Named after a garbage dump near their home in Haugesand, Norway, and sounding like its mad, resident prophet spewing out visions from the top of said dump, Årabrot’s 12-year, nerve-wracking journey has been one into the the filthiest yet most enlightened recesses of psyche.
Sired in the post-punk, body-horror screeds of bands such as The Birthday Party and Jesus Lizard, and taking Melvins’ stewed-to-a-pulp stomp as smelling salts, Årabrot have developed their own perverse strain of skin-crawling art-rock over six albums and numerous EPs, releases such as 2011’s Solar Anus and 2015’s You Bunch Of Idiots. Mixing in elements of black metal, and a love of really really dirty, if philosophical French writers such as George Bataille and the Marquis de Sade - all have had the effect opening up a stye-ridden third eye.
Looming on the horizon in the manner of a particularly toxic airborne event, the bands’s seventh album, The Gospel - the cover resplendent with a ‘vagina dentata’ sigil - was written under the most difficult of circumstances.
Having already once suffered a collapsed lung during a show in London, frontman Kjetil Nernes discovered a malignant cancer growth in his throat, and now given the all-clear, The Gospel is a tale of near-death and rebirth.
As Kjetil himself says: “The theme of The Gospel is a vision of the lonely warrior on a summit looking out over a battle field, the smoke from the bomb craters, an all-encompassing silence. The war was against one self; against the ugliness, against the sickness. You sink to the bottom of the sea. All of a sudden you are back on the surface again, stupefied. And hungry! A wicked hunger for everything human life has to offer: Sex! War! Drugs! You breathe, but not like before. ‘The man who has been in hell, never forget’.”
Due for release on February 26 via Fysisk Fomat, The Gospel was produced by famed knob-smasher Steve Albini and features a host of guests, not least Sunn O))’s Stephen O’Malley, Kvelertak’s Erlend Hjelvik and drummer Ted Parsons, a legendary underground figure who’s played with Swans, Killing Joke, Prong and many others.
Keep your Milk Of Magnesia to hand, because we have an exclusive preview in the form of the opening title track - a gut-wrenching yet mesmerising sermon that will gradually free you from all your petty notions of which way is up and which way is down. Free your mind, and your stomach contents may well follow!
Spill your guts at Årabrot’s Facebook page here!