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Arcturus - Aspera Hiems Symfonia CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.81 | 85 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Arcturus was a mythical band when I was in Oslo and pretty active around, but not in, the Norwegian black metal scene in the beginning to mid 1990s. Their debut '7 is a true classic due to the progressive approach it had. The EP Constellation less so though. I moved from Norway and from this scene pretty quickly afterwards and it is only during the last two years I have bothered to check out Arcturus.

This is their debut album then. What strikes me first and foremost is that Dimmu Borgir has copied lock, stock and barrel from this album. Check out their last three albums and you will get my point. I happens to like Dimmu Borgir so that is OK for me. Fans of that band should regard a purchase of this album as must-do.

The soundscape is based on guitars and synths. Not warm analogue keyboards, but synths. The guitars are never the run of the mill black metal fare. On this album, they are more power metal like solo orientated. The vocals are both clear and black metal vocals. The sound quality is pretty bad, but still tolerable. The songs are OK, without really being impressive. The best song here is the far too short epic hymn Du Nordavind. That hymn is very, very similar to Satyricon's Mother North opus. But as in the case of Dimmu Borgir; Arcturus was there first. Some of the stuff on this album is also pretty theatrical. A kind of black metal's version of the french band Ange and their most theatrical stuff.

This overall a pretty good album. It is probably one of the five genre defining albums in the black metal scene. Today, it sounds a bit outdated. But I give it three points both because of the music and an added half a point for it's historic value.

3 stars

toroddfuglesteg | 3/5 |


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