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Sheer Brilliance - 100%

Guy, March 28th, 2004

The odd ball symphonic black metal super group makes their most out of body release yet. Arcturus is probably the most creative and elusive force in this confusing mix of cosmo metal to date. More keyboar driven on this release, and Garms vocals are way differant, more an alternative rockish tone but dont let that turn you off, he does in a way that captures your attention and adds emphasis and beauty to the songs.

Kinetic the album opener starts the ball rolling with some amazing drums and some sludgey riffs, backed by beautiful keyboard as usuall. Garm gives you a taste of his beautiful croonings with a catchy "oooooooooOOOOooooooOOOOoooooo!" you have to listen to see what i mean. After all that it goes in some weird computer-ish vocal things with of course some amazing drumming still going. This is probably one of the odder tracks on the album, full of weird effects (i think you hear a sheep or goat about 1:46 into it???wtf??) But eventually garm starts singing again, and you'll see what i mean with the more rocker vocals, but i think it makes the track better. Definatly an epic opener that goes into many directions...but what else would oyu excpect from arcturus

Nightmare Heaven is a guitar driven song for the most part, even though it still gets out washed by lots of keyboard fills. But thats just for the first 2 minutes, then everything stops excpect this techno beat that goes on while a bunch of random weird stuff happens again, then theres a guitar solo, very muted and muffled, but its there. Another diverse track filled with little things that you will listen to it 10 times just wondering, what the hell were they thinking? And why the hell do i like it?

Next is Ad absurdum follows suite with Arcturus' style, but is more black metalish in its approach this time, the guitar actually stays present for more then 3 quarters of the song this time. Garms vocals i think shine on this track better then any other, specially the distant chorus' near the end.

Collapsed Generation is one of the better tracks on the album, as it mainly focus' on drums and keyboard, the pounding double bass and harmonys of the piano are amazingly beautiful. At 2 minutes everything stops tempo, and they throw a weird little...xylophone i almost want to say..but whatever it is it's a nice touch..then it turns back to a firey blast beat and more guitar and keys. Not much emphasis on the vocals this go around,

Another melodic keyboard opening on Star Crossed, you can see the talent of keyboard player steiner coming through on this track more then any other on the album i would say. After the 1:30 piano opening, it goes into another trademark Arcturus song, garm has a little more opratic vocals on this one, very catchy song if i do say so myself. we hear some more weird computer vocals in this one to.

Our favorite metal vocalist makes a cameo on this one, none other then Ishan from our good friends Emperor. His vocals make a very interesting contrast, and fits well into the album. This is an Emperor-ish song i would say, at least whenever emperor is at their most classically influenced. When Ishan and Garm both start going at it, it's one of the better moments on the album

Then last but certainly not least, is For to end yet again, the adventurous closer that caps the whole album off. A confusing little keyboard intro thinhgy, i cant really explain it, but it drives into a whirlwind track when the drums kick in and garm kicks his vocals into high gear, an amazingly sing songy tune, specially the chorus part when he says FORRRRR TO ENNNNDDD....YEEEEETTTT AGAIN!
But what makes this song stand out as the runaway best track is the 4 minutes piano/keyboard interlude. I must have listened to that part over 15 times when i first listened to the song, but after that....right back where they left off.

Arcturus is one hard band to get your arms around, they have gone in so many differant directions is hard to tell what their next move is. But hopefully this isnt there last effort, Arcturus is in my opinion the most original and innovative metal bands i have heard to date.