quiets down toward the middle, with "Affective Fields" and the beginning of the title track veering into murky dub-like territory reminiscent of some of the late-'90s "illbient" recordings on the Wordsound label. However, the centerpiece here is the extended finale, "Deterritorialization," which rides a steady, mechanized drumbeat and repetitive bassline for nearly 20 hypnotic minutes before abruptly stopping. This track has the same unstoppable momentum of some of Wolf Eyes' better recordings and is really something to behold. Drone disco? Post-metal industrial dub? This music is hard to categorize, but the "drone-metal" tag doesn't do it justice, given the broader range of sounds and ideas at work.
Desire in Uneasiness Review
by William York