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Atmospheric Black Metal (early), Avantgarde Metal (later)


1990, Oslo

Současný label:

Season of Mist Records


Hellhammer - Drums
Sverd - Guitars, Keyboards
Skoll - Bass
Knut Magne Valle - Guitars
ICS Vortex - Vocals


Marast databáze Myspace Homepage Wikipedia


Sideshow Symphonies

Sideshow Symphonies

neuvedeno, 2005
La Masquerade infernale

La Masquerade infernale

neuvedeno, 1997


Arcturus were an avant-garde metal band from Norway featuring many prominent members of the Norwegian black metal scene from bands such as Ulver, Dimmu Borgir, Mayhem, Borknagar, The Kovenant, Emperor, and Winds. Arcturus has experimented throughout their career, extracting influences and incorporating elements from all over the musical spectrum including black metal and classical music, but the band was rooted as a metal outfit.

Arcturus was formed in 1987 as death metal act Mortem. They released an EP and a demo under this name. In 1990, they changed their name to Arcturus, which is the name of a star and means "Guardian of Bears".

In 1995, Arcturus released "Aspera Hiems Symfonia" (latin form of Harsh Winter Symphony), acclaimed to be one of the most innovative black metal album ever. That line-up consisted of:
Garm (Kristoffer Rygg) - Vocals
Hellhammer (Jan Axel von Blomberg) - Drums
Sverd (Steinar Sverd Johnsen) - Synths
August (Carl August Tidemann) - Guitar
Skoll (Hugh Stephen James Mingay) - Bass (not assigned on album credits)

Aspera Hiems Symfonia is a mix of early 90s norwegian black metal, classical melodies, waltz and refined touch of nordic coldness. The lyrics concentrate on the themes of winter and the darkness of night.

"All music & words on Aspera Hiems Symfonia emanated from our souls profoundly". This phrase represents it perfectly.

In 1997 Arcturus released the much acclaimed "La Masquerade Infernale" album. The theatrical, almost carnivalesque, style built around Sverd's keyboard was introduced by the large vocals range of Garm (and guest Simen Hestnæs) and this became their trademark.

After a remix album "Disguised Masters", Arcturus offered their third major effort with "The Sham Mirrors", whose keyboards' dynamic melodies also received good reviews.

In 2004, their original vocalist Kristoffer Rygg (a.k.a. Garm of Ulver) was replaced by Simen Hestnæs (aka ICS Vortex) of Dimmu Borgir.

With "Sideshow Symphonies" (2005), Arcturus moved towards more progressive tones and a strong lunar sound, leant on a space trip concept narrated by Simen's ethereal voice. A DVD, "Shipwrecked In Oslo" was released in June 2006.

The band split up after the successful tour of Australia in March 2007.

In early September of 2009, after being ejected from Dimmu Borgir, Simen released a statement on his blog with the following quote:
"There is another meeting also planned with Arcturus members to discuss about the future of the band and a possible reunite."

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