“Heavy.” What defines heavy? Is it quantifiable? We obviously know when something is heavy, but it’s a little bit harder to delineate what isn’t heavy. Would a band like Elder be considered heavy? What about Ghost? By today’s standards, is Black Sabbath even heavy? Is it even worth trying to define? These are the questions any fan of heavy music constantly asks themselves in the ever-continuing journey to find out where the boundaries of heaviness truly lie.
Nott throws all these questions to the wayside in a fucking instant. Within the first moments of the Abyssal EP, thumping bass under a dissonant and malignant chord progression hits the listener, signaling the assault to come. Halfway into the song, the real Nott comes out, and all is bared for the audience: riffs, if they can even be called that, heavy enough to move mountains, and barebones percussion drive the song forward with all the lethargic force of tectonic plates.
From beginning to end, Nott bludgeons the listener with a sonic club fashioned from brutally low, chugs, dissonant and washed-out leads, and cavernous gutterals. Like some tormented game of limbo, Tyler Campbell, the man behind this project, is constantly striving to go as low as possible, and his brand of deathcore/djent/what-have-you stops just short of being drone at some points. Campbell’s themes fit the project as well: the newest Nott release, Abyssal, is the third installment in an ongoing series of EPs that relay the story of “a being of divine hatred as it erases the human plague”. Certainly a theme that matches up with the music’s sonic form of misanthropy, Nott takes deathcore as a genre to its most pointed extremes, stripping away anything that could be considered extraneous in any capacity.
Following the old engineer adage and removing whatever is there until only the necessities remain, this is a concentrated aural attack that peels flesh from bone with sheer ferocity and raw power. Nott seeks to violently confront any and all listeners, and leave them crushed in the dust, and damned if it’s not good at that.