The Italian instrumental doom/post metal outfit NAAT, are emerging at an interesting time in their country’s metal scene. The mighty Ufomammut experienced irreconcilable turmoil, resulting in Vita leaving the group and sending the doom legends into an indeterminate hiatus. This leaves a massive void to fill in the Italian metal world, but NAAT’s recent release Fallen Oracles shows there is more than enough rising talent in their country to continue bearing the doom torch Ufomammut’s original line-up left behind.
Fallen Oracles finds itself in a similar instrumental vein that fellow European instrumental doomers Major Kong occupy — an earnest focus on a progressive core. The post metal clarity at times pushes NAAT into a unique realm that houses the likes of YOB and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The vibrant bleakness created by the ensemble is incredible. ‘The Moth’ shows off this combination of clarity, corrosion, and consequence with exquisite beauty. The guitar work along with the sonic fluidity of the bass lines bleed ephemeral brilliance, as a moth fluttering too close to a flame. A proliferating sonic concept of flying too close to something, and the harrowing warmth associated with it seems to be at the core of the album. Just the title alone can evoke so many thoughts of ancient mythology. The penultimate track ‘Inner Shelter’ creates an auditory introspective journey, that culminates in the final track of the album, ‘Ether’. Much as the title suggests, it’s the distant, yet glorious, firmament where NAAT set their sights sonically.
With Fallen Oracles NAAT have let something truly special loose upon the world. It punishes, yet purifies. It creates chaos, yet instils compassion. The palate of colours and sonic care is as spectacular as some of the mythology from their country’s history — simply immense, and breathtaking in scope.
Fallen Oracles is available now via Argonauta Records and can be purchased here.
Words by: Garrett A. Tanner