Arcturus - Sideshow Symphonies
Season Of Mist
Avant-garde

Release year: 2005
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Daniel
Major event

All gather! The deception circus is back in town, with one of the most expected shows of the year and with a new ringmaster. Yes, these star juggling, madness invoking gentlemen are back to unwind seas of star-sound upon us.

With what could be their most structured and cohesive work to date, the group of lunatics also known as Arcturus present a less avant-garde version of the Sham Mirrors, yet recovering an itsy bit of the theatric and hysterical feeling of La Masquerade Infernale, mostly due to Simen Hestn├Žs (Dimmu Borgir, ex-Borknagar) approach as a singer. Remember that amazing song The Throne of Chaos from La Masquerade Infernale? Well, Simen follows that line throwing falsettos, maddening singing and even some growls thing that Garm never did on the recent Arcturus material.

Steinar "Sverd" Johnsen's synth and keyboard work is as always the highlight (at least for me) of the album. Sverd is the main orchestrator, covering and engulfing everything in symphonic inspired passages and atmospheric soundscapes like the blackness of the Universe and at the same time he illuminates all with beautiful sunbeams of keyboard runs; while Hellhammer's drum attack explodes like a supernova and the guitars soar like shooting stars. Sounds beautiful? Well, it is.

Arcturus prove comfortable with the sound they have created throughout the years and build upon it maintaining that very dramatic, obscure and space like sound that has made them famous, as well as showcasing superb musicianship and songwriting skills as always.

One of my major concerns about Sideshow Symphonies was Garm's retirement from the band, but this album proves that Arcturus wasn't only his child but a group effort, and even though I love Garm and prefer him over Simen, I must say he does an excellent job.

So fans of bombastic, progressive, original composed and unique sounding music will love this one, not to mention Arcturus fans. Maybe not as good as their previous works, but still a very worthy follow up.

Be ready to witness space extravaganza in all it's dark glory, be ready to witness one more show of the deception circus, Arcturus.

Killing Songs :
All of them
Daniel quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Arcturus that we have reviewed:
Arcturus - Arcturian reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
Arcturus - La Masquerade Infernale reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Arcturus - The Sham Mirrors reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
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