Release Date: Feb 26, 2016
Record label: Fysisk Format
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Cult Norwegian noise rock act Årabrot haven’t had it easy in recent times. The band’s leader Kjetil Nernes was diagnosed with malignant throat cancer when on tour in 2014. The treatment was, he affirmed in an interview with The Quietus, 'as close to real physical and psychological hell as you can ever go'. Remarkably Nernes was back in action with Årabrot a mere six weeks after completing treatment (doctors has originally suggested a recuperation period of up to six months).
That this album exists at all is testament to the force of nature that is Årabrot vocalist Kjetil Nernes. His diagnosis with throat cancer in 2014 would have been enough to force most bands to pull out of any commitments. He received the news, and went ahead with a UK tour. Following the tour, he underwent treatment and was told that his voice may have suffered as a result.
Here’s the good news: The Gospel is one hell of an album. Amazingly, it was close to never happening… … and it started with just an unsettling itch. After the band’s 2014 UK tour, Årabrot singer Kjetil Nernes was hospitalised and treated for throat cancer. Following a long period of convalescence, Nernes got the all clear from doctors and began assembling his troops for a seventh album.
A shock-and-awe surprise that was destined to happen all along? It sounds like an intentionally puzzling conundrum, but there's no need to riddle anyone anything: it's the seventh full-length album by Norway's Årabrot. The Gospel's many virtues may seem, to some, as awkward matches for each other. It's generally noisy and gnarly, variously downtuned or detuned and proud of its metallic heft; if you've encountered Årabrot in the past, this will be expected.