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Arcturus: Shipwrecked in Oslo (DVD)

Apparently, seeing a live show from Norway's avant-metal band Arcturus is an experience like nothing you will ever see. Don't believe that statement? Well, order up a copy of Shipwrecked in Oslo and see for yourself. Most of us here in the US haven't had a chance to check out this unique band in a live environment, so this DVD will be the next best thing to doing so. Recorded on September 21st, 2005 in Oslo, Norway, Arcturus pulled out all the stops and gave the fans a truly cinematic and musical presentation, delivering their fascinating blend of symphonic black metal, avant-garde, progressive rock, theatrical, gothic, power & progressive metal. Arcturus has changed band members fairly frequently over the years, but here we see the same line-up that has held pretty constant the last few years, and that would be drummer Hellhammer (Dimmu Borgir, Mayhem, Winds), singer Simen "Vortex" Hestnaes (Dimmu Borgir, ex-Borknagar), Steiner "Sverd" Johnson on keyboards, guitarists Knut Magne Valle & Tore Moren, and bassist Tore Moren. Joining them are a slew of costumed actors and dancers, adding to the theatricality and circus atmosphere of this concert (most of the band is also garbed in flashy attire and makeup as well).

A nice cross selection of material from the band's career is played here, but it focuses mostly on their more recent releases Sham Mirrors, Sideshow Symphonies, and La Masquerade Infernale. Lead vocalist Vortex again shows his wide range, proving that his excellent clean and backing vocals in Dimmu Borgir and previously in Borknagar are no fluke and he can do it all. The guitar work is quite tasty throughout from both players, although at times they are a little buried behind the overwhelming keyboard symphonies from Johnson, who really steals the show and adds plenty of prog rock style to these songs. And what can you say about Mr. Hellhammer? The guys is practically a legend of the black metal scene, having cut his teeth for many years with Mayhem and lately with Dimmu Borgir and Wind. His relentless blast beats and tricky meters are a joy to watch and hear, and he's in fine form throughout this set. With a full light show, slides, and the myriad of dancers and costumed characters, this is part symphonic metal concert and part avant-garde circus opera. Bottom line is, it's all very entertaining, well played, and an irresistible watch.

Bonus features are fairly limited, but you get some interesting behind the scenes rehearsal footage and video clips, and a slide show. The meat and potatoes though is the killer main concert in full blown 5.1 surround sound-too bad this spectacular show is not available on CD as well.

This is what any concert that is called "an event" should be...check it out.

Track Listing

  1. intro
  2. Ad Absurdum
  3. Nightmare Heaven
  4. Shipwrecked Frontier pioneer
  5. Alone
  6. Deception Genesis
  7. Chaos Path
  8. Tore Guitar solo
  9. Deamon Painter
  10. Nocturnal Vision revisited
  11. Painting my horror
  12. Steinar keyboard solo
  13. Hufsa
  14. Master of disguise
  15. Knut Guitar solo
  16. White noise monster
  17. Reflections
  18. Raudt Og Svart

Added: February 26th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Arcturus Website
Hits: 2692
Language: english

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