Norwegian noise-rockers Årabrot call upon Doomsday

(Image credit: Thomas Knight)

A band whose chosen road to enlightenment has cut a path through the darkest recesses of the human psyche, Haugesund, Norway’s Årabrot have spent the best part of this millennium fashioning a unique and bewildering concoction of scabrous noise rock and post-punk missives from the edge of reason.

Harnessing existentialism, scatology, mysticism and all manner of mental detritus along the way, their stated, alchemical mission of “making gold out of shit” has found some very serious, life-altering symmetries on the part of frontman Kjetil Nernes. Having once already suffered a collapsed lung during a gig in England, he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014, the consequences and recovery detailed in a documentary, Cocks And Crosses: The Music That Would Not Die.

The band are gearing up into action again, with a new album, Who Do You Love, due out later this year on Pelagic Records, and the first fruit of their new labours is a cover of Sinnerman, an African-American traditional spiritual song about trying, and failing, to hide from Judgement Day – most famously covered by jazz legend, Nina Simone, and which we are proud to preview right here.

Says Kjetil himself: ”Old blues, the minstrels in dirty suits, the chaingang choirs, the gospels, the deep roots of folk and country music channelled through generations of blood and sweat, the love and hate of biblical proportions. This is all such a pivotal part of the greatest art, that being literature, music or even film. I watched the Nina Simone documentary one night and was deeply moved by her version of Sinnerman. A few days later I tried a different take of the song in our studio and it had a nerve I quite enjoyed. We tried it again some time later and that particular vibe was still there. I had no plan for the song at all, no idea if it actually was good or not. I wasn’t even sure it would be included on the album. Boy was I wrong.”

Prepare to meet your destiny and give yourself to the wracked wonder of Sinnerman below!

Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.