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Arcturus - The Sham Mirrors CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.15 | 209 ratings

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Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
5 stars Infallible experiment.

'Press start. Sit back. Prepare for your experiment.'. Imagine this introduction to this brilliant adventurous 'sci-fi' soundtrack. In fact, this could have easily been a movie soundtrack, with many theatrical parts, mood alterations, samples and medieval melodies.

The album effectively mixes the past with the future: Past, in terms of dark, extremely heavy passages, high-speed tempos and a continuous black metal atmosphere - medieval and baroque melodies, renaissance pianos and enchanting female vocals. Future is represented with inspired and adventurous riffs, neo-classical keyboards, samples and elements from the electro genre. Progression is definitely the word describing this effort: Progression in tunes, style, atmosphere, vocals.. an ever evolving experiment.

Garm's vocals are more mature than ever, similar to the ones in Ulver's masterpiece, 'Themes.'. The music is also - logically - inspired by later Ulver, borrowing a bit of electronic sounds, but still reveals the black metal roots of Arcturus. The sound is similar to the most progressive efforts of Dimmu Borgir and Covenant. The main assets of the album are the sheer musical quality throughout each song, the maturity of the compositions and a particular unusual baroque atmosphere. Even if you are not a fan of the genre, it really leaves you with no choice than to rank it at the top.

Kinetic is the song that I particularly picked out. An excellent choice for the fans of the extreme sound, a new experience for other prog fans, The Sham Mirrors quite matches the term progressive black metal.

aapatsos | 5/5 |


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