“Sommerfugl”, the latest release by Norwegian six-piece Skaar, opens in sombre mood: an ominous three-note bassline underpinning a hushed, pained vocal.
You anticipate angst – thrashy guitars and crashing cymbals. But what you get is more intriguing: creepy murmurs of an “unborn son” and mesmeric polyrhythmic arpeggios that cleverly contrast the almost-stuck bass groove by providing a disorienting sense of movement.
The complexities of the verses are balanced by the brazen intensity of the chorus featuring crunchy distorted chords and a soaring vocal from lead singer Karla Jaeger. Aided by skilful production, the band’s twin guitarists create a rich, vast soundscape, including a wash of high-pitched tremolo guitar and lingering remnants of reverb at the song’s climax.
Overall “Sommerfugl” (meaning “Butterfly”) is six minutes of admirably ambitious art rock – a beguiling balance of subtle textural detail and bold theatricality.