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ITERUM NATA

Prog Folk • Finland


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Iterum Nata biography
Founded in 2017, Iterum Nata is the psychedelic folk-rock alias of Finnish singer/songwriter, social worker and author Jesse Heikkinen. With a guitar style explicitly inspired by David Gilmour, Robert Fripp and Mikael Ċkerfeldt, Heikkinen's atmospheric music is darkly melodic and lyrical, influenced by paganism and the occult, and described as a cross between neofolk groups Rome, Tenhi, Prag 83 and :Of the Wand & the Moon:, and the progressive folk of Strawbs, Linda Perhacs, Espers and early King Crimson.

The former lead guitarist of Hexvessel, the Oulu-born Heikkinen plays in a number of musical projects ranging from extreme metal to children's music. One of them, The Aeon, performed as the house band for an Aleister Crowley-themed theatre production, with Heikkinen in a minor role as Jimmy Page. Inspired by Crowley's Thelema and a desire to write and play his own original songs, Heikkinen moved to Tampere and started Iterum Nata, Latin for "Born Again," both an appropriate descriptor for his new artistic beginning and "a reference to how a person must always redefine himself...in the wake of a powerful experience."

Iterum Nata's four LPs are loose concept albums, beginning with 2017's self-titled, which focused on the quest "to find the Godhead within." Their 2018 sophomore, The Course of Empire, was issued by Inverse Records in 2018, dealing with "the seven Hermetic laws and the dialogue between birth and death." Based on the album's strength, Svart Records and Secret Trees (owned by Hexvessel's Mathew "Kvohst" McNerney) distributed the group's third LP, Bardo Disorder, in 2020. A musing on the Buddhist concept of the spirit's intermediate state and the consequences of the disruption of the death-rebirth cycle, the album features guest appearances from Finnish singer-songwriter Mara Balls, Hexvessel multi-instrumentalist Kimmo Helén and Heikkinen's parents. Iterum Nata released Trench of Loneliness, a meditation on loss and isolation, via Nordvis in 2023.


- Gordy, March 2023

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ITERUM NATA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Iterum Nata
2017
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Course of Empire
2018
4.00 | 1 ratings
Bardo Disorder
2020
3.00 | 2 ratings
Trench of Loneliness
2023

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ITERUM NATA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Trench of Loneliness by ITERUM NATA album cover Studio Album, 2023
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Trench of Loneliness
Iterum Nata Prog Folk

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Here's the first review for this Finnish artist. An excellent bio by Gordy, by the way. Behind this Latin moniker is Jesse Heikkinen, probably best known as the guitarist in Hexvessel which is also in ProgArchives. Trench of Loneliness is already the fourth release -- the first two were only roughly 29 minutes long -- but the first one to enter my radar. All ten tracks here are of regular length between 3 and 5 minutes, and performed entirely by Heikkinen (apart from tin whistle on the last song).

This music is generally very gloomy and melancholic neo/psych/dark folk. The opening song 'My Name Is Sorrow' sets the tone for the most of the other pieces to follow. The arrangements are rooted on acoustic guitar and ghostly hovering synths. For starters, think of the late sixties Pink Floyd song 'Julia Dream'. The vocals however come closer to e.g. Nick Cave. Another modern day artist used as a reference is the American psych folk band Espers, but in comparison Iterum Nata is, fairly understandably as a one-man effort, sonically narrower.

The tempo is mostly kept rather slow. For the overall mood the album tends to appear as a bit monotonous and tiresome in a casual listening, but the closer you listen to it, the more you notice how melodic it is in the end, and that several songs do have their own personal charm. Perhaps the first four songs or so, none of them bad per se, are most alike in their dark and melancholic "dwelling in solitude" nature. 'The Feather' sticks positively out as an instrumental with a Post-Rock flavour. 'The Mountain' has a faster tempo and a more vital musical performance, including nice percussion.

'Losing Connection', despite continuing the general gloominess, somehow sounds more empowering than the first third of the album, and the slightly country-ish 'I Only Sing With the Dead' even seems to have a tongue-in-cheek attitude, as if the artist looks into his morbid themes with a light-hearted irony. I'm thinking of the Finnish cult band Leningrad Cowboys. The biggest surprise comes in the end: 'Comedy of Humanity' is a relaxed, melodic poprock anthem that makes me think of Traveling Wilburys (Lynne, Orbison etc), and also the arrangement is much wider and more dynamic than on the album in general. This song really stays in your mind afterwards, whether a good or a bad thing. Heikkinen could have attempted to reach more of this variety in moods, and undoubtedly collaborating with fellow musicians or producers would have done good. Solid three stars earned nevertheless.

Thanks to gordy for the artist addition.

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