ARCTURUS — La Masquerade Infernale (review)

ARCTURUS — La Masquerade Infernale album cover Album · 1997 · Avant-garde Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Warthur
Black metal supergroup Arcturus took a decidedly avant-garde turn with this release, which features long stretches of material which aren't reminiscent of extreme metal at all if you ignore the standard black metal lyrical obsession with Satan. Shrieked vocals and blast beats make only brief, momentary appearances on this album and semi-spoken clean vocals and cello passages reminiscent of some sort of baroque-era reimagining of rock opera. To be honest, it's the sort of material which isn't for everyone - it was a long time before I eventually warmed to it - but if it does click with you you'd probably enjoy it a lot. Adventurous metal fans should probably give it a try at some point but shouldn't feel too bad if it goes over their head at first. (I would tend to put The Sham Mirrors above this one, since here there's some rather muddled moments in the mix which needlessly obscures some of what Arcturus is trying to do.)
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