Posts Tagged ‘Årabrot’

Nordic pop diva Karin Park of Årabrot adds her ethereal, mournful voice and keys to the primordial sound of legendary electronic pioneer Lustmord for this sublime and poignant collaboration. Alter is a ritual of our times and ‘Hiraeth’ is the new single.

Watch the video here:

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On the pair’s frst collaborative work, the nine tracks that make up ALTER are every bit as heart-wrenching as they are terrifying, mining new sonic territory, it is a fascinating study of light and shade that delves deep into vast uncharted darkness. Their ability to create atmosphere on the album opener "Hiraeth" is second to none, perfectly assembling a harrowing backdrop for Park’s lilting sound of longing. From there, Park’s vocals add all of the emotional depth and power found in names like Kate Bush, Maynard J Keenan and Elizabeth Frasier, perfectly playing against Lustmord’s waves of dark drama and creating a wholly unique record that recalls Dead Can Dance, Massive Attack and Portishead at their greatest.

Considering Park’s credentials, it might be surprising that a collaboration with Lustmord would fit so seamlessly. Utilizing a sound comprised of elements of industrial, synth pop and more, the celebrated Swedish solo artist and member of Norwegian rock band Årabrot utilizes experimentation in her work, blazing trails and bringing to mind the work of her peers The Knife, Scott Walker, Robyn, Depeche Mode and Burial with her darkly-rich compositions. Multiple winner of Norway’s Spellemann award, Park co-wrote the Norwegian entry for the 2013 Eurovision, fnishing fourth overall. But it is the sensibility of the sacred music of her youth that Park adds to ALTER, contributing a powerful vocal that guides the listener through the cavernous, mystical depth of their collaborative work.

”Lustmord is the Gustave Doré of music", Karin Park offers pensively. "Painting magical pictures with a sound that is so vast, it gives space for your own imagination.” Brian Williams grew up in North Wales, beginning his musical career as Lustmord in 1980 and becoming a pivotal fgure and pioneer in the early industrial music scene in the UK.

A former member of SPK during arguably their most crucial era, Williams went on to work with Throbbing Gristle members Chris & Cosey and appeared on early albums by Current 93 and Nurse With Wound amongst others. After relocating to Los Angeles in 1993, Williams worked on dozens of motion picture soundtracks including The Crow, Underworld and Paul Schrader’s First Reformed, as well as on several video game, television scores and solo albums. Williams has also contributed to and collaborated with artists as varied as the Melvins, Clock DVA, Jarboe, John Balance of Coil, Clock DVA, Paul Haslinger (Tangerine Dream), Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit), Puscifer and more, including Grammy Award-winners Tool from their much acclaimed efforts 10,000 Days and Fear Inoculum.

Alter is set for release on 25th June (Pelagic Records).

Lustmord  Karin Park

Born of the long dark winters of Norway Årabrot was too black for metal and too avant-garde for punk so it forged its own path. Hewn from empty roads and the cold impenetrable depths of the fiords of its home.

A Norwegian Gothic, tales sung and stories told in screams and whispers. With its steel guitar, a steely gaze a sneer and

a Stetson, Årabrot is the bastard offspring of Billie Holiday and Elmore James. It is The Velvet Underground if Johnny Cash was a member and Nico was able to sing. It is Camus, Sartre, Poe and Burroughs cut-up and regurgitated in an unholy erotic mass. It is all the great bands you haven’t even heard of. It is you. It is here it is now and there are other bodies to bury. Årabrot is not fucking around.

Årabrot is Kjetil “Tall Man” Nernes and Karin “Dark Diva” Park. They live in the Swedish countryside with their two children in the old church that they own. Rock’n roll is their religion.

Discussing their two part short film Kjetil comments,

It is the tale of Årabrot, preachers of rock’n roll. The videos are shot in the church where we live and its surroundings, our neighbours and friends as the congregation. Karin is 8 months pregnant. If you want to know what Årabrot is all about this is where you want to start. Brilliantly directed by Thomas Knights and Kassandra Powell of Obscure Film Collective.’

Watch the video now for part 2, ”Hailstones For Rain / The Moon Is Dead’ here:

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Born of the long dark winters of Norway Årabrot was too black for metal and too avant-garde for punk so it forged its own path. Hewn from empty roads and the cold impenetrable depths of the fiords of its home.

A Norwegian Gothic, tales sung and stories told in screams and whispers. With its steel guitar, a steely gaze a sneer and a Stetson, Årabrot is the bastard offspring of Billie Holiday and Elmore James. It is The Velvet Underground if Johnny Cash was a member and Nico was able to sing. It is Camus, Sartre, Poe and Burroughs cut-up and regurgitated in an unholy erotic mass. It is all the great bands you haven’t even heard of. It is you. It is here it is now and there are other bodies to bury. Årabrot is not fucking around.

Årabrot is Kjetil “Tall Man” Nernes and Karin “Dark Diva” Park. They live in the Swedish countryside with their two children in the old church that they own. Rock’n roll is their religion.

Discussing the new video for ‘Kinks of the Heart’, Kjetil comments, “’Kinks Of The Heart’ and ‘Hailstones For Rain’ is one narrative in two parts. It is the tale of Årabrot, preachers of rock’n roll. The videos are shot in the church where we live and its surroundings, our neighbours and friends as the congregation. Karin is 8 months pregnant. If you want to know what Årabrot is all about this is where you want to start. Brilliantly directed by Thomas Knights and Kassandra Powell of Obscure Film Collective.”

Watch the video here:

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Årabrot’s 9th full-length album Norwegian Gothic sees the band collaborate with Lars Horntveth (Jaga Jazzist), cellist Jo Quail, Tomas Järmyr (Motorpsycho), Anders Møller (Turbonegro, Ulver) and Massimo Pupillo (Zu).

A stellar production by Jaime Gomez Arellano (Black Eyed Peas, Paradise Lost, Hexvessel, Oranssi Pazusu) makes this the quintessential Årabrot record. Commenting on latest single ‘Kinks of the Heart’, Kjetil adds,

‘There is a certain beauty to living in the countryside- there’s clear crisp air, fresh water, splendid sunsets. Every day we see wild animals coming down from the forests that surround us. There is a freedom attached to all that. The other day I went out of the church where we live and found a dead crow on the porch. It was only the head, its eyes gorged out and it had a huge claw stuck in its neck. There is also a brutality to nature which is ever-present out here. It is this duality Cormac McCarthy so masterly puts into words. It is also what Kinks Of The Heart is about.’

While the 20 years history of the band is a story of change and correlation, it would be too simple to

break this creative duality down to the stereotypical dichotomy of the yin and the yang… and if one attempted to do so, it would turn out to be quite difficult to determine which of these forces would be represented by which individual.

A chubby child from a Christian family, growing up in a small Swedish village and years spent in a Missionary school in Japan made Karin desperate to break away from narrow thinking. And she used her only advantages to do so; her unique voice and personality. By the age 15 she had moved away from home to find her place in music After studying at Stockholm Music Conservatory, a Norwegian poet took her to Norway where she started her pop career, this was followed by a move to London to write songs, and working as a model.

After five albums, a few Grammy’s, writing a Eurovision entry for Norway and hits for other artists and performances with Lana Del Rey and David Bowie, Karin returned to the village of her youth and bought the church where she first sang in front of an audience as a child. She turned the church into where they rehearse and record, surrounded by pianos, organs and hundreds of old bibles that the church left behind when the congregation stopped.

The clerical environment has proven to be an excellent creative tapestry for a band whose lyrical focus orbits around sex, death and defiance.

Kjetil Nernes was diagnosed with malignant throat cancer in 2014, in the middle of a tour. Instead of heading in for surgery right away, the band finished a full European tour first, "Every night of that tour was like the last show ever“, Nernes comments, "It was really strange. When a doctor calls and says, ‘you’re terribly sick’, it’s surreal. You go into this phase where life is more vivid and more real, in a weird way. We’ve done so many shows through the years and sometimes it’s a little like going to the factory to do a job. But with an axe hanging over your head you perceive the world differently.“

But the axe did not fall, and after successfully recovering from cancer, Årabrot are now stronger than ever.

The band has collaborated with procuders like Billy Anderson and Steve Albini, and musicians like Ted Parsons (Killing Joke/Swans), Sunn O))))’s Stephen O’Malley, and Kvelertak’s Erlend Hjelvik. They have composed music for silent movies like “Die Niebelungen” and “Doctor Caligari”, and have teamed up with The Quietus founder John Doran on his spoken word tour. Their album “The Gospel” was named “Album of the Year” by The Quietus.

Norwegian Gothic is released 9th April (Pelagic Records).

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7th September – Pelagic Records

Christopher Nosnibor

The absence of a question mark renders the album’s title a statement rather than a question. But there are no questions about Årabrot: 17 years and a substantial catalogue into their career, the Norwegian noise-rock act are still noisy, challenging, and kicking ass. But according to the blurb accompanying the release, ‘there is more than noise rock to Årabrot’s formula. “I’m interested in feelings, either the very silent or the extremely noisy”, band leader Kjetil Nernes comments. “I don’t care about what’s in between, the middle of the road isn’t my thing. The bible fits really well with that. I’m using it thematically all of the time.”

But mostly it’s noisy, and that’s a good thing. That said, Who Do You Love is very much an album of extremes – which is only fitting of a record that references transgressive French poet Comte de Lautréamont in its opening song, which crashes in with a heavy psych-hued riff – but the guitars are dominant and angular throughout. It’s loud, and it’s insistent. The guitars are choppy, the vocals whooping, sneery, and bathed in reverb and flange. It’s kinda punky, but equally kinda post punk, and kinda no-wave noisy.

With chunky, punky riffs carved out against solid rhythms that are by turn loping, square and stop/start, plus shouty vocals throughout the course of the album – ‘Warning’ is exemplary: Who Do You Love brings the attack in spadesful – but then again, it’s an album with textures, layers. ‘Sons and Daughters’ is a spacious country / shoegaze hybrid that’s both beautiful and captivating.

‘Pygmalion’ marks a real shift, it’s ethereal humming drones fittering like butterflies, while the sinewy ‘Simmerman’ is different again, a howling, roaring country rock stomp replete with anguished vocals that run ragged and pull Biblical anguish over devils and pain from the depths. It’s bold, theatrical, immense, but more importantly, it’s got a gut pull that’s emotionally engaging in its snarling delivery. Elsewhere ‘Look Daggers’ plunges deeper and darker still, meshing together the heavy grey nihilism and insistent throb of Killing Joke with a thicker, more metal delivery and hints of latter-day Swans in its insistent, throbbing groove that’s demolished in a roaring rage. ‘A Sacrifice’ begin with a heavy trudge, and the stop/start riffage, coupled with the blank monotone vocals – heavily treated – call to mind Foetus – before the buzzsaw riff breaks in after a couple of minutes.

Closer ‘Uniform of a Killer’ is all about the ebb and flow, the surge and fall, the climax and drop, not to mention all the drama. It again calls to mind later-day Swans, as well as pacing in hints of Bauhaus and myriad others, but compresses 15-minute builds to a minute or so, the track lasting only six and a half minutes. Never mind the length, check the density! ‘Uniform of a Killer’ certainly packs the density, and the intensity, too.

Who Do You Love is a BIG album. Not so much in duration (although it’s big enough) but in every other sense. It has depth, it has range. It has force. It has intensity, and it has tunes. Really, you couldn’t ask for more.

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Årabrot – Who Do You Love

Grammy-winning Norwegian art-noise-rock outfit Årabrot are returning on 7th September with their new album Who Do You Love. Over the years the band has collaborated with producers like Billy Anderson and Steve Albini, and musicians such as Ted Parsons (Killing Joke/Swans), Sunn O))))’s Stephen O’Malley, and Kvelertak’s Erlend Hjelvik. Most recently they appeared at this year’s Roadburn Festival which was swiftly followed by a support slot in Norway with Marilyn Manson. You can listen to the latest track from the record, ‘Maldoror’s Love’, here, now:

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