Review : ÅRABROT – "Revenge"

Release date: 2010Sep13 (EU)
Label: Fysisk Format
Rating: 4/5

While the Norwegian metal scene is eagerly awaiting the new album by black metal stalwarts Enslaved, the young guns have tried to take over the metal throne. Kollwitz, Kvelertak, Purified In Blood and Obliteration have all tried to claim the power, and now the princes of experimental metal in Norway have returned – with a vengeance.

Årabrot‘s sound is reminiscent of the sonic explosions of Khanate, Shellac and Harvey Milk. They’re not playing heavy metal as one might expect it to be played, but rather use it as a tool to drag the listener into the darkest depths of an abyss of pure despair. That should come as no surprise from a band that takes its name from the local garbage dump in the town, Haugesund.

“The Most Sophisticated Form Of Revenge” opens the album, and from the start, it’s obvious that Revenge is propelled by drummer Vidar Evensen. He lays down a primal beat and delivers inventive fills that makes the rest of the band able to bridge the gap between heavy metal and industrial rock (with a drip of noise music).  The band was founded by Evensen and guitarist/vocalist Kjetil Nernes, but in recent years they’ve added noise artist Stian Skagen to the line-up; and this trio reminds me of how Melvins have been arranging their songs since Big Business merged with Buzz and Dale.

The addictive shock of the first song is followed by the electrifying guitar walls of “Interim Me”, and the band doesn’t let up until the monumental 12-minute track “The Dolores Years” eases off on the volume, though only replacing rage with a stalking unease.  But “Murder” returns to wreaking havoc with the vicious opening line,“Die! Die! Die! Die!”. After a handful of crushing tracks, Revenge ends with another epic:  “The Primrose Path”. A repetitive bassline is dressed up in whispered vocals and doom-like guitars; it sounds dangerous! I’ve heard people complain about this song, but I feel it’s related to the transcendental musings of OM and Sleep (filtered through European noise music).

Årabrot‘s new album fuses the recent outings that the band has made — you’ll recognize the sharp hardcore with the longer and slower grooves from the album The Brother Seed, to the minimalist noise sound from Absolutenegativism. T’hey’ve previously been working with producers like Emil Nikolaisen (Serena Maneesh), Steve Albini (Nirvana, High On Fire) and Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Melvins).  This wide array of input seems to have rubbed off on the band, because Revenge rocks hard!  The news is out – Årabrot continues to be one of the most interesting bands in northern heavy music.

Try: 1, 2, 4, 7, 9

01. The Most Sophisticated Form Of Revenge
02. Interim Me
03. The Wretched Child
04. The Dolorous Years
05. Murder
06. End Of First Chant I
07. The Pilgrimage
08. End Of First Chant II
09. The Primrose Path


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