Norway - Full Moon 106 - 05/23/05
Proposing a pact with Jesus
Amphetamine fuelled darkness, driven home by a fiery delivery by vocalist Kjetil Nernes. Black metal without Satan leaves just blackness and despair. This
time out the lads from Haugesund on the Norwegian west-coast have reeled in quite a big fish in legendary producer Billy Anderson. For some known as the man
from Porn (The Men From), but mostly it's his legendary skill as producer in the dark end of the spectrum (The Swans, Neurosis, Melvins, Fantomas and Mr.
Bungle) who has earned him his well deserved chair in music hell. Probably it's another west-coast act that turned him onto Årabrot, he also produced
one CD from Noxagt. And what did he do to the angry young men in Årabrot? Well, he removed most of the scum in the dirty scumnoiserock of the band,
and in some ways this is a good thing. The songs stand out much clearer than before, the details of the bands playing reveals a band that have grown quite
a bit as musicians and as songwriters. The immaculate production have also given the band a punch I really hope they can reproduce live. The downside is that
the clarity of the production reveals not all songs on Proposing a pact with Jesus are strokes of genius and the vocals gets quite tiresome in the long run.
Just occasionally does he use it as we all know he can, like on the fabuoulos "Liaison Summer" where Årabrot reminds me of ancient legends Scratch Acid
and that sure is a compliment. Another fave is the manic "Scag Cat", for me these two are the centrepieces and towering highlights of an otherwise
turbocharged but somewhat flat album. Årabrot are near greatness and I look forward to a true masterpiece in the near future.
[See also our review of their first single - editor's note]
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