The Skinny: Following their recent “Rebekka (Tragoedie)” song and video Norwegian noise punk masters Årabrot have revealed another new track from upcoming album The Gospel (February 26 via Fysisk Format). “I Run” is one of The Gospel‘s most jolting, panicked, addicting moments. Storming in on a barrage of frantic, pummeling guitars, frontman Kjetil Nernes’ plagued, tortured vocals paint a vivid picture of fear, an emotion intensified with terrifying, unsettling pianos underlying the song’s chorus. It’s jam-packed with intensity, anxiety, and visceral appeal, yet it’s somehow the shortest song on The Gospel.
“I Run” portrays Årabrot mastermind Kjetil Nernes at his most pleading and terrified. The song lays bare the emotional terrors he navigated during his battle with throat cancer, for which he later underwent surgery, treatment, and recovery. This experience directly informed “I Run” and the entirety of The Gospel: the anxieties of illness account for the album’s brooding darkness and haunting lyrics. As Nernes explains: “You sink to the bottom of the sea. All of a sudden you are back on the surface again, stupefied. And hungry! A wicked hunger for everything human life has to offer: Sex! War! Drugs! You breathe, but not like before. ‘The man who has been in hell never forgets.'”
The Gospel was recorded partly at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio in Chicago and partly in an old church in the woods of Dalarna, Sweden, where Nernes lives and runs his studio these days. For this album, the band’s ever-revolving crew of contributors has expanded to include legendary musicians such as Ted Parsons (Killing Joke, Swans, Prong) on drums, Andrew Liles (Current 93/Nurse With Wound) and Stephen O’Malley (SunnO))/KTL) on guitar. Kvelertak singer Erlend Hjelvik also appears with Norse guest vocals on album track ‘Ah Feel’. As usual, the artwork is signed by Norwegian artist Johannes Høie.