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Arcturus - Sideshow Symphonies CD (album) cover

SIDESHOW SYMPHONIES

Arcturus

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.70 | 80 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

abyssic_hate
2 stars Waited for three years after the release of the previous and marvellous record "The Sham Mirrors", this "Sideshow Symphonies"shows as more important news the come- back of Simen Hestnęs, or better known like ICS Vortex, just guest on "La Masquerade Infernale", and now he has taken the place behind microphone of His Majesty Garm, or Kristoffer Rygg, after the coming out of "The Sham Mirrors". The opening of this forth full-lenght falls on "Hibernation Sickness Complete", a very interesting track, well interpreted by Vortex's melancholic singing and by an excellent guitar-work of the duet Malle-Valle. Instinctively, this track, but above all the next "Shipwrecked Frontier Pioneer", remembers the Borknagar from Quintessence's period, in which Simen was present. Despite of this similarity, we have two excellent tracks, very melancholic and dreaming, but also technical and refined as we expect from a group of this level. I think that a more relevant place falls on the second track, that tells about the solitude and the madness felt by a poor astronaut drifting in the space after the collapse of the general core of his spaceship. The music is wonderful and the vocal interpretation of Vortex reaches incredible emotional peaks. But, after this two tracks, the entire cd goes down into a limbo of boredom and heaviness that I wouldn't have ever expected from Arcturus. Next three tracks go away without leaving something, the vocal parts of Simen results boring, while music is a vain attempt to resume and assemble different parts taken randomly from the old works of the band. In "Evacuation Code Deciphered" comes to light strong Pink Floyd influences from The Wall's period. Luckily, the record partially raises up with the long "Moonshine Delirium", a track that makes me remember their first and great release "Aspera Hiems Symphonia", refined by a great guitar solo, and the instrumental "Reflections" where Arcturus makes come out the musical madness much appreciated on "La Masquerade Infernale". About the two remaining songs, "White Noise Monster", and the final "Hufsa" I make the same speech made before, well played and structured tracks but without emotions inside. In short, from what you have understood in this review, this "Sideshow Symphonies" is a very swinging release from a quality point of view. Personally, what has struck me negatively is the little presence of Sverd, who limits himself to classic border sounds and he rarely goes into prog solos o strange things like he made in the past. The guitar work is more present than the keyboards one, and the guitars result the real central engine of the tracks. Even Hellhammer, that he usually put into Arcturus his technical qualities, now limits himself to ordinary things. Boh, onestly I don't know how explain to myself this half false step, even if not everything is to throw away. But, I wouldn't have ever expected from Arcturus to miss a record in this way.

P.S.: this review is translated from italian from the original one made for elskrin.net

abyssic_hate | 2/5 |

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