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Review: Arcturus - Sideshow Symphonies
Sideshow Symphonies

Label: Season Of Mist
Year released: 2005
Duration: 50:33
Tracks: 9
Genre: Unclassifiable

Rating: 3/5

Review online: October 26, 2005
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers Rating
Sideshow Symphonies

Rated 3/5 (60%) (11 Votes)

With the release of genre defying albums such as "La Masquerade Infernale" and "The Sham Mirrors" Arcturus had quickly become a band in its own league virtually untouchable by their peers. And just how exactly do you reach over to the majesty of something like "LMI" or "Sham Mirrors"? Well you just don't. And unfortunately, the slump in quality in Arcturus' case is quite large.

It was truly a shock and a rather large disappointment for me to sit through this album keeping in mind the genius that this band had delivered us in the past. Vocalist Garm has departed and in comes Mr. ICS Vortex (Borknagr, Dimmu Borgir) and that is only part of the reason why "Sideshow Symphonies" does not live up to expectations. In addition, the lyrical content is just downright boring. The guitars are just decent but the accent that they received from the keyboards in the past is completely lacking on this album. The keyboards, as well as the guitars have wandered off too far into Prog territory and it actually gets on your nerves sometimes if you are hoping to hear similar instrumental interplay as on previous releases.

Taking this album on its own terms and for what it is on the other hand, it still gives the listener a decent dose of dark avant-garde metal. But I for one am not too excited about it as Arcturus truly were a unique band. If "Sideshow Symphonies" is an indication of where this band is headed, I am not exactly interested in what this band has to offer in the future.

A behemoth of a disappointment, but listenable nevertheless.

Other related information on the site
Review: La Masquerade Infernale (reviewed by Dakuroth)
Review: The Sham Mirrors (reviewed by Christian Renner)
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