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Sad effort. - 50%

Stien_Says_Hi, April 26th, 2006

Arcturus have made some of the most elaborate, theatrical, beautifully insane music, and they're good at doing it. That's why it's so depressing to have to say this about them.

WHAT
THE
FUCK...?

This CD is boring. I feel that collectively, Arcturus have reached the end of their creativity together. Every CD before this one was a unique and evolving creation, always getting better and more addictive with each listen.

I anticipated this release for a long time, and when it finally happened, I felt the same way I did when I got to the end of the movie Scream 3; "This is it?"
"This is what the wait has come to"?
The CD opens like any good Sci-fi movie, some spacey ambience and mystical calliope. Simen and the rest of the instruments come in and the song is underway. But what we have here are overused guitar riffs and melodies that seem too familiar. Throughout the song you are waiting for that drastic change or crescendo and it just goes nowhere.
All of the songs are like this EXCEPT for Deamonpainter and Evacuation Code Deciphered.
Deamonpainter is an awesome song, it almost doesn't belong on this CD. It's very catchy and "groovy" in the beginning. This is one of the only songs that you can actually appreciate the nuance of each instrument as its played. This song also seems to showcase a great collaboration between Sverd and Knut Valle during the instrumental breaks.
Evacuation Code Deciphered should be on a Greatest Hits CD of theirs, if they had one. This song sounds basically how you would be expecting the rest of the CD to sound; Strange random vocals with lyrics that are weird but strangely relevant at the same time, keyboard melodies that are used enough to keep you interested without becoming repetitive, Hellhammer NOT sounding like he recorded his part over the weekend, etc.
This song follows no real pattern, but it's so damn catchy, and then it gets to the end of the song, and the end really makes you want to give a standing ovation; The female vocalist whose parts were inappropriately added throughout the rest of the CD returns and sings with Simen and it makes for one of their brightest moments as a band. Each octave and tune is sung with such emotion that you'll almost want to learn the song yourself to sing with them.

After this is basically filler.

Reflections is okay with some catchy parts, but I think they begin to try to get away with using some techniques they used in other places.

I mean, the rest of this CD is just THAT BORING. Evactuation Code Deciphered and Deamonpainter are this whole CD, but other then that, nothing else is memorable.

They'll probably release a CD next called "DEATH CULT MASQUERADE INFERNALE ENTHRONED BY A STORMBLAST SHAM MIRROR"