ARCTURUS "The Sham Mirrors"

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon ReviewsRating: 0.95/1
ARCTURUS "The Sham Mirrors"
  • Album: The Sham Mirrors
  • Year: 2002
  • Label: AD ASTRA/THE END
  • Artist: 
  • Norway

There are no words for me to describe how anxious I was to listen to this album... All metallic mass media noised about the legendary Norwegians' intention to release new tracks and this time at their own label... Well, here they come... after the masterpiece "La Masquerade Infernale", released in 1997, ARCTURUS regains their position this year with a more metallic and symphonic album, Dark as well and progressive but in lack of that theatric avant-garde touch with which they mesmerized and captured our attention five years ago. Steinar Sverd Johnsen is indeed a veritable maestro at keyboard while Hellhammer continues to amaze me when the battery is the issue! Garm makes the proof of multiple inflexions of his voice and all seems to sound synchronized! Knut M.Valle's guitars intelligently "communicate" with Dag F. Gravem's bass so that I must say the entire metallic sound is outlined by these two musicians. On "Radical Cult", the most aggressive track of the album, features Ihsahn's voice... the symphonic Black atmosphere seems to end into a few fantastic futurist tunes while the innovative keyboard becomes again the strong point.

There is indeed a very special track for our excitement, "For To End Yet Again" as it definitely is the most appropriate example and testimony of these gifted musicians' virtue. If I had to make a comparison with the former albums well, I would appreciate that "The Sham Mirrors" situates somewhere between with the remark that the musicians' skillfulness is much better outlined now unfortunately against inspiration and improvement. In other words, tracks tend not to be united while the final note is rather the result of a sequences sum and not of a conceptual album well arranged and structured. I have no explanation why, after listening to the album for more than ten times, my impression is that ARCTURUS rather rushed into conceiving this new material...or maybe they reserved not enough time in finishing the albums' details!

Though I must notice that the spatial cosmic dimension keeps on embracing the whole musical atmosphere so that the staccato rhythms (from time to time in Viennese waltz style) wavelike yet in the same time extreme confer the same certain charm ARCTURUS used us with. I guess these were all the comments.
Otherwise, the album is an exceptional one presented and performed at the highest level. ARCTURUS' hallucinating Dark Black Metal simply admits no comparison with any other band...maybe, when certain conventional parts are implied, solely with old EMPEROR... ARCTURUS remains ARCTURUS and their music can never be confounded as it is just one of a kind! If you feel like listening to a sample of aggressiveness matured strangely with high melodiousness, a little avant-garde and plenty of progressive, all structured on classical background, in Chopin manner yet following a metallic line... well the new ARCTURUS is available! WINDS and ARCTURUS seem to be the bands of the spring and, for me, such audition brought into being a very special mood. I hope for you the same to happen...