Formed in late 1990 in Norway, metal maestros ARCTURUS became a central player in the scene due to their unique, symphonic, avant-garde styled music. Luckily for us, the band also announced a streaming concert on 21 May 2020 and we were front-row to witness their performance for the very first time.
Donned in bizarre attire, ARCTURUS entered the stage with the peculiar “Evacuation Code Deciphered.” As the song progresses, the band seemed to get more and more used to the idea that there was no audience and played their unique music more comfortably. Without any introductions and in complete silence, the quintet soon dove into the next track of their set, “Master of Disguise.” With incredible blast beats and heavy riffs, their great musicianship is undeniable and a vast wealth of experience through many years of performing emanates on the stage; yet another of the plethora of reasons that make this band so unique.
“Alone,” based on an Edgar Allan Poe poem, was a perfect next transition into a nicely built-up setlist. The slightly more dreamy piece is a perfect break from the intensity of the rest of their songs and offered the first highlight in the setlist. Another progressive masterpiece followed with “Crashland,” which truly showcased the diversity of frontman ICS Vortex’s voice. Focusing on the music and without any interaction with their virtual audience, the band continued with the epic “The Arcturian Sign.”
“The Chaos Path,” again, showcased just how difficult these vocal lines are and ICS Vortex delivered them flawlessly, executed in perfection alongside the other great musicians; a razor-sharp performance. Next, “Collapse Generation” was a bit more of an aggressive, raw, black metal-styled song that held a steady and fast pace up until its ending. An iconic track such as “Shipwrecked Frontier Pioneer” captivated the listener with its massiveness and its live rendition was almost hypnotizing. “To Thou Who Dwellest in the Night” continued with a very fast pace and gnarly raw vocals with its legendary, compelling solo, keeping up the high quality of their performance. The show continued with the incredible “Du Nordavind,” sang in their native language; this song always manages to give me shivers. Hauntingly beautiful. ARCTURUS ended the set with “Deception Genesis,” a perfect mysterious way to end a perfectly executed performance.
Up-to-date, ARCTURUS is still unsurpassed, mysterious, and an utterly unique band that can’t be compared with just about anything. Their strange and peculiar music, filled with creepy, demented, brilliant, and often beautiful moments create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that the band takes advantage of during their shows. ARCTURUS is not a band that needs to talk a lot to their audience; they speak through their music, which is something not every band is nowadays capable of. Thus, the band managed to create a unique streaming concert with an incredible atmosphere that was able to move many viewers alike around the globe. Sadly, the concert was a little bit short, clocking in at just over an hour, but it was definitely worth it considering that the band managed to deliver a set that was as interesting as it was utterly perplexing.
1. Evacuation Code Deciphered
2. Master of Disguise
5. The Arcturian Sign
6. The Chaos Path
7. Collapse Generation
8. Shipwrecked Frontier Pioneer
9. To Thou Who Dwellest In The Night
10. Du Nordavind
11. Deception Genesis