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The Sham Mirrors


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Audio CD, April 9, 2002
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$11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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The Sham Mirrors + La Masquerade Infernale + Aspera hiems Symfonia/Constellation/My Angel
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Editorial Reviews


1. Kinetic
2. Nightmare Heaven
3. Ad Absurdum
4. Collapse Generation
5. Star-Crossed
6. Radical Cut
7. For To End Yet Again

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 9, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: The End Records
  • ASIN: B000063DHS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,605 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By IcemanJ VINE VOICE on November 27, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is a very intricate, intense album. I can't really compare to their earlier albums, don't have them yet, but i will get them soon. Keyboards are very well played, especially the intro to "Star-Crossed" and throughout "Collapse Generation," and the drumming is amazing, of course. Arcturus isn't afraid to innovate, as they do with songs like the chaotic "Radical Cut" with its weird lyrics and VERY SHORT BUT AWESOME solo at the end, "kinetic" with its industrial noises, and "For to End Yet Again" with its long ambiant part. The songs are heavy, but there is mostly clean singing, which usually has some good melodies. There is also some eerie "evil circus" melodies that Arcturus does best. I don't know if you would exactly call this black metal, maybe some form of more melodic, alternative, experimental black metal. Regardless, if you're into Scandinavian metal, this should be a CD that belongs in your collection.
You can download "Star-Crossed" at the label's website. It should give you a general understanding of what most of the songs are like, and if you like it you'll like the rest of the album.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John on October 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This, is easily in my top 15 albums of all time. This is beautiful, neo-classical Black Metal. While I always enjoyed Arcturus, this album took them to a new level, that few bands have even come close to reaching. The futuristic atmosphere/lyrics really seperate this band from the crowd. Plus, having members of Mayhem/Kovenant/Thorns/Ulver can't really hurt you when it comes to getting noticed. The reason I began investigating this band was Hellhammer, he is my favorite drummer period. His work on here is magical. Not as fast as later Mayhem but so well put together, he really sparks here. The keyboards here, are nothing short of beautiful. Sometimes they are in front of everything and they are the most powering insturment at the moment. Then other times, they blend in with the rest, to create something much bigger than itsself. Then, the almost classical guitar riffs will impress any musician and non musician alike.

This was definetly a departure for Arcturus, compared to the last few albums they released (and its a WHOLE different band from their Death Metal roots) As geeky as this sounds, it almost has an outerspace type vibe to it. Mostly because of Johnsen, whos magic behind the keys is hard to be matched (i.e Kinetic, Star-crossed, and For To End Yet Again) Also, you will notice the lyrical content, reflects the new found neo-classical outerspace vibe of this album. Much different than the anti Christian lyrics they had in years now passed. If you love the atmosphere that bands like Nokturnal Mortum, Anthems era Emperor and Limbonic Art then i'm sure you will definetly find enjoyment in this album.

Another positive for this album, is the vocals. They are all clean and Rex does not hold back like I felt he may have (even just a little) on previous Arcturus releases.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "clarkus@hotmail.com" on April 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I think that this is Arcturus' best album by far. It takes the complexity, innovative sound from La Masquerade Infernale, and extracts all teh silly goofy aspects. They've gotten back to their black metal roots a little bit, but only one song has "dirty" vocals, and they don't try to be scary. Which is always anoying in a metal band, imho. Multiple listens will bear new appreciation for each song, and it's one of the few cds that, while being a good listen, is actually NOT BORING to listen to! A must have for anyone who remotely likes swedish metal, but without all the satanic silliness.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr D. on March 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Norwegian Black Metal band Arcturus (originally Death Metal and named Mortem) was formed in 1987 and became Arcturus in 1990. Founding members consisted of Steinar (Sverd) Johnsen (guitar), Jan Axel (Hellhammer) Blomberg (drums)and Marius Vold (bass). In 1993 Sverd also a capable keyboardist laid down his axe and returned to his primary instrument - keyboards. With the addition of a vocalist and another guitar player the band was finally complete and they released their first studio album, Aspera Hiems Symphonia in 1994. I listened to this album once and it was still too extreme to appeal to me. Subsequently they released La Masquerade Infernale in late 1996. Many people think this is Arcturus's best album but it doesn't really appeal to me.

After apparently taking their time Arturus released Sham Mirrors in 2002 to critical acclaim. This is a very interesting journey into Progressive Black Metal. In the previous two albums the music was consistently dark. Arcturus really changed their sound on Sham Mirrors providing extensive use of keyboards including some solos and a lighter faster edge. The music is quite varied from song to song and is diverse enough and spontaneous enough to be appreciated by fans of everything from Jazz through Progressive rock to Black Metal. No promises now but if you like to experiment Sham Mirrors may be up your alley.

Sham Mirrors opens with "Kinetic" a frantic heavy beat number whose limited vocals sound distant at first like somebody singing under water. The pace is medium but varied with some sound effects and some nifty keyboards.
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