For the first time, i’ll try to translate one of my bills in english. As English is not my mother tongue, i’d like to apologize if my grammar isn’t that good. Writing reviews takes time, translate them takes more time, so please be indulgent with me !

I’ve said it many times here, but there are bands that are difficult to review without going beyond the simple musical aspect. Njiqahhda is one of those. This LP is undoubtedly more peculiar than their other productions.

A Njiqahdda LP is to appreciated in two ways : First when you listen, then when you try to understand their metaphorical and conceptual ways.

For those unfamiliar with Njiqahdda, you have to be warned that there’s always been a certain hermetical philosophy surrounding them. Just take a glance at their mysterious song titles, issued from a langage they discovered through meditative experiences, and that you can find on many of their prods (Mal Esk Varii Aan, Arrtu Mortaa, etc..). You have to notice then that with The Path Of Liberation…, Njiqahhda open its universe to non-initiate people, thanks to lyrics in english that are delivered in the LP. Then one is able to understand more easily their inspirations.

I’ve read many times that people often compared Njiqahdda with Wolves In The Throne Room. Why ? Though they share some aspects in their natural environment imagery, WITTR is more physically engaged while Njiqahdda is more metaphysically engaged. Just understand this sentence from the track Transcendental knowledge Upon the Battlefield :

We return from the Flame, hardened but aware, tired but alive

To me, this is relevant of their philosophy, that is « all things are possible, even when one think the end has been reached. Even in the dark one can find achievements of life. » (that’s a very personal appreciation though)

Well, I stop here this aspect of Njiqahdda to focus on the music. {{1}}

The LP opens on a delicate introduction then gives way to an incredible technical and aggressive  song which is catchy from the very seconds. No doubt, Njiqahdda is delivering a great piece of technical Black-Metal, if one had to give the album a genre name ! Complex riffs, a breathless drum part, it is always a pleasure to know that you will like the whole album from the very beginning ! Strangely enough, my favorite track is Universal Form Replaced with Despondent Chaos, a musical epic, close to Post-Rock, as if Njiqahdda walked in the steps Godspeed You Black Emperor! with a metal sound. What seems incredible is that the tracks on the second LP are as good and enjoyable than the others. From the cover to lyrics, Njiqahdda is offering us a true gift. No doubt their masterpiece and one the best metal albums of my collection.

The Path Of Liberation… is an impressive piece of technique, transcending the BM genre, and shows that USBM – dispraised when it first appeared in the 90s – has many things to say, and less things to prove !  I may repeat myself, but one has to remeber that with Njiqahdda, the philosphical aim  is as important as the music. This LP represents what life is, a cycle leading from life to death, wich is only an eternal resumption.. an hourglass in an Ourobouros…

Ivory Antler, US, 2012, 2×12″, 300 copies

[[1]]If you xant to go further in the theories of Njiqahdda, don’t forget that members of the band are publishing books relied to their LPS and that you can buy through EEE Recordings[[1]]

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