Nòtt is a solo project of James Benson, guitarist and vocalist of progressive/atmospheric black metal band Amiensus. I didn’t really know what to expect from this project, but with the works of Amiensus in mind, I assumed this EP would sound somewhat similar. After listening to the first track I prepared to be disabused, though.
Nòtt sounds a lot darker than anything Amiensus has released so far (except All Paths Lead To Death, maybe). Moving into a progressive, sludgy, post-y, but stone cold style of Black Metal, Nòtt doesn’t mess around with electronic/folk/synth/you-name-it elements, but primarily uses guitars and drums to create atmosphere.
Speaking of atmosphere, this record is overwhelmingly bleak. The pummeling drums and deep guitar riffs, interwoven with unsettling melodies, build intimidating walls of sound that come closer and closer every second. The despairing vocals pierce through the thick atmosphere and only increase its claustrophobic character. Only the fourth song “Sol” gives you some time to rest with its dreamy and somewhat lighter sound that feels like a rock in a raging ocean of darkness.
At times the album reminded me of Departe’s 2016 release Failure, Subside, which in my opinion has a similar atmosphere that cannot be described more fittingly than with the word “heavy”. And like Départe, Nòtt too adds something else to the mixture, an element of lightness that is transported by the very clear production of the music. The discrepancy between the sludgy, heavy music and the clear production is an important element of what makes this album so effective, in my opinion.
All in all, Nòtt is an extremely coherent atmospheric and ice cold black metal record, that no fan of extreme music should miss. If you have any interest in black metal at all, give this EP a listen.
Nòtt was self-released January 17th and can be streamed and purchased at Bandcamp.
Make sure to visit Nòtt’s official Facebook page, as well!