Iterum Nata - From The Infinite Light

Artist: Iterum Nata

Album Title: From The Infinite Light

Label: Nordvis Produktion

Date of Release: 15 March 2024

Another late-night trawl through my promo offerings led me to this release, and I was immediately intrigued. The accompanying press release described the music on this album as:

“Fusing the brooding narratives of Nick Cave, the avant-garde creativity of Dødheimsgard, and the spectral chants of Dead Can Dance, ‘From the Infinite Light’ is a beckoning path into a world where the melancholy of introspection meets the rage of existence.”

Those that know me and my musical tastes will immediately thinking that this does not sound like something I’d normally be interested in, especially when there’s also talk of folk music, and neo-folk too. However, black and doom metal were referenced, alongside that wonderfully mysterious cover art, and the album finds itself on a label that I tend to trust, Nordvis Produktion. It was enough to have a cursory listen at least. That cursory listen proved more interesting than I was perhaps expecting, so it led to further spins over the ensuing days. Those further spins ensured that, whether this was my normal aural go-to or not, I was sufficiently invested in the music to say that it had hooked me in, and I was converted to the sounds of Iterum Nata.

As it turns out, the vast majority of Iterum Nata is the work of one man, Finland’s Jesse Heikkinen, known for his work in the past with Hexvessel, and currently Henget, and The Abbey. There are a few guest appearances along the way, though, including Matron Thorn (Ævangelist, Benighted in Sodom), Rob Coffinshaker (The Coffinshakers), Richard Kaczynski, an author and occultist of some repute.

The album opens up with a spoken-word introduction to ‘Overture Limitless Light’ before acoustic guitars begin their work, atop atmospheric synths. I’ll admit that I wasn’t immediately drawn to what I heard, but it has grown on me since. The game-changer arrives at the 1:23 mark, when the track opens up into a glorious melody, featuring acoustic guitars, expressive bass playing, layered ‘choral vocals, and fast-picked black metal electric guitar notes slightly in the background. The stranger elements of the song start to work better as a stark juxtaposition, the almost hammer-horror nature of it actually making a little more sense. The track is littered with spoken-word elements, all designed to create an unsettling sonic palette, one that I have grown to really enjoy.

The acoustic guitars, an ever-present ingredient throughout ‘From The Infinite Light’ kick off ‘This Gleaming Eternity’ before veering quickly into a more familiar black metal formula with tremolo riffs, frantic drumming, and more expert bass lines driving the song forward. Indeed, for me, the bass is a real highlight on this record. The vocals are clean, whilst the whole song is very melodic and strangely uplifting, adding another interesting twist to proceedings.

‘A Manifested Nightmare’ also offers more in the way of black metal trappings, although the song is dominated by the expressive vocals that are used more as a narration than anything else at points. The atmospheres are dense, created by more bold synths and a slower, more measured pace despite the fast picked riffs that feature.

No two songs are truly alike, despite the common threads that feature, meaning that you’re always kept on your toes. It also means that, inevitably, there are likely to be tracks that you like more than others. That’s certainly true with me, as I adore the dark, oppressive, and emotive ‘Ambrosia’ which, despite being essentially a synth and vocal piece, delivers some gorgeously melancholy melodies, and a sense of theatrics as a violent storm rages in the background, complete with crashes of thunder and the incessant sound of pouring rain.

Tracks like ‘The Drifter’ and ‘A Darkness Within’ remain less to my taste, however, thanks to those Nice Cave and Leonard Cohen influences; they are both nicely crafted songs, and I don’t ever feel overly tempted to skip them, but they are not my favourites, especially as they feature back-to-back.

The foreboding atmospheres and dark intent that were heard within ‘Ambrosia’ return on ‘Something Truly Almighty’, the album’s longest single composition that stretches beyond the seven-minute mark. It’s possibly the best track on the entire record, too, as it features a little bit of everything that makes Iterum Nata so intriguing to me. Huge, bold synths, acoustic guitars, bursts of aggressive black metal intent, and a sense of dark, oppressive storytelling with a vague hint of Gothic splendour. And of course, there is plenty of melody to keep things engaging for listeners like me who enjoy such things.

And then, to end, we have ‘The Crown Of All’, undoubtedly the heaviest, most aggressive and extreme track on the album, culminating in a huge explosion of sound towards the end.

As it stands, I am going to admit that ‘From The Infinite Light’ is unlikely to break into my end-of-year best-of lists. However, this may well change as I continue my journey with it over the coming months. Jesse Heikkinen has created an album that has been a bit of a revelation to me, one that has tested how open-minded I am as a heavy music fan. I am a little surprised by how much I like the album overall, but then, given how well it has been put together, and the strength of the final product, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at all. I suspect that this will be a dark horse for many as the year goes by, and rightly so. If you are on the look-out for something just a little different, you could do an awful lot worse than check out Iterum Nata and ‘From The Infinite Light’.

The Score of Much Metal: 88%



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