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Armnatt– Immortal Nature

Immortal Nature
by Gary Hernandez at 10 September 2022, 3:19 PM

In a world struggling with change—climate, political, energy, cultural—there a few things that never change. One is ARMNATT, the Black Metal trio from Taviro, Portugal. They are often described as a collective, but the only rotation in lineup has been drummers, the last switch being prior to their first release in 2013. On August 24, 2022, the band released their fourth full-length album, “Immortal Nature,” via Portugal’s own Signal Rex. It’s another solid piece of well-executed Black Metal from a band as constant as the Northern Star.

ARMNATT is firmly rooted in SWBM, so more discordant riffage than melodious tremolo. “Immortal Nature,” like their previous albums, is markedly lo-fi, but not extremely so. There is a nice distinct separation in the mastering, the bass is clearly discernable, the vocals are slice neatly throughout, and the riffage and blast beats don’t overly collide causing mass db bleeding. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a heavy vibe of hellscape and analog, but not at the sacrifice of clarity.

The album comprises ten tracks and has a runtime of 37 minutes. In fact, the official clocking is 37:37. In mathematics, 37 is the 12th prime number, a permutable prime with 73, the fifth lucky prime, and the first irregular prime. In astronomy it relates to Messier’s object M37. In numerology, it hearkens new beginnings, creative solutions, and bold decisions. In geography, “the 37th parallel north is roughly the northern limit of the visibility of Canopus, the second-brightest star of the night sky.” Or it might just be where the last note of the last track of the fourth album of a Portuguese Black Metal collective happened to fade out with no deliberate forethought built into its making. Discuss.

Although the band prides themselves on their resistance to evolution and development, there is a fairly wide internal variation to their sound. That is, don’t mistake “consistent” with “redundant” or “boring.”

Of the ten tracks, three are atmospheric pieces—an intro, an interlude, and the outro. The intro threw me off because it’s a two and half minute field recording of a rainstorm. Perfect intro for the latest ambient Folk Metal album or just an interesting statement from a band that’s about to melt your cranium. The interlude and outro are essentially static feedback. Curious selections.

The remainder of the album includes a split between traditional Black Metal Thrash attacks and slower tempo, Doom-laden pieces. While some fans will appreciate the straightforward ferocity of tracks like “Immortal Nature” and “Impotent Ruins,” I prefer the more down-tuned tracks like “Eternal Entity” and “Wilderness Domain.” I also quite appreciated “Infinite Darkness” which splits the difference between the two approaches, oscillating between heavy boots of lead and brutal assault.

ARMNATT is unapologetic Black Metal. When it comes to musical exploration, they don’t give a lot, nor do they ask a lot. If they have a deeper message to share other than the glorification of darkness and bleak nihilism, they don’t go out of their way to shove it down anyone’s throat. In a time when people are obsessed with navel gazing and petrified that they may offend or be offended, ARMNATT’sImmortal Nature” reminds us that Black Metal is fine just the way it was meant to be—solid, uncompromising, and dark as the timeless abyss.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1.  All Is Silent
2.  Immortal Nature
3.  Imponent Ruins
4.  Eternal Entity
5.  Black Flame
6.  Images of the Past
7.  Wilderness Domain
8.  Shadow Dust
9.  Infinite Darkness
10.  Nature Take Its Course
Tenebrous – Drums
Murmuhr – Guitars
Velnius – Vocals
Record Label: Signal Rex


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