Published: March 13, 2014
By: Matt Thomas
Last month Austin, Texas’ Nadis Warriors released Re:Birth, their fourth studio release and first since 2011’s Allele Frequencies.
Continuing a trend of releasing epic thematic and conscious albums, Re:Birth focuses on the “celebration of life.” Musically, the Nadis Warriors explore this theme of transformation through the wondrous life cycle of the Monarch butterfly. 26 months in the making and it's apparent. They really out-did themselves on this one. Their sound has developed and evolved from earlier though it has not changed. Not one to be influenced by a current popular trend
in EDM, they continue to be true to themselves and create from within, sounding fresh yet familiar.
Re:Birth opens with “The Egg,” the beginning of a Monarch’s life cycle. Spacey and experimental with basic snappy drum beats, a representation of the
larva’s growth towards hatching.
The high energy and building nature coupled with the shredding guitar of “Mandibles” represents the hatching of the caterpillar and subsequent growth, while “Molting” the hyperactive drum laced track seems
to go through its own shedding of skin.
The growth of the caterpillar through the pupal stage is expressed with the aggressive and uplifting “Imaginal Disks” and the title track, “Re:Birth.” “Imaginal Disks” is built to be heavy artillery for the live stage; there is no doubt about that. It is an all-encompassing track with multiple parts and a distinct flavor of livetronica with plenty of room for improvisation. “Re:Birth” on the other hand is more of a downtempo ballad. Steady drums, beautiful piano and soaring guitar combined with layers of glitches and vocal samples creates an impression of transformation. We have the definitive apex of the album, coinciding properly with the apex of the life cycle.
“Morphos” sees a return to the familiar trance beat of prior releases, though at the halfway point morphs into a very Pink Floyd-esque tune. “Run Like Hell” comes to mind, as if the band was nonchalantly paying tribute to Grammy-nominated engineer Andy Jackson, who mastered the album. Jackson, a sound guru and music industry vet, has served as Pink Floyd’s engineer for 30 years and surely provided next-level tutelage to the young group.
“Monarch’s Take Flight” is anchored by a funky bass line that makes you wanna shake and move, like the butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. Guitar and key melodies make it another danceable track that will surely become a crowd favorite and staple at live shows.
The previously released “Life’s Salvation” is the finale of Re:Birth. There is a lushness and almost orchestral feel, as the song vividly paints the picture of the Monarch floating and disappearing into the atmosphere. The life cycle will begin again for the butterfly as it reproduces, and we can only hope the same for the Nadis Warriors as they continue to grow and reproduce. Until then, pick up Re:Birth and reflect on transformation or just get lost in the cycle of the music.
What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly. - Lao Tzu
DowntempoDrum and BassLivetronicaPsytrance