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Rating explanation

5 tablatures for Arcturus


Arcturus - The Sham Mirrors (10/10) - Norway - 2002

Genre: Avantgarde Metal
Label: The End Records
Playing time: 43:18
Band homepage: Arcturus

Tracklist:

  1. Kinetic
  2. Nightmare Heaven
  3. Ad Absurdum
  4. Collapse Generation
  5. Star-Crossed
  6. Radial Cut
  7. For To End Yet Again
Arcturus - The Sham Mirrors
Had been really interesting, the evolution of ARCTURUS. It all began with "Aspera Hiems Sinfonia", their debut with sterile, Avantgarde-Black Metal, which even then had differed from the uniformity of the rest of the pack. The following album "La Masquerade Infernale" at the beginning had been one of the works that I had a tough time with in the beginning, but by now it's going strong! Here the Black Metal-share had been mostly cut and the word "avant-garde" got a completely new meaning. The album had been one thing for sure: damn weird. And for the masses very hard to digest.

Now with "The Sham Mirrors" I have the third longplayer of the weird Norwegians and ARCTURUS have not turned a tad more "easily consumable". Well, in a way, yes, but only for people like me, who listen to WATCHTOWER or SIEGES EVEN even before breakfast. The music or ARCTURUS has gotten calmer, in terms of heaviness. Almost any kind of modern Rock-music's influences have been used here, if Metal Metal, Pop, Trip Hop, Industrial, Folk, Elektro, everything is integrated, if not obvious all the time. It's been a long time since I had heard such a detail-loving CD. The songs are filled to the brim with ideas, surprising twists, weird breaks and are just unimaginably ingenious!

OK, you won't find bit and catchy choruses. Still the material is very atmospheric and nails me to the wall! With open mouth I kneel in front of my stereo and cannot get it. In 45 minutes they manage to plough through my whole Metal-world and re-assemble. What bands like YES had been for the Seventies and WATCHTOWER and RUSH for the Eighties, are ARCTURUS for the here and now! Innovative!

Ralf Henn



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