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Beautiful... - 99%

Marte666, October 3rd, 2004

It’s common knowledge that I like a lot of music and lots of styles outside the metal spectrum, as long as it’s well performed, coherent music. Many “avant garde” bands manage to get on my nerves and give me the wrong kind of goosebumps somehow tho. Not Arcturus, as the title of this review reveals already: I really love this album. It has shit to do with black metal anymore in my opinion but it’s great. On to the songs:

Master of Disguise – this song starts with the opera vocals already, giving away what you can expect for the rest of this album. You hear high and low vocals together, very good. The music has lotsa unique keyboard riffs even, good start.

Ad Astra – probably my favorite song on this cd. It is almost a neoclassical song, great musician skills, the strings are really beautiful in this song. I feel that describing in detail what happens in this song musically is kinda like giving a secret away, so all I’ll tell other than that it’s a great piece of music is that only in the last minutes there are some vocals. They are barely missed. Really great.

The Chaos Path – Vortex does the vocals at this track and while his voice is a matter of to like or not to like this is a good ong too (it gets boring, I know) some reviewer mentioned that Vortex sounds like the vocals on Pink Floyd’s The Trial and I think that’s correct. Also notice the “break beats” at the end of the song, lol.

La Masquerade Infernale – Title song, instrumental and odd piece of keyboard music.

Alone – A poem from Edgar Allan Poe put on music. What I really like with this song is how the music is almost at black metal speed at times (Hellhammer shows his skills in the intro) but the singing is rather slow and almost “against” the melody lines in the music but it all fits together. My dad said the singer reminded him of Metallica’s Hetfield (well old school Metallica, heh) and I actually kinda agree with him. Other than that I’m personally touched by the Poe’s poem.

The Throne of Tragedy – my least favorite, the jazzy parts in it just don’t do it for me but due to the great musicianship it’s still a very good song. The lyrics are a translated poem from Jørn Henrik Sværen

Painting My Horror – Vortex again, this song really has a surprising turn in the middle and it’s like an evil kind of circusmusic you hear at the end.

Of Nails and Sinners – this is a more “standard” Arcturus new style song but I really liked it, also the keyboards in this song did work out really well.

Conclusion: this is a great piece of art. I just don’t give 100 points, never, because in my opinion a perfect work of art doesn’t excist, there’ll always be something better somewhere. This reaches perfectness tho. If you like more experimental music, neoclassical rock and you got no problem with a good old touch of evilness and satanism, you should get this album, NOW! Hehe.