And so the sthenic Nordic skies part once again, as Norway’s doom metal and goon-satanic rock outfit, Årabrot, unleash upon the world another scornful tome of miasma soaked perfidy. Their 5th rebarbative album (and 50th release for the Fysisk Format label) Solar Anus borrows its miscreant humour and rhetoric from French philosopher, surrealist, occultist and writer Georges Bataille. His infamous pseudonym authored (Batille chose to use the confrontational moniker, Lord Auch, which literally translates as ‘Lord of the shithouse’) ‘Story of the Eye’, and metaphor rich wisdom is woven into Årabrot’s dyspeptic manifesto: or as the bands vocalist and guitarist, Kjetil Nernes, puts it –
“Gold indicates the sun as we hail Batille’s take on the subject of abjection. Solar Anus betokened the Golden Calf – juxtaposed between utmost evil and greater sanctity such as the eternal radiance of heaven, the egregious iniquities of the abyss or the alchemist of The Holy Mountain converting faeces into gold”.
It’s the last half of that final line which perfectly sums up this collection of 8 despondent tracks. Shit, faeces: hell, it’s the piss that their really extracting here. But hey. Where’s my manners? I’m cutting to the chase too soon: you good people want to know some details, and more importantly…what it sounds like.
With tongue firmly-in-cheek, Solar Anus runs through the usual dark matter; godless indulgences; and vociferating contentious themes; played out to a heavy laden roar of Blitzkrieg rolling drums; screeching guitars; snarling sonorus bass; and seething disconcerting electronics. The laughs come hard, as we’re dragged, chained to a primordial handcart, along an apocalyptic, atavistic, barren landscape: pulled through scenes of the Spanish/Portuguese inquisition (‘Auto da fe’), sacrificial ritual (the updated ‘bring your daughter to the slaughter’ demonic rites of ‘Nubile’) and Teutonic myth (‘Valkyrie’). Not holding anything back, the adulated figure of the Madonna (well I take it they’re referring to the original idol, and not the recent one, or I’ll look a prized twat) is given a riotous kicking on the derided, ‘Madonna was a Whore’. A list of worshipped female icons (Queen of Sheeba to St.Teresa) are read out before the song title is repeated over a thumping headache beat.
Provocation aside, the, often, clean-cut and bare production of Steve Albini allows for some palatial, reflective builds, and suffused atmospherics. Of course the sibilant vocal dynamics are as ever unrelenting and indecorus. The vitriol prose is chanted and opprobriously delivered in a possesed manner; rising from the hellish pit of Nernes stomach.
Rather an ‘unholy’ then ‘holy fuck’, Solar Anus is a damn sight more enjoyable and hilarious then most of the soporific Southern Lord schtick I’ve had to sit through. Converts will already be doing penance over this new release; clamouring for a taste: future apostles take care and heed my words…avoid unless for kicks.