Arcturus - Sideshow Symphonies review
|Release date:||September 2005|
01. Hibernation Sickness Complete
02. Shipwrecked Frontier Pioneer
04. Nocturnal Vision Revisited
05. Evacuation Code Deciphered
06. Moonshine Delirium
07. White Noise Monster
Arcturus are one of those bands… I'm sorry, I used the wrong word! Lets start again from the beginning. Arcturus are one of those pieces of Art that don't remain static, they redefine their overall existence while remaining recognizable and always exploring different and various dimensions of their infinite majesty.
Garm is history as far as this band is concerned; however, for all those that consider this release some kind of betrayal and can't get past the fact that this fabulous interpreter/artist is no longer part of this intellectual phenomenon, they should just learn to cooperate with Arcturus' evolution. They never consisted only of Garm, but they always were an entity of many personalities pouring themselves into every release. The ideal replacement for Garm could only be Siemen "ICS Vortex" Hestnaes, an interpreter with whom Arcturus is not working for the first time as they cooperate since he had taken part in the monumental "La Masquerade Infernale".
"Sideshow Symphonies" ranges between raging and esoteric, serene, atmospheric passages, whereas a dark melancholic mantle veils the album through its overall duration. Sverd, the ship captain, remains an exceptional and charismatic composer and his playing abilities become more fabulous with every Arcturus release, making us, their fans, wonder which peak of greatness he will reach in the future. The piano and the keyboard melodies evoke a fragile, dark, introvert atmosphere that casts its beautiful spell on the listener. They also evoke nightmares in front of his very eyes with the more intense and surrounding nocturnal soundscapes that are explored (with the FX adding a beautifully eerie touch).
The guitar work is wonderful and inspired and every passage has been played in an absolutely unerring way, whether we are talking about the riffing or the twisted solos, or some creative parts here and there. The drumming… Really now, were you expecting me to talk about the drumming of "Sideshow Symphonies" since the drummer of the band is the one and only Hellhammer? The drumming is just unerring, stunning, artistic and really varied in terms of tempos and technique. The bass lines are fabulous, adding a nocturnal pulse to the overall aesthetic of the album; however, they could have been a bit more in the foreground of the production.
Siemen Hestnaes is an utterly expressive and emotional interpreter and he gives his very own touch to the sound of Arcturus. Vocally and lyrically he is pouring his soul to the astral melancholy and esoteric darkness of the band's sideshow symphonies. Now, if you'd like me to mention some highlights from an album of Arcturus it would be something very difficult since the band we're talking about is an all-star artistic act and thus it would be pointless to "cut" the album into pieces like that. Every Arcturus release consists of an entity that flows as one. Just feel like a "shipwrecked frontier pioneer" and enter the "moonshine delirium".
"Sideshow Symphonies" is a sincere and inspired presentation of sounds, pictures and emotions harmonizing together in the most appropriate way. The masks have redefined their existence and they drowned in the obscurity of the stars…
||Written on 19.10.2005 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."|
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