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Arcturus - The Sham Mirrors CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.15 | 209 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. ARCTURUS are a Black-Metal super group of sorts, except they don't play Black-Metal in this band.The guitarist and vocalist are from ULVER, the bass player is from BORKNAGAR and DIMMU BORGIR, the keyboardist is from COVENANT, and the drummer is from MAYHEM, all originally or presently Norwegian Black-Metal bands. ARCTURUS really contrast the lighter and heavy passages well. The keyboard player is unbelieveable and is very prominant on this album. There really isn't a lot of solos on this album as they really hit you hard as band with a wall of sound.

"Kinetic" opens with a nice heavy sound, and I really like the guitar melodies as spoken words come in.The guitar stops as the vocals arrive after a minute. Drums and bass then become the focus. A calm 3 minutes in before the main melody returns. It settles down with piano and reserved vocals to end it. "Nightmare Heaven ' opens with a wall of sound as vocals join in. I like his singing. A change before 2 minutes as heavy drums and electronics? come in giving it an industrial feel. It sounds incredible. The guitar comes in before 4 minutes grinding away. Vocals follow as the tempo picks up with piano. A heavy sound to end it as the guitar lets it rip. This is one of my favourite tracks. "Ad Absurdum" has a good heavy rhythm as vocals come in. Check out the bass ! Great sound 2 minutes in as the tempo picks up. A change 3 1/2 minutes in as tempo slows down but the guitar starts to light it up. The full sound is back with more amazing bass. Some vocal melodies too in the calmer finale.

"Collapse Generation" sounds like a ground shaking hoard running towards the enemy. The thundering sound finally relents after 2 minutes as vocals come in. It's still heavy though and the crushing sound is back 3 minutes in to the end. "Star-Crossed" features some of the most amazing piano i've ever heard for the first minute and a half. Then vocals and heaviness come crashing in. The piano continues as we get some furious drumming before 3 1/2 minutes. "Radical Cut" features a guest vocalist from EMPEROR. An all out attack to open as the screaming vocals spit out the lyrics. Lots of piano playing over top early in the song. Great tune. "For To End Yet Again" opens with a waltz-like rhythm as percussion beats. A full sound before a minute with processed vocals. Piano only before 3 minutes is joined by synths. Piano stops 5 minutes in as synths continue. A full sound is back 6 1/2 minutes in with double bass drumming, vocals after 7 minutes. Horns 9 minutes in as heaviness continues.

Another great Metal album from Norway. GREEN CARNATION and IN THE WOODS... are a couple of other bands from this country I would highly recommend, along with this record "The Sham Mirrors". A must for all the Metal fans out there.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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