It’s rare that a death metal band catches my attention. And truthfully, I’m not sure that “death metal” is a fair label for these guys because they have a pretty unique sound. Can you name any other bands that use a piano or orchestra with their speed metal? Yah … neither can I. Vocally, they’re different too. Most death metal bands have that low, guttural muttering that’s virtually unintelligible beyond “GRRRRRRRRAAAAWWWWWWWWRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ……..” Truthfully, it’s not my cup of tea.
Arcturus, by way of comparison, have incorporated a rather interesting vocalist in Kristoffer Rygg (gotta remember … these guys are Norwegian). He performs the vocals on their first 3 full length studio offerings: Aspera Hiems Symfonia (1996), La Masquerade Infernale (1997), and The Sham Mirrors (2002). Simen Hestnæs took over on vocals for Sideshow Symphonies. Currently, I’m listening to The Sham Mirrors on my iPod because it’s the only Arcturus material that I have, but I plan on getting the rest of their CDs as soon as I can.
I fully admit that I’m not familiar with the genre of music at all, so I’m not really “qualified” to make comparisons or anything of the such. However, I can tell you that these guys are good. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of their catalog … especially in hearing how Sideshow Symphonies sounds when compared to the other 3 studio recordings.