Review: IATT – Nomenclature

There’s something that feels wrong about IATT’s brand of metal. Progressive metal, especially this intricate and technicality-focused kind, can seem antithetical to a blending with black metal, but on Nomenclature they use that contrast to their advantage. The instruments are spaced out in the mix so that every detail is audible, a far cry from black metal’s tendency toward rough and tumble minimalism. There is little of the rawness one expects when you hear the term “black metal”, but that doesn’t mean it is sterile either. Indeed, there is a brittleness to Nomenclature that oddly suits both IATT’s progressive and blackened leanings.

Opener ‘Cor Pulmonale’ runs the gamut of IATT’s sound within the first couple of minutes. A raspy shriek gives way to caustic tremolo riffs and blast beats, then an ambient passage that wouldn’t be out of place on an early Opeth album were it not for the warped and distant vocals. The rest of Nomenclature tends to keep running with this unpredictability, as jagged tremolo riffs are just as likely to morph into a soaring melody as they are a frantic bout of chugging. Though it’s an exciting feeling to hear black metal riffs cut up and skewed with a flare for technical wizardry, the most satisfying track ends up being the thinnest in scope. ‘Blade of Trepanation’ trends towards a calmer pace, settling on melodic tremolos and spacious chords for most of its eight minutes before returning to whirlwind structures for closer ‘Arsenic Ways’. 

Though the production could use a little “oomph” on first listen (especially for the drums), it’s a key component in making Nomenclature feel very unorthodox. It’s an album that is neither “trve” enough for the black metal crowd or conventionally prog enough for the prog crowd. What it is though is a hell of a ride for those with an open mind. 

Nomenclature is out now via Black Lion Recordings and is available to purchase here.

Words: Brett Tharp

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