The Sham Mirrors
(The End Records)
Combining the best elements of prog and metal, Arcturus have created a soundscape that rivals Dream Theater, Opeth and Anathema. This disc features a member of Emperor as a guest, so darkness and heaviness are provided for. During their mellow moments they come close to have a similar sound to a more metallic Blackfield. This stuff on here is not happy and cheery, there is clearly an element of menace mixed amoung the flowing melodies and lush soundscapes. What strikes me as most amusing is that lead singer at times sounds a bit like the bloke from Dead or Alive mixed with a bit of Marilyn Manson. ‘Nightmare Heaven” combines keyboards, piano and Portishead like sound to give a wonderful dark wave sound. Still, given enough of an investment in time, this is a truly rewarding release. This is not their latest release, but was given to me by the band at their recent Inferno gig. It also should be pointed out they have a new label and a new singer. If you like dark power-prog this is an essential album. I like it more and more with each listen, and I am looking forward to the next release from this lot of nutters.