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Arcturus - La Masquerade Infernale CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.95 | 162 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars "Those Who Aspire Infinitely"

Arcturus are the engineers of perhaps some of the most innovative and absolute original thinking in the galaxy of metal. The music confined within this opus is what I would call an 'Intergalactic Faustian Carnival." This album shattered most conventions and boundaries in metal, and for that sake music in general. What inspired this constellation to create this exotic masquerade still confounds me. The artwork creates a nighttime atmosphere and accentuates the musical suites suitably well. At no time do they actually get comfortable with any arrangements, sounds, atmospheres, etc. The formula is constant fluctuation. This album serves as proof that their aspirations are infinite.

"Master of Disguise" creeps with an eerie and oddball beginning. If one listens closely you'll discover the strange activities that dwell beneath the surface. "Ad Astra" is completely brilliant and strange. The strings are something else on that one. "The Chaos Path" has a compelling vocal performance by guest Simon Hestnaes, in addition, to the song becoming quite unconventional and adventurous at the end, for the time of its release and even now. "La Masquerade" is an instrumental with some fashion of discourse going on behind the music. It creates the ambiance of a twilight stroll atop cobblestone with mist stirring in the elements. "The Throne of Tragedy" opens with haunting, ominous words, whispered. "Painting My Horror" is just marvelous at being peculiar. Each song on this album is an enigma and bloody stupendous. If you notice some of the words I spoke above weave a reoccuring theme: Eccentricity.

This album was actually one of the first metal albums to feature and actual philharmonic string quartet, perhaps, even the first!?! Garm's voice is something of an anomaly, which really does all sorts of bizzare things. Stellar guitar acrobatics from guest August Tideman occur on pleasant occasions.

billyshears'67 | 3/5 |


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