Årabrot are a Norwegian noise rock trio who operate in a seriously '90s-besotted style; their rumbling, jagged guitar and pummeling, semi-tribal drumming are all equal parts Unsane, Jesus Lizard, and Knut. Vocalist/guitarist Kjetil Nernes doesn't have David Yow's magnetic personality, but he's got vitriol on his side, and his two partners, drummer Vidar Evensen and effects-meister Stian Skagen, match the waves of noise coming from his instrument with a raw throb all their own. Årabrot patently reject black metal, which has somehow become their homeland's primary musical export over the last 15 years or so; instead, they keep their heads down and make an Amphetamine Reptile-style racket, occasionally turning positively hypnotic (but in more of a cobra-staring-down-a-mouse way than a you-are-getting-very-sleepy way). "The Dolorous Years" is over 12 minutes long, and the last four or five minutes of that are taken up with a pounding drum pattern, over which electronics hiss and roar; it's like a collaboration between Merzbow and Shellac. The final track, "The Primrose Path," is a death march/dirge that crosses Knut's relentless battery with the trudging resignation of Alex Newport's post-Fudge Tunnel band Theory of Ruin. This is an album for people who like their rock to rock, but in the ugliest, meanest way possible.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Phil Freeman