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Review of the Album "La Masquerade Infernale" by Norwegian Avant Gard Metal Band Arcturus

Updated on April 10, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The Front Album Cover for La Masquerade Infernale


How is La Masquerade Infernale Different from the Band's Debut Album?

La Masquerade Infernale is the second studio album by Norwegian Avant Gard metal band Arcturus. The album was released in 1997 and musically it is a departure from their debut Aspera Hiems Symfonia in the sense that there is more of an atmospheric feel to it. Garm sings cleaner vocals which was unheard of on the band’s debut.

How is the Song Structure and Guitar Riffs for La Masquerade Infernale?

In terms of the song structure and riffing, it is slower and much more similar to Theatre of Tragedy. "Ad Astra" is a song that features some use of beautiful synthesizer as the atmosphere is set for what should be a very soothing experience for the ears of the avid metal fan. Instead of the doom and gloom song structure that you will hear from bands such as Tristania, Arcturus focuses on keyboard parts, time changes, and a vocal approach that also uses range and emotion.

About the First Four Songs Including Ad Astra

The song Ad Astra is about the person traveling all over but finding no solace or comfort in his life. As usual, it is going to be very difficult to interpret the lyrics of this band but at least with all the progressions and time changes, it will show the skill and talent of Arcturus. Master of Disguise is a song that is about being careful with whom we make friends with. Someone that may appear to be friendly to us on the surface is not actually friendly but they are showing a mask of themselves. In short, these kinds of people put on a sort of social mask to conceal who they really are. The Chaos Path is a song trying to point out that there is a storm that is coming, the atoms rising as the collective fear and despair of the population is rising as well. La Masquerade Infernale is a short instrumental that has the incessant keyboard play in it.

"Ad Astra"

The Songs Alone and The Throne of Tragedy are Based on Poems That Were Written

The song Alone is based lyrically on a poem by American poet Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). Kristoffer Rygg utters the words “my sorrow” and he is really able to extend his voice greatly with no strains. The Throne of Tragedy is based on a Norwegian poem. The song lyrically is about what happens in an unusual situation as there is blasphemy in heaven as the souls have fled their places and the evilness of man is being shown. Some humans have become so overwhelmed as the have been weighed down by the pressures of life.

The Significance of the Song Painting My Horror

Painting My Horror is a song that begins to tell the story of a man that could not see in the darkness of the night. He laid awake and started to paint, seeing the vastness of the subconscious mind. The portal to the deepest parts of his mind opens as he wonders who or what is pulling the strings of his life. He sees the pictures of life from a devil’s perspective as his whole mindset becomes skewed to see the evil nature of the world. Arcturus is writing this song for entertainment purposes and they lyrically write in a complex way but the beauty of their song constructions should be very appreciated. We are the architects of our own lives, not from an artist’s perspective but we really do have the power to create our reality as we go along and the way that this happens is through our thoughts. The song can be thought of what happens when someone uses the Law of Attraction in the wrong way.

Painting My Horror"

Final Thoughts About La Masquerade Infernale

Overall, La Masquerade Infernale is a very good album with complex lyrics to interpret but the Old English style should not deter you from listening to these talented Norwegians. The strongest songs in the album are all of them except the instrumental song which tends to repeat itself.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2018 Ara Vahanian


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