Vestigial Spectra by Nadja and Fawn Limbs

Release date: November 24, 2023
Label: Wolves & Vibrancy / Roman Numeral / Sludgelord Records

Doing more collaborations than a craft brewery, Nadja have this time teamed up with Fawn Limbs to blast their way through Vestigial Spectra. The often frenetic pace is a step away from the former’s common touchstones (although there has been the odd dabble previously to these waters), but the unrelenting noise these four conjure is masterful in its ability to overwhelm and disorientate, laying waste to all who are subjected to this vicious maelstrom.

Vestigial Spectra is exactly what a collaboration album should be – a record neither artist would produce on their own, yet is full of those key references from both parties. This mash-up of Nadja’s monumental soundscapes and Fawn Limbs’ claustrophobic walls of sound is an exciting, intriguing listen, one that pushes beyond their usual comfort (in the loosest possible sense of the word) zones.

 

This is a record of extremes, finding little time for the middle ground. Gargantuan drones disintegrate into haunting ambience, before screaming out of the void with a ferociously violent dose of chaotic grind. Dirtier than Fawn Limbs’ own work, yet more clinical that the usual Nadja fair, the combination of it all makes for a wild ride.

The subject of astronomical spectroscopy (analysing light emitted by stars to determine their composition, motion, and other such factors) might be an unusual choice of subject matter for such an album. However, it does give us some wonderful track titles as ‘Cascading Entropy’ slowly builds up and breaks down; meanwhile the closing epic ‘Metastable Ion Decay’ maintains a steady groove before a final burst of energy, and then, nothing…

A relentless, punishing, yet deeply alluring exploration into the true fringes of noise as music, Vestigial Spectra is certainly a piece that will not be to many people’s tastes. But for those few who do enjoy such descents, Nadja & Fawn Limbs have produced a treat, one that continues to unveil new layers each time one re-enters the madness.

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