|Hardcore, Noise, Sludge
September 3rd, 2013
Release length: 37:48
Ã…rabrot are definitely one of Norway’s most unique exports at this point, and this album definitely shows it by inflicting catchy songs through highly twisted and sometimes unsettling performances. This is immediately obvious with the slower, darker “Ha-Satan Deofol” thanks to the lower nasal harmonizations that hum as if a creepy lullaby against a subtle tribal drumbeat and harsher vocals with random busts of adrenaline here and there just long enough to expel some of the tension these passages have built up. “Blood on Poet” feels like a release of pent up rage, though a bit restrained due to the slower, yet blunt music being played. “Blood on Bunny,” however, seems to pick up where that track left off, creating a dark and empty environment the crushing music simply hammers away at. This track was the one chosen for the split with Rabbits, and it definitely feels more abrasive this time around, truly capturing the scorn the lyrics often refer to, even when the melody kicks in towards the end.
Some tracks aren’t that atmospheric in the long run, but in the end are just really catchy. “Throwing Rocks at the Devil” uses the nasal vocals with a heavy echo to give a slightly twisted edge to the song, and the chorus includes the sandpaper-like shouting once more mixed at times with more higher harmonizations like on “Ha-Satan Deofol,” though hold the potential to clash when they hit. The additional effects in the background give it a hint of a Science Fiction vibe, and while not a bad touch, it just doesn’t do much except to transition into “Arrabal’s Dream,” which throws back to the eighties Rock style but a bit heavier, and sometimes creepy. The riffs here are thick and use the deep bass to their advantage, and when the pace picks up, so does the enthusiasm and odd shouting that feels right at home with this bizarro version of classic Rock. This sort of contorted reality hits hard once more during “The Horns of the Devil Grow.” While the song itself doesn’t seem to go anywhere for the first half, it picks up after the mocking of a ticking clock that is set to go off like a bomb, amping things up slightly before a rather complex passage, each time getting far more intense and over-the-top every time the explosion occurs.
Ã…rabrot is an album that is certainly not for everyone. This is geared to a niche audience that can find the infectious rhythms in the dark, twisted worlds the band manages to pull off. This album has plenty of memorable songs that, even at their weakest, will still have you crawling back for more punishment, as if being hooked on a mind-altering drug that gives you the most frightening acid-trip you could possibly hope to go on. Ã…rabrot have truly outdone themselves once again, leaving their self-titled sixth album the perfect place to jump on and get familiar with one of the most important pioneers of the Noise genre in recent years, especially one to come out of Norway.
01. Ha-Satan Deofol – 4:07
02. Throwing Rocks at the Devil – 3:18
03. Arrabal’s Dream – 3:12
04. Blood on the Poet – 2:57
05. Dedication – 1:52
06. Blood on Bunny – 3:24
07. Drawing Down the Moon – 3:27
08. The Horns of the Devil Grow – 4:59
09. The Bitter Tears of Kont – 4:38
10. Maenads – 5:55
|Initial Pressing Score: 9/10