Of Darkness And Light is the latest album by Norwegian duo Arabrot recorded in Djura Missionshus a deconsecrated church in the middle of nowhere in Sweden, that the duo of Kjetil Nernes and Karin Park call both home and studio, the album was produced by Alain Johannes.
The album opens with Hangman's House that almost sounds on the intro like Kebnekaise before the vocals come in and it suddenly sounds more like Circulus, before shifting again into something a bit heavier as they sing about the doubts between them, the silence of the Hangman's verdict.
You Cast Long Shadows has a sort of 60's garage rock sound but with darker lyrics as we find out just why you cast those shadows as the keyboards do some gloriously odd stuff beneath the guitars. When it breaks down to the bassline, handclaps and vocals it really feels quite stark.
Horrors Of The Past is almost like Dungen go pop, as the vocals strain like David Byrne trying to sing like Robert Smith, but not quite as odd as that might sound, thankfully they donâ€™t try to list the choicest of those horrors, even if they manage to make a sing along chorus out of the song title.
Madness has a dark bass opening as well as nothing to do with Prince Buster, swirling towards becoming a cool synth pop song with nice harmonies.
Cathedral Light sounds nothing like you might imagine a song of this title to sound, this is distorted, slightly dank, but with hints of Blancmange meeting the Red Guitars while not getting on with anyone. Oddly fractured yet compelling, as Karin's vocal manages to sound like peak Vi Subversa.
We Want Blood is a chant for the worst of endings, the dark urges that slowly build within us, this is part chant of the desire for death and violence, with a skewed Queens of The Stone Age edge to it, that leaves me wondering what radio shows will give this daytime airplay as a single.
Fire! And the distressed chant of Fire! Seems to be totally spot on for 2023 as more of the planet goes up in flames, screaming Fire! At the top of your voice is both a warning and statement for the state of things.
Skeletons Trip The Light Fantastic feels like a late night rock club dancefloor anthem in some nice odd ways.
Swan Killer would make you the enemy of the king in this country, as he has inherited ownership of all of them from his mum, but in Sweden maybe they still eat swans, this is the song to sing before you go out to kill your dinner.
The album closes with Love Under Will that I was hoping was a cover of the classic Blood & Roses Hackney anarcho punk tune but is instead more of a gauzy goth rock epic album closer to make sure you know this is a super varied and engrossing album.
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