By Nicholas Jason Lopez
In January 2018, despite the fact that they had two full albums worth of material written, the members of Philadelphia-based Blackened Progressive Extremists IATT (pronounced “eye at”) sat down for a meeting.
The group formerly known as “I Am The Trireme” had been known for their melodic style of death metal since their 2008 formation, but to them, their new music didn’t feel cohesive. Half the band wanted a certain sound and the other portion didn’t agree. The consensus was that either they’d go on a hiatus or come together and try to make something work. They opted for the latter and the end product was their second album, ‘Nomenclature,’ which was released on Sep. 27, 2019 via Black Lion Records.
“This album is a result of the cohesion and the evolution of the band while staying true to what we were before, so it was a very trying time,” said Vocalist/Bassist Jay Briscoe. “While writing the music, some of us went through life changes, so we definitely have our blood, sweat and tears involved in this album, but it’s a change for us and it’s something that we truly enjoy. We evolved as people and our sound evolved as well.”
The 10-track release revolved around topics of science, occult/superstitions, mysticism and the dark nature of ghastly medical malpractices that were commonplace in the 1700’s. For Briscoe, references to a lot of the medicine-related lyrical content were easy since he’s been a paramedic for more than 11 years. A song that particularly stood out for him was “Osteogenesis Imperfecta,” named after a disease for easily broken bones.
“Through a lifetime [with the disease], you’ll see multiple fractures, so I took the concept of being broken and rising back up and just being able to develop a toughness that you can sustain things that are thrown at you versus someone that never goes through adversity,” Briscoe said. “It’s wordplay. It’s about being broken, shut down and having to pick yourself back up.”
Besides Briscoe, IATT’s current lineup also includes Guitarist/Orchestral Alec Pezzano, Lead Guitarist Joe Cantamessa and Drummer Paul Cole. The band thrives on its self-sufficiency, as they do all sound engineering, music video production, music writing and lyrics. Pezzano also designs all t-shirt and album artwork.
“We try to use our own influence and try to hone that because we feel that as the musicians, we know the artwork that we want,” Briscoe explained. “We definitely are an emotional group of guys. I would like for [listeners] to feel the sadness [in the music], but then the feeling of overcoming obstacles and different things that are thrown at you. It’s a blend of emotions. As long as you come away with some sort of passion or feeling, I feel like then our music has achieved our goal. Throughout our music, there are dark times, but then there’s a sense of achievement as well.”
On Jul. 10, 2019, the group debuted the live video for their single “Arsenic Ways” via Decibel Magazine and a lyric video for “Cor Pumonale” almost a month later. Official music videos for “Osteogenesis Imperfecta” and “Powder Of Sympathy” have also since been released.
Most recently, the group unveiled “December 28th,” a remastered version of a song from their 2018 EP ‘St. Vitus Dance,’ with all-new guitar phrasings, orchestras and new vocals. They also put out a brand new live video for “Molyneux’s Problem,” which was filmed on one of the nights of their Apoptosis Tour with Inferi, Allegeon and Paladin. Briscoe ensured that 2020 will only see more music and videos to come from IATT.
“We’re not all over the place, but we do dive into different music styles and we blend it together,” said Briscoe. “I still think that we have our aggressive epic sound, but we definitely explore different ways to achieve the aggressiveness we have while leaving room to instill some beauty as well. We’re not trying to sound like anyone, but we’re also not trying to reinvent the wheel.”