Norwegian Gothic

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Pelagic Records, 2021)

Karakter: 5/6

Årabrot.jpgAvantgarde noise rockers Årabrot, who dabble in everything from the surreal and carnivalesque to punk-influenced sounds and dark Americana, recently released this defiantly unclassifiable album appropriately titled "Norwegian Gothic". Actually, the influences that I mentioned before are just the tip of the iceberg and as this energetic new opus of theirs emphasizes, the very notion of putting their style and aura into words is an elusive undertaking and a pointless quest.

"Norwegian Gothic" is an inspired piece of work that possesses depth and also manages to weave a myriad of different ideas, themes, motifs, and musical traits together to great effect, and one can only marvel at the way in which all the contrasts within their compositions either wrestle with each or by some strange miracle seem to complement each other. One minute it feels as if you are lost in an utterly lonely desert and the next you will find yourself in the middle of a postmodern novel revolving around identity crises and distorted memories that roam free in an urban landscape. In other words, the LP truly does cover a lot of ground and I admire the diversity and evocative quality of their tunes. While many of them seem to float somewhere between unnerving soundscapes and soothing sections with a melancholy vibe to them, the entire thing does feel like an emotional rollercoaster ride at times and this is one of those discs that you need to experience yourself. If you are looking for highlights, check out the strokes of genius that are "Feel It On", "Hailstones for Rain", and "Hallucinational".

"Norwegian Gothic" is a cohesive, solid, and incredibly moving output that lovers of experimental, richly textured music with a heartfelt touch to it ought to invest their time and hard-earned cash in. I would still argue that their song material is more efficient and delightfully overwhelming in a live setting, but this particular album is the closest they have come to replicating the power and intensity of their stage performance. Wicked!


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