Sarke - Jodau Aura

Stateside Stream

posted on 2/2014   By: Dan Obstkrieg

Some of you may already have heard Sarke’s latest album, Aruagint, because it was released all the way back in September of last year in Europe. Despite the reach of the internet and the lack of nearly any compelling reason to continue doing things thus, it is only now - or on February 18th, to be precise - that Metal Blade is teaming with Indie Recordings to offer an official North American release of this latest album of casual excellence from a group of true Norwegian professionals.

Given the personnel involved, Sarke’s sound should be unsurprising. The man himself plays bass in the band that carries his name, but there’s a deep draught pulled from the well of the band he drums for, Moonfog’s scions of straight-aheadness, Khold. I suspect you’ll also find that if the latest Satyricon album tickled a particular brain-cranny, Aruagint will get your leg thumping in a similarly involuntary way. Sarke - the band - is all about exploring the different textures and angles of black ‘n roll, and as such there’s a really pleasant looseness here - the songs are happy to bash and clatter, of course, but they’re also not afraid to swing.

The real revelation is the vocal performance of Ted Skjellum, of course better known as Darkthrone’s Nocturno Culto. Even given the crustier and more classic heavy metal-repping direction of recent Darkthrone outings, Skjellum sounds even more liberated here, casting off lines with his trademark grit, but clearly enjoying the stomping rock feel and the sheer visceral pleasure of such oddball catch-phrases as “Strange pungent odyssey,” “jaunt of the obsessed,” and “Because I’m ugly! Ugly as hell!”

Today we’re presenting you with a premiere of Aruagint’s second track, “Jodau Aura.” It’s actually a relatively unrepresentative song for the rest of the album, trading some of the practiced fleetness for a severely monolithic trudge that borders on gothic territory. Keyboardist Anders Hunstad’s simulated horn sections provide a suitably regal counterpoint to Skjellum’s aggrieved moan and a beautifully doubled (and double-timed) mid-song solo section. Think Triptykon binging on Motörhead during a particularly manic episode, maybe.

So yeah, suffice it to say that if you ditched the Darkthrone train the minute they quit singing about witches in eternal sleep, and if you can’t stomach your black n’ roll at any pace slower than a blitzkrieg bop, this still won’t be your cup of cold. For the rest of us, this is an apt reminder that rock and roll was the devil’s music well before black metal was the devil’s music, and that there’s more than enough piss and bile left in each to get your jaded toes a-tapping once again.

Aruagint is out in North American release on February 18th via Metal Blade Records. Check here for more information.

TAGGED Black,Metal Blade Records