Experimentation continues? - you ask yourself before listening to this album. "La Masquerade Infernale
" was a great surprise by it's time, when Arcturus
changed everything and created their own personal music style and now, "The Sham Mirrors" indicates that they will still on the same path, by judging it's title!
The work starts with "Kinetic
" and yes, the style is there, no more black metal but a different sound, not progressive, not everything you may call it, so "Masquerade
" is here to stay, but if you are not surprised by this (good) song, what can you say when you listen to "Nightmare Heaven
"? The song is so full of everything, it's so rich in every aspect that I'd dare to say it's one of the best metal/alternative songs I've ever heard! From great vocals, to great details all over, this is Arcturus
at it's best and after I listened to this song for the first time, I had to go back and listen to it once again, such is the brilliance it has! Things won't stop by here!
"Ad Absurdum" keeps the same madness path with such elaborated melodies, with great keyboards (take a listen to this song by concentrating on the keyboards and you understand what I mean), vocals are perfect and of course, no flaws in drumming and guitar play. It's an absurdum they keep doing such great songs!
The remaining album keeps showing great creativity, with brilliant moments that you keep your mind in Arcturus
space, somewhere trapped inside your own mind, somewhere lost in space, somewhere in their and your own nightmares...
On "Aspera Hiems
Symphony" they had a great black metal moment, with unforgettable songs, on "La Masquerade Infernale
" they dared to jump over the fence of normality in great style and now, well, now this is it: I believe that "The Sham Mirrors" is their definitive album, their true masterpiece, the album where they make all the difference and the one they'll be remembered for. There is no such thing as perfect albums, this is not perfect too, they have songs that end with fading volume, they have one or other musical detail that is not so great but if that's the only thing we can point at this well, it means that we have to dig very deep to find something that we don't like so much.