Nòtt – Nòtt (2018) REVIEW

Rifling through a seemingly endless inbox of new music often makes me feel like Scrooge McDuck diving into his money bin and spitting coins out in an arc, there would be little to rationally complain about if I were simply a glutton. Yet I occasionally get oddly-shaped currency, typically the self-produced or highly conceived that ruffles my feathers one way or another. Minnesota based solo black metal project Nòtt is so immediate in it’s aggressive and comparatively bloated mix that it felt out of whack for modern atmospheric black metal. In fact I’d quickly skipped over to other things because it’s opener ‘Cold.White.Death.’ felt so immediate but didn’t deliver itself with the bombast it’s sound demanded. It wasn’t until I’d sat down and dug my heels into it for a while that I began to appreciate not only the slightly suffocated layers but also it’s prime edges into dissonant black metal territory.

Nòtt is the sole efforts of guitarist and vocalist James Benson, who has made some small waves fronting progressive black metal band Amiensus, and session drummer/mixer Alex Snape. If you’re not familiar with Amiensus their albums have evolved launched off of the dynamics of groups like Borknagar with somewhat progressive and chaotic black metal style that incorporates clean vocal runs throughout. ‘Nòtt’ retains a touch of the dissonant complexity that Benson’s guitar work brings but focuses itself towards glints of AgallochOctober Tide and Drudkh along the way. The pronounced ‘clean’ vocals of Amiensus are void here and the EP retains a sharp blackened edge even amidst the more post-black and folk-ish rhythms.

After spinning this for several afternoons it extruded itself from my mind as a success in terms of resembling blackgaze and that central fictional-rock treatment of post-black metal. Though it isn’t a drill of centrally-themed bombastic riffs it is atmospherically successful and dynamic in it’s movements. I appreciate the blasted and aggressive moments of the EP just as much as the modern rock-drummed rants out towards left field and the noisome production is appropriate to gel the disparate atmo-black moments with the more chaos-tuned aggression as it sees fit to pop up.  I find this project equally promising and perhaps a little bit too safe in terms of finding unique rhythms versus familiar evocative patterns that groups like Agalloch more or less wore to the bone. Recommended for folkish blackgazers, dissonant-lite elitists, and atmo-black enthusiasts.

NOTE: Bandcamp link is for digital version. Digipak available on Ossian Records, and Throat Productions for the vinyl release.


Artist Nòtt
Type EP
Released January 17, 2018 [Digital] | April 27th 2018 [Physical]
BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp! Follow Nòtt on Facebook
Atmospheric Black Metal, Blackgaze

Left in waiting. 3.75/5.0

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