If you’re looking to feel like you’re walking through a creaking mausoleum without leaving the comfort of your home, you’re in luck. Turn on Årabrot’s latest release, and life becomes a horror movie. Beauty gets enveloped into pain and light into darkness in this more than 40 minute examination of the capability of deeply rooted emotional night to prove drivingly engaging.
The prominent Norwegian noise rock outfit are releasing two selections from a live soundtrack they provided for a silent movie under the name Årabrot Speciale. Called Die Nibelungen and releasing on April 5 via Pelagic Records, the two roughly twenty minute segments correspond to the lengthy silent film of the same name. The band performed the music heard on their newest release alongside a showing of the movie at the Tromsø international film fest in 2016, where the work was recorded live.
Although the music was originally tied to a movie, the tracks stand on their own very intriguingly. They tell their own form of a story independent of the plot lines of their originally accompanying movie, which relates an epic tale of love, loss, and revenge via grandiose mythological tropes. Even though their format is unique to say the least, and Årabrot have no lyrical themes tying their work together here, the music feels incredibly visual and even experiential, providing unnerving tastes of scenes with feelings ranging from a wedding of the dead to a dimly lit, broken down carnival that might not still be there when you turn on the light. Their work ranges from the unnerving and even sinister to very “human” points where more traditional modern instrumentation makes itself known — before again devolving into segments that quite simply feel very unsettling in their own right, like a classically styled soundtrack to a movie scene featuring a candelit walk down an ominous hallway.
Taken on its own, Årabrot Speciale’s Die Nibelungen feels like one of the absolutely most unique thriller and even horror experiences you’re going to get, because there is a strong sense of story that leaves interpretation to the listener since there aren’t even any lyrics. The work’s length drags the observer down its halls with plenty of time to feel the suspicious cold on your skin. Immersing oneself in the work feels reminiscent to getting your mind strapped into an electric chair that slowly gets turned higher and higher until you’re getting beyond sweat and nervousness. It’s not necessarily for the faint of heart, but there’s a thrill waiting on the other side that a single band can pull off a piece so magnificent in scope.
The effort featured frontman and composer Kjetil Nernes, Karin Park (keyboard), Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen (percussion), Andrew Liles (Nurse With Wound/Current 93), and A.P Macarte (Arkh/Gnod). The main outfit are still rather fresh off the release of their latest traditional album, 2018’s sonically impactful Who Do You Love?, which you can check out below via their Bandcamp.
Preorder Die Nibelungen here.