avantgarde metal

Arcturus is an avant-garde metal band from Oslo, Norway featuring many prominent members of the Norwegian black metal scene from bands such as Ulver, Dimmu Borgir, Mayhem, Borknagar, The Kovenant, Emperor, and Winds. Arcturus have experimented throughout their career, extracting influences and incorporating elements from all over the musical spectrum including black metal and classical music, but the core of their sound has always been metal. Arcturus was originally formed in 1987 as a death metal act, named Mortem. They released a demo tape in 1989, titled “Slow Death”. The line-up consisted of Hellhammer (Jan Axel Blomberg) on drums, Sverd (Steinar Sverd Johnsen) on keyboards, and Marius Vold on bass/vocals. In 1990, they changed their name to Arcturus, which is the name of a star, meaning Bear Guardian. “My Angel”, their debut EP, was released on 8 July 1991. In 1993 the original line-up was changed when bassist/vocalist Marius Vold was taken out of the band. Arcturus soon became labeled a black metal supergroup, consisting of Garm (Kristoffer Rygg of Ulver) on vocals, Carl August Tidemann on guitar, Skoll (Hugh Stephen James Mingay) on bass, and the two other original members, Hellhammer on drums, and Steinar Sverd Johnsen as main composer/keyboards player. In 1995, Arcturus released “Aspera Hiems Symfonia”. Acclaimed to be one of the most innovative black metal album ever, it is a mix of early 1990s Norwegian black metal, classical melodies and a refined touch of nordic coldness. The lyrics concentrate on the themes of winter and the darkness of night.

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