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THE METAL OBSERVER - Review - ARCTURUS - La Masquerade Infernale

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Rating explanation

5 tablatures for Arcturus

Arcturus - La Masquerade Infernale (9/10) - Norway - 1997

Genre: Avantgarde Metal
Label: Ad Astra Enterprise
Playing time: 45:00
Band homepage: Arcturus


  1. Master Of Disguise
  2. Ad Astra
  3. The Chaos Path
  4. La Masquerade Infernale
  5. Alone
  6. The Throne Of Tragedy
  7. Painting My Horror
  8. Of Nails And Sinners
Arcturus - La Masquerade Infernale

Is it possible to transcript craziness into music? I don’t ask necessarily this in a negative way, since I really think that this is what ARCTURUS managed with “La Masquerade Infernale”. For me this album sounds like the soundtrack of mad circus, with the theatrical vocal lines of Garm (ULVER). This type of vocals fit perfectly the music, although I really think they can be an acquired taste, as some may be turned off by this approach.


The style of the band is quite hard to classify; in fact all those hybrid bands are quite hard to tag. With influences coming from all the Metal spectrums, from Black to Progressive Metal, ARCTURUS really created here one of the most challenging Metal album ever written. Using blast beats, samplers, electronics and really dramatic keyboards, they open you the door of all men’s madness. This is really the feeling that I get each time I listen to this CD; it’s like having a sound description of someone’s own insanity, like in the movie “The Cell”, although this time around musically.


The talented musicians that did this record are overwhelming. How on earth is it possible to write such piece of music, it is beyond me? One thing that amazes me so much in this CD is the drumming. It is completely out of this world. Often Black and Death Metal drumming can become really repetitive, but in “La Masquerade Infernale”, we are far away from repetitiveness. And what I like also with this album is the overall feeling that each song flows into the other, like if it was just a one and single song. I really enjoy this, since for this is the real example of Progressiveness, not using the typical verse-verse-chorus-verse-verse template.


“La Masquerade Infernale” is a demanding album from one of the most original band to ever compose Metal music. And it feels great inside to know that you are one of the fans of this music; knowing that you are a part of something different, music to challenge the mind, instead of music to alienate yourself, like mainstream radio pop crap. Some says “Images And Words” or “Operation Mindcrime” are true classics; let me just say that ARCTURUS music deserves not less than being called a masterpiece. (Online April 10, 2004)

Mathieu Chamberland

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