Rating:
9.0
Arcturus - The Sham Mirrors
2002


01. Kinetic
02. Nightmare Heaven
03. Ad Absurdum
04. Collapse Generation
05. Star-Crossed
06. Radical Cut
07. For To End Yet Again


Arcturus… Maybe the best band coming from Norway; the proof is obvious when you listen to their compositions, read their lyrics, when you become one with their artistic concerns while following their conjectural manoeuvres in the dark. After the dark feeling of "Aspera Hiems Symfonia" and the intellectual darkness of "La Masquerade Infernale" Arcturus with "The Sham Mirrors" take us on an intergalactic journey to the stars, to the infinite wisdom of the almighty universe through chaos and feelings never felt before, through a "nightmare heaven" to a "collapse generation".

Garm sounding so bizarre yet great and various as never before, Sverd through his astral projections evoking visions of the universe in front of the very eyes of the listener, Hellhammer surpassing the speed of light in an aenaon course among the galaxies and Valle and Gravem holding with their guitar and bass guitar playing, holding the edges of a "star-crossed" universe. The black metal days have passed, yet the essence is still alive through the Norwegian riffing at times. Art metal is what Arcturus play, art metal with all the meaning that define such a powerful word, "art". Are you ready to stare at "the sham mirrors" of the universe, to cherish the wisdom of a time when only the stars could see? Are you ready to embrace the infinite chaos of the sober universe and dwell among the mysteries of a foreign place on a foreign time? Press the play button and change dimension…

…"Kinetic", Sverd's keyboard ideas and the sequencer's effects slowly and steadily transport you to a place where "light has departed from this black sun" and the messenger of this dark new era is Garm Trickster with his mesmerizing vocals! And the journey goes on reaching a "Nightmare Heaven" where the melodies of the distorting stars in the everlasting space echo through Sverd's keyboard melodies and the guitar's solos and ideas and of course Garm's unearthly unequalled voice!

"Ad Absurdum" continues the astral journey in a heavier yet so expressive and theatrical way to reach the "Collapse Generation" where you lose yourself in a whirling wind to reach for a few moments a place of peace and then the storm continues raging on…

…And then there was silence, a sweet piano melody follows… "Star-Crossed", filled with the calmness of the universe, a tranquil atmosphere with some heavier and bizarre out-breaks. A black metal cosmic storm rages on, "Radical Cut", with Ihsahn howling and the Arcturus' dramatic personas accompanying him, where Sverd paints the pallet of the full of stars sky with universal colors!

"For to end yet Again" ends the astral journey leaving behind a bittersweet taste of the end… Passing through black holes and reaching moments of tranquility this ten-minute opus and so the whole journey through "The Sham Mirrors" of universe, reaches its end… Yet, as long as the universe will keep on standing the journey will keep on going…

Tranquility and solitude among the stars:
"Nevermind take this lamp we are beyond light…"


Band profile: Arcturus
Album: The Sham Mirrors


 



Written on 30.08.2004 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
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buttsechs - 13.11.2006 at 23:48  
Very good review Roz. I really love this album also. Their best release, in my opinion.
dismaleuphony - 19.02.2007 at 08:07  
Many times, I give out 10s to CDs because they are better than a 9, but not necessarily a "10." This CD, however, is an all out 10 in my opinion, and I've still yet to hear anything like it. The vocals are out of this world, and those piano melodies you write of, are haunting - to say the least. This CD is so crisp, and so slick in terms of production, and is rather different than the rest of the band's releases. I never was a fan before this release, and never have been a fan since, but this CD stands alone as one of my all time favorites!
Danny Thomas - 25.02.2007 at 03:05  
Written by dismaleuphony on 19.02.2007 at 08:07

Many times, I give out 10s to CDs because they are better than a 9, but not necessarily a "10." This CD, however, is an all out 10 in my opinion, and I've still yet to hear anything like it. The vocals are out of this world, and those piano melodies you write of, are haunting - to say the least. This CD is so crisp, and so slick in terms of production, and is rather different than the rest of the band's releases. I never was a fan before this release, and never have been a fan since, but this CD stands alone as one of my all time favorites!


i honestly couldn't have said it better myself. i agree with you on every point. i had gotten ahold of a copy of la masqerade infernal, and didn't really like it. then i heard a copy of sideshow symphonies and i thought it was pretty flat, nothing special, so i pretty much brushed acrturus away. but a few months later a friend of mine sent me the sham mirrors and told me to give it a shot, so i did and it's possibly one of the most creative albums ive ever heard. and also in my top 20 favorite albums of all time
Stalker - 07.09.2007 at 23:35  
Nicely written review, indeed.

EDIT: Damn. Ive read the review once more, and I realized its the bloody best review Ive read on MetalStorm! Damn, the way you wrote it, the review itself is ART.
Marcus - 03.03.2008 at 04:33  
I really like this album, but the beginning of kinetic is so odd. It has been described to me as "robot sex".
Uirapuru - 26.03.2008 at 19:43  
as every album that has any touch by ICS Vortex... this album comes close to perfection.
Powerslavex - 27.11.2008 at 16:13  
Arcturus Best album, it has a unique sound
Elio - 18.01.2009 at 18:35  
I totally agree with the vote and the beautiful review, this album is a must.
Array - 15.03.2009 at 20:38  
Written by Uirapuru on 26.03.2008 at 19:43

as every album that has any touch by ICS Vortex... this album comes close to perfection.


ICS Vortex was doing something else when Arcturus did The Sham Mirrors.
Dominus - 15.03.2009 at 21:25  
Very good album.
Uirapuru - 14.04.2009 at 06:42  
Written by Array on 15.03.2009 at 20:38

Written by Uirapuru on 26.03.2008 at 19:43

as every album that has any touch by ICS Vortex... this album comes close to perfection.


ICS Vortex was doing something else when Arcturus did The Sham Mirrors.


Oh yeah... thats true, it was Trickster's voice.. I just screw up in that post
Leiken - 01.05.2009 at 04:55  
I think that this is one of the best albums I've ever heard from any band ever!
Vitriolic Hate - 31.12.2009 at 00:02  
The last great album of Arcturus!!
Carl Berg - 06.01.2013 at 03:03  
One hell of an album. Unique in sound, psychedelic in composition and epic in all proportions.

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