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Naam - Self Titled (CD) Cover Art Naam - Self Titled (CD)



In Thai, the word “naam” is sometimes used in reference to water. Perfect if you’re this Naam from Brooklyn which frequently operates courtesy of aquatic trances as precursor to their boisterous outpourings of doom and sludge. Naam’s self-titled debut is a bit of a mind-rape. Yet their daring alter-reality accenting their built-up sonic scapes is what keeps them interesting. Undoubtedly Naam is one album best appreciated after a few listens. Though it engages strongly on the first spin, the further depths of conveyances these guys expel through their wondrously strange music unravel with return visits. Consider Naam a potential sleeper hit of the sludge market; they’re inventive and they have enough of a dark and vibrating space oddity about them to befuddle ground control, salud.

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Naam - The Ballad of the Starchild (CD) Cover Art Naam - The Ballad of the Starchild (CD)



There are very few bands in the known universe that can draw upon such varied influences as The Stooges, Hawkwind and Can, but NAAM certainly fits the bill. With The Ballad of the Starchild, NAAM creates spacey, spacious, garage-bluesy kraut-psych with an epic scope and altered state intergalactic musings about time, space and the future. A vintage-sounding offering that manages to include elements of trance rock, acid-blues and psychedelic star-gazing, The Ballad of the Starchild is the perfect accompaniment for “exploring inner space and imagining outer space.” NAAM aim to hold infinity in the palm of their hand, and eternity. The sonic equivalent of a sheet of blotter LSD layered over hypnotically rhythmic bass lines, The Ballad of the Starchild is a far-out journey where riffs fall from the sky and float off to planets yet undiscovered by science!

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Naam - Vow (CD) Cover Art Naam - Vow (CD)



Naam are far more rooted in psychedelic rock, inspired by Hawkwind and Pink Floyd and bearing similarities to The Black Angels, Young Hunter, and Astra. There is some complexity to Vow, but for the most part Naam focus on atmosphere rather than nonstandard song forms and time signature fuckery. However, there is a harder, darker edge to their music that is not present in the typical neopsych band, a good deal of which can be credited to Bundy’s Chancellor-esque bassing. It is the synth work of Johnny ‘Fingers’ Weingarten that ties the two together. Besides having a kickass nickname, Fingers is fantastic at constructing atmosphere, staking his claim to a dominant place on the album with the instrumental introduction ‘A Call’ and continuing to add a spacey feel to the album all the way through to the outro track ‘Adagio’.

Naam are well on their way to becoming standouts in the neopsych scene and fans of the style are sure to be all over this album. Not many bands are able to capture the contrast between the earthy and the spacey sides of psychedelic rock in one place, and Naam’s ability to do so separates them from many of their brethren. Vow is at times warm and inviting, at others cold, haunting, and dark, and at all times beautifully arranged and composed, and missing this album would be a mistake.

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Naam / White Hills / Black Rainbows / The Flying Eyes - 4-Bands Split (Vol. 1) (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Naam / White Hills / Black Rainbows / The Flying Eyes - 4-Bands Split (Vol. 1) (IMPORT) (CD)



This first volume in the '4 Bands Split' series presents four bands that need no introduction, 'Naam', 'White Hills', 'Black Rainbows' and 'The Flying Eyes', all contributing exclusive tracks to this release. Artwork by Solomacello.

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Nachtmystium - Demise (CD) Cover Art Nachtmystium - Demise (CD)



Say what you will about black metal, but when it’s done right, there is an undeniable force behind it, potent enough to make some overlook the corpse-paint and member’s names. Here we have Azentrius on guitars and vocals, and Wargoat Obscurum on drums (or, as they call it, The Battery). That’s it, two men laying it down in an attempt (I’m guessing here) to re-create the bleak, desolate ambience of the vast wilderness of Norway. They achieve this goal with admirable success.

From the moment Demise begins, to the moment it sadly ends, this work drags the listener through the dirtiest of dirt. No matter how jovial a mood I might (miraculously) find myself in, if I pop this disc in the player I’m sure to fall into a more somber, morose state. It’s a hopeless, dismal pill, just right for the popping when you’re tired of being surrounded by people filled with holiday cheer.

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Nachtmystium - Instinct: Decay (CD) Cover Art Nachtmystium - Instinct: Decay (CD)



Nachtmystium have created a thoroughly stimulating album, encompassing their previous hate-filled legacy but also overflowing with huge, echoing blissful soundscapes. Although still decayed, and vein-burstingly venomous black metal at its foundation, Azentrius has now stoked the flame of melancholic melody on this album, in the form of eerie, delay drenched almost theremin-like guitar lines, which he has used in a similar way to the massive, organ like otherworldly sounds that Mithras created on their 'Worlds Beyond the Veil' album. This adding of strings to their collective bows (not to mention a plethora of unbridled influences worn bravely on their sleeves) has certainly given the band massive scope for this album, which they have grasped tightly, truly creating their magnum opus. With such a kaleidoscope of the highest quality, grade A odium tainted atmosphere, you would have to have an immeasurably tapered understanding of the boundaries of black metal to pass this album by.

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Nachtmystium - Reign of the Malicious (CD) Cover Art Nachtmystium - Reign of the Malicious (CD)



NACHTMYSTIUM have been dwelling within the U.S. black metal underground for a period of time in which this enigma have clearly spearheaded themselves as one of North America's most prominent acts within the scene. Where in the beginning, we witnessed NACHTMYSTIUM portray a bleak sound-picture by incorporating the many facets that became synonymous with the brand of traditional, raw and primitive black metal that was surfacing from these shores, it was quite evident that the promise that such an act showed in its early stages, was just a mere warning of what was inevitably to come. Surely though, NACHTMYSTIUM have always shown their distinct histrionics on their interpretation on how they liked to portray their black metal art. Through morose and mournful hymns that displayed a scenario where sadness and hatred were the two dominating emotions that bled from band leader Azentrius instrument.

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Nachtmystium - Self Titled (CD) Cover Art Nachtmystium - Self Titled (CD)



NACHTMYSTIUM have been dwelling within the U.S. black metal underground for a period of time in which this enigma have clearly spearheaded themselves as one of North America's most prominent acts within the scene. Where in the beginning, we witnessed NACHTMYSTIUM portray a bleak sound-picture by incorporating the many facets that became synonymous with the brand of traditional, raw and primitive black metal that was surfacing from these shores, it was quite evident that the promise that such an act showed in its early stages, was just a mere warning of what was inevitably to come. Surely though, NACHTMYSTIUM have always shown their distinct histrionics on their interpretation on how they liked to portray their black metal art. Through morose and mournful hymns that displayed a scenario where sadness and hatred were the two dominating emotions that bled from band leader Azentrius instrument.

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Nadja/Atavist - 12012291920 / 1414101 (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Nadja/Atavist - 12012291920 / 1414101 (IMPORT) (CD)



12012291920 / 1414101 is the coming together of two distinct creative forces in the form of Atavist (UK) & Nadja (Can) and represents an abstract detraction from both of the bands previous works. The feel of the album is one of blissful escapism presented through harmonious audio manipulation, intricate melody and polarising heaviness. This release sees Atavist / Nadja placing the listener into an dreamlike environment throughout the albums two expansive tracks by using an innovative array of layered sounds, abstract guitar work, subsonic bass levels and delicate electronics to give a desolate, yet warm full length album. 12012291920 / 1414101 is not a split album, rather a collaborate effort between Atavist & Nadja with each artist bringing their own components to the whole.

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Nadja/Atavist - II Points at Infinity (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Nadja/Atavist - II Points at Infinity (IMPORT) (CD)



Atavist & Nadja's last collab was the most mindblowing thing ever; consisting mostly of some extremely relaxed (some may say comatose) ambient jams. Quite the patience tester but also pretty cool and with some relatively surprising results. This one's a fair bit different from that one, really. First track is a real slow, haunting tune with some very down tuned guitar and those man-choir vocals that everyone seems to be loving these days. It's a patience tester but very, very cool; imagine a kveldssanger tune slowed down by 800% or so and you wouldn't be too far away. A real nice mellow tune that moves along at a beautifully glacial pace.

Second track is all about getting raped by massive riffs and it's impressively heavy; all tar black sludge riffs and screamed vocals. Well, that's what the first third is about. Then they go back to the drone. The first track is terrific and while the second track could perhaps be better divided into two songs it's still pretty cool. Nadja fans will want this.

The first track glides on surprisingly naked chords, with Thom Yorke-esque crooning way in the back. But the second is the money shot. It drops the boom pretty much straight off, plodding through big, melodic chords that darken into a churning undertow and shards of feedback. Then it pulls back, the smoke lifting to reveal scorched earth. It's a dynamic journey that finds the bands willing to bloody their hands; their previous collaboration had a whiff of not wanting to step on toes. It's interesting to hear band collaborations so different from their individual discographies. This pairing feels exposed and accommodating; by themselves, the bands are often overpowering.

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