Posts tagged ‘arcturus’

July 7, 2013

Album 0289: Arcturus – Sideshow Symphonies

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Release Date: 2005
Genre: Avant-garde Black Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Hibernation Sickness Complete (05:03)
2. Shipwrecked Frontier Pioneer (08:33)
3. Deamonpainter (05:34)
4. Nocturnal Vision Revisited (05:16)
5. Evacuation Code Deciphered (06:16)
6. Moonshine Delirium (07:10)
7. White Noise Monster (03:55)
8. Reflections (03:41)
9. Hufsa (05:07)

Total Length: 50:34

Hibernation Sickness Complete has a great buildup in the song, and once the metal part starts it sounds absolutely natural and awesome to hear. I also love the vocals on the track. Shipwrecked Frontier Pioneer is similarly great, it has everything I loved in the first song in it as well. The only issue is that there was a mastering error here, causing this track to noticeably drop in volume compared to the first song, as well as a glitch, a digital ‘pop’ at the end of the track. Really annoying.

Deamonpainter seems to be back at normal volume, and is a very good song as well. Nocturnal Vision Revisited has some great guitar stuff, probably the heaviest song so far honestly. Also it’s kind of funny that a lot of these track titles seem to have taken influence from Dimmu Borgir, the whole three semi-related words deal. Evacuation Code Deciphered is fantastic as well, there has not been a bad track thus far.

Moonshine Delirium continues the trend of being great. It’s kind of tough for me to point out specifics though. In this song I did like some of the synth usage though. White Noise Monster is probably the most straight-forward track. It’s pretty great, not sure how you could dislike it. Reflections has an odd intro but the rest of the song is quite good. Hufsa is a bit different, mostly a slower song. The end is kind of sudden but good. Basically this is a pretty great album. Not as fierce as the band’s previous stuff, but I’m okay with that. I really should listen to it more, I’d kind of forgotten how good it is.

Final Rating: 8.5/10

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January 21, 2012

Album 0002: Arcturus – The Sham Mirrors

Release Date: 2002
Genre: Avant-garde Black Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Kinetic (05:26)
2. Nightmare Heaven (06:06)
3. Ad Absurdium (06:49)
4. Collapse Generation (04:13)
5. Star-Crossed (05:02)
6. Radical Cut (05:08)
7. For To End Yet Again (10:34)

Total Length: 43:18

This album is pretty unique, both in regards to most black metal and even in the band’s own catalog. Most vocals are clean, everything is produced very well, keyboards are abundant, and the lyrics mostly revolve around space and ideas about it. Kinetic is a fantastic opening track, for both the album and the band. Everything moves forward quickly and it’s never boring.

Nightmare Heaven is a good track, starting off strong, but I don’t really like the middle of the song. The end section is nearly rocking though, and the use of echoes/reverb is pretty cool. Ad Absurdium is probably one of the lesser songs on the album. It’s still well done, but I don’t really like the whole feel of the song. Collapse Generation is actually really cool because it’s mostly instrumental, I especially like the bell sounds.

Star-Crossed has a pretty neat rhythm going throughout out that I find very interesting. Radical Cut sets itself apart by using guest vocals from Ihsahn, best known as the vocalist for the band Emperor. It’s the only use of harsh vocals, and it still fits very well with the music. For To End Yet Again is the most ambitious track on here, starting with what sounds like a demonic circus of sorts. The middle instrumental goes through some varying changes, and reminds me at one point very strongly of some themes from Twin Peaks, but it’s not too long before we’re reminded what this band is really about. Just a very cool song overall.

Final Rating: 8/10