Review of "The Sham Mirrors" by Norwegian Avant Garde Metal Band Arcturus

Updated on May 13, 2020
CELEBSFAN78 profile image

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

"the Sham Mirrors" Front Album Cover

The front album cover for The Sham Mirrors.
The front album cover for The Sham Mirrors. | Source

What Is Arcturus?

Arcturus is a Norwegian Avant Garde metal band from Oslo, Norway known for its atmospheric, symphonic style of metal. I thought of giving their 2002 album The Sham Mirrors a review so that metal fans can see that there is indeed more than just traditional heavy metal, thrash metal, power metal, or even death metal. So who plays on this album?

"the Sham Mirrors" Lineup

Kristoffer Rygg- all vocals

Knut M. Valle- guitars

Steiner Sverd Johnsen- keyboards

Dag F. Gravem- bass guitars

Hellhammer (also known as Jan Axel Blomberg) - drums

Track Listing for The Sham Mirrors

  1. Kinetic
  2. Nightmare Heaven
  3. Ad Absurdum
  4. Collapse Generation
  5. Star-Crossed
  6. Radical Cut
  7. For to End Yet Again

"The Sham Mirrors" (part 1)

The album has only seven songs on it for over 43 minutes of very enjoyable music. The first song Kinetic has very beautiful riffs and is about going into space only to escape from it because there has been this kind of darkness that has enveloped the place. The album only gets better with the next song called Nightmare Heaven. The operatic style of vocalist Kristoffer Rygg (also known by his stage name of Garm) really makes you want to listen to this song. King Diamond would be really proud of this kind of vocal effort. He does however use clean vocals to his advantage. The song is about a kingdom that has been affected by much snowfall and a lot of negative energy. Even so, the song will help keep the listener in a good mood due to Garm’s vocals and terrific musicianship. Ad Absurdum is about trying to fight to rid the world of skeletons and ghosts. These kinds of monsters have been very famous in the Castlevania series. This third song has lots of chanting in it.

The Terrific Song Called "Nightmare Heaven"

The Sham Mirrors: A Brief Review of the 2002 Album (Part 2)

The lyrics for The Sham Mirrors are said to be based on science fiction themes. "Star-Crossed" features the use of piano as the guitar gets included to provide us with an interesting contrast. "Radical Cut" is where we hear a death metal like raspy growl for the first time. In the song "For to End Yet Again," there is a political reference as the band tries to bring up the flaws of the Euro currency and there is a call to stop terrorism. You can see it if you read the lyrics yourself. Once again, the keyboards are used in this last song of the album. Overall, The Sham Mirrors is a pretty solid album and will appeal to fans of Norwegian metal. This album gets a score of 80 out of 100 points.

The song called "Kinetic"

Favorite song on The Sham Mirrors

What is your favorite song on The Sham Mirrors?

See results

Has The Sham Mirrors stood the test of time as we are in 2020? It certainly has and from the first song, you get the feeling that this is going to be a special album. What this ends up becoming is an atmospheric metal album with beautiful orchestration and science fiction style lyrics. Normally, albums that only have seven songs are not considered full length albums but this one is and it feels like it is a full-length album given that it is over 43 minutes long. The main highlight or defining moment in this album is the song called Nightmare Heaven. In spite of this song’s title, this is not a nightmare but a musical song that is so well crafted and created I don’t know if they could have done any better at that time. The electronic part in the middle leads to a beautiful techno part and then there is chanting followed by the last part of the song which is absolute brilliance. King Diamond’s Nightmare song cannot even compare to this one! The chant of “only the voice of falling snow” ends what is definitely one of the best songs in the career of Arcturus.

The Song Called "Ad Absurdum"

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Ara Vahanian


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)