The desert sands are harsh. They are sharp and show no mercy to anything occupying space around them. Imagine lying among the billions of grains, hot to the touch under the burning desert sun. Imagine sinking down, slowly drifting down and down as the weight of the desert sand begins to build. Imagine breathing in the Earth’s dust, lungs filling with minuscule daggers. Imagine feeling every painful sensation as you are buried alive under thousands of years of evolution and erosion. Take it all in for a moment and you may be able to come to terms with the utterly oppressive sounds of Arizona’s Naught.
Somewhere between the crusty atmospherics of post metal and the bludgeoning propensity of the nastiest doom metal lives Naught, a collective of musicians Hell-bent on making some of the most caustic and depressive emanations this side of Electric Wizard. Their four-track, self-titled, debut EP is the stuff of daydreams – daydreams of the Earth opening a gaping mouth and swallowing us all whole, daydreams of complete and total annihilation. Built on a foundation of down-tuned riffs and a skull-crushing ethos, Naught have quickly carved out a seat at the table where the dinner served is battered and bloodied, where the hunted are the hunters and the natural order is obliterated forever.
For Naught doom metal is seemingly ingrained in their very bloodlines. There is so much about this record that pays some type of homage to the earliest masters of the death doom sub-genre specifically. Yet despite a bulldozer to the front door approach, Naught have managed to weave in a variety of other influences, including but not limited to, vocals that could be found on the most intoxicating atmospheric black metal albums. There’s an other-worldly type of feel to this record. It’s as if Naught have reached down into those dessert sands and kissed the molten lava below the Earth’s crust, only to turn back around and drizzle it onto the lifeless corpse of humanity. It’s a harrowing example of a band whose heaviness precedes them.
There are literally hundreds of bands lining up to get a crack at being the house band for the apocalypse. However if the end of days were to happen any time soon Naught have certainly, with this release, earned the right for consideration to be on your headphones as everything crumbles around you. This album is repressive in nature, signaling the rise of only the bleakest of thoughts, only the most ruthless bouts with your own psyche – bouts you are bound to lose if left to languish for too long in the swirling vortex of despondency that Naught meticulously stir and churn.
Naught is out now on Battleground Records. You can experience ad purchase the album through the Naught Bandcamp page.