As a collaborative effort, The Monolith staff run down their favourite albums released each month and present them to you, as a list, with words and pictures and music. It’s much like a lecture at the university of awesome, only you don’t have to look at us or make notes really. Best school ever.
Here’s May’s list, starting with:
Arcturus – Arcturian
The year of 2015 has been very, very good to weird trans-black metal bands. Sigh, Dodheimsgard, Maladie, and pertinent to this entry, the Norwegian second wave refuges Arcturus.
Arcturian is their comeback album after ten years away. Their last, Sideshow Symphonies, was met with mixed reviews, but Arcturian is more than acceptable as a return for the legends – in fact, it’s downright excellent. The songs occasionally incorporate electronic elements while maintaining the ghostly extreme prog sounds for which Arcturus are known.
While the drum sounds are a little on the meh side, the keyboards make up for it with some wonderfully cheesy and cold patches – and of course, Hellhammer’s drumming is more than competent enough to make up for it. Vortex’s vocals are spot on, though his melodies are a bit same-y sometimes.
Arcturian is an excellent album for the band to release as their return to glory. Their peers in Enslaved put out a better progressive black metal album this year already, but that hardly detracts from Arcturus’ excellence as well. A great album from a legendary band.