Arcturus - The Sham Mirrors review



Reviewer:
9.0

611 users:
8.83
Band: Arcturus
Album: The Sham Mirrors
Release date: 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…"


 



Written on 30.08.2004 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."


Comments

Comments: 13   Visited by: 304 users
13.11.2006 - 23:48
buttsechs
Account deleted
Very good review Roz. I really love this album also. Their best release, in my opinion.
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19.02.2007 - 08:07
Jason W.
Razorbliss
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!
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"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley
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25.02.2007 - 03:05
Danny Thomas
Written by Jason W. 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
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Our children are dead. Burnt in the ruins that were left by war.
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07.09.2007 - 23:35
Stalker
Lone wanderer
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.
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03.03.2008 - 04:33
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie
I really like this album, but the beginning of kinetic is so odd. It has been described to me as "robot sex".
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26.03.2008 - 19:43
Uirapuru
Liver Failure
as every album that has any touch by ICS Vortex... this album comes close to perfection.
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member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
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27.11.2008 - 16:13
Powerslavex
Alexskywalker
Arcturus Best album, it has a unique sound
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18.01.2009 - 18:35
Elio
Red Nightmare
I totally agree with the vote and the beautiful review, this album is a must.
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IntoPlighT said: "Slipknot is 15 years old how the fuck is that Nu metal?"

BEST. QUOTE. EVER.
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15.03.2009 - 21:25
Dominus
The Shooter
Very good album.
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14.04.2009 - 06:42
Uirapuru
Liver Failure
Written by Guest 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
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member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
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01.05.2009 - 04:55
Leiken
Account deleted
I think that this is one of the best albums I've ever heard from any band ever!
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31.12.2009 - 00:02
Vitriolic Hate
Chaos Reaper
The last great album of Arcturus!!
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06.01.2013 - 03:03
Carl Berg
Carl Berg
One hell of an album. Unique in sound, psychedelic in composition and epic in all proportions.
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