On February 24th, 2023, Season of Mist will release ‘Hunt’, the long-awaited and highly anticipated debut album of dark/goth post punk band, Naut.
How do you describe the Naut listening experience to a person who hasn’t heard a single second of the eclectic and enigmatic unit? Transcending basic genre limitations and experimenting to an unbelievable degree of confidence. Everything that Naut creates and combines, is recognisable but given a stunning provocative push in a new direction. This isn’t your traditional post-punk and nowhere is that better showcased then with the first quarter of the album; Dissent and All the Days.
The former is inventive in how its infectious gloominess feels so rich. The gothic vein that runs through Naut is throbbing here, but it’s such a carefully layered experience that no one instrument dominates and every element feels necessary. Whereas the latter is weird, wonderful, and wicked sounding. The off-kilter melodic tone, rumbling darkness, and impactful twists are extravagant and this is a track that gives off heavy dark goth vibes.
Expect to be challenged. That is the lesson the first two tracks offer up.
With that expectation in place, the blend of energy, melody, and groove makes Gold & Death one of the more infectious tracks on the album. The depth to Naut’s wickedness knows no bounds as deep synth gives this an old-school feel. Before reaching new salacious heights with the slithering and writhing snake that is Damocles. A track that is deliciously dark and moody, featuring an immense vocal performance and some chilling melody that sends the shivers down the spine.
The longest track at nearly seven minutes is also the most intricate too. Called 8 in 3, the burst of energy at the start is a welcome tone shift. Although this being Naut, it’s no surprise that it twists and turns as it goes on. A shroud of haunting melody, devilish rhythms, and forceful ambience that slowly suffocates as it wraps around the mind, body, and soul.
Taking things to more sinister locales, Unity of Opposites oozes atmosphere. Calling back to a more ‘classic’ style of post-punk. The tone is miserable but not forceful. The gothic tempo, the growling vocals, and the thick bass that runs through the entire track makes this such a bleak sounding track.
The final part of the album, Nightfall and Watchers, adding even more oomph to the impact this record has. Both showcasing macabre danceable qualities, where even the dead will get up and move. The eccentricities of Naut on full display but balanced by their more anthemic side.
Extremely odd, extremely memorable, and extremely likable music. Naut’s debut is a unique slice of music that proves fan’s patience has been well and truly rewarded.
Naut – Hunt Track Listing:
2. All the Days
3. Gold & Death
5. 8 in 3
6. Unity of Opposites
Naut - Hunt (Season of Mist)
The Final Score - 7.5/10