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Arcturus - Sideshow Symphonies CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.73 | 108 ratings

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4 stars This Acturus album is again totally different from all the previous albums. This time the music is much more progressive black metal with mostly operatic vocals and sometimes a few growls. The keyboards are less present, especially the piano interludes that were taking a large part in "The Sham Mirrors". The album sounds a bit like Dimmu Borgir with clean vocals - even the names of the songs sound like Dimmu Borgir songs. The big problem here is the poor sound quality (48-bit mastering let me laugh... the beginning of the second song is totally inaudible and the end has a huge static click). Too bad the songs are good - a remaster of the album would really help.

The album starts with "Hibernation Sickness Complete" - brilliant melody enhanced by great operatic voice... ruined at the end by a black metal part with growls. "Shipwrecked Frontier Pioneer" has the classic spacey sound - an epic track with more keyboards, synth, darker melody, female vocals (... a few growls at the beginning again). "Deamonpainter" is a mid paced song with a strange atmosphere - again synths are more present. "Nocturnal Vision Revisited" is a quiet song - very atmospheric progressive metal. "Evacuation Code Deciphered" is divided in two parts: a first part with a very operatic style - a little weird at times - and a second part with a very sad melody (female vocals are added here to enhance the sadness of the music). The long "Moonshine Delirium" is one of the weak tracks on the album - sounds flat and uninspired... too bad it's the only track having a little piano interlude in the middle. "White Noise Monster" is another weak track - maybe the weakest on the album - clearly a filler. Then comes "Reflections", a good metal instrumental. The album ends with "Hufsa" - sung in norwegian, and maybe the best mix of Arcturus past and present efforts.

Rating: 84/100 (excellent)

zaxx | 4/5 |


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