La Masquerade Infernale

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La Masquerade Infernale
La Masquerade Infernale.jpg
Studio album by Arcturus
Released October 27, 1997
Recorded December 1996 - May 1997 at Jester Studio
Genre Avant-garde metal, progressive metal, symphonic metal, black metal
Length 45:12
Label Music for Nations
Producer Kristoffer Rygg, Knut M. Valle
Arcturus chronology
Aspera Hiems Symfonia
(1996)Aspera Hiems Symfonia1996
La Masquerade Infernale
(1997)
Disguised Masters
(1999)Disguised Masters1999
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]

La Masquerade Infernale (the title meaning "the infernal masquerade" in French) is the second studio album by Arcturus. Released by Misanthropy Records in 1997, the album is a huge step away from the slow, doom-influenced melodic black metal of Aspera Hiems Symfonia. The album has a dark sound to it, featuring heavy use of synthesizers and samples, often making those elements more prominent than the guitar. Most of the songs revolve around the themes of theater, literature, and Satan. The characteristic screams of black metal are replaced by a gruff, low-toned clean vocal style, occasionally alternated with operatic singing or the bizarre high-pitched singing of guest singer Simen Hestnæs, who nine years later would replace Garm as the band's frontman. La Masquerade Infernale is regarded by many as Arcturus' masterpiece and one of the greatest examples of avant-garde metal. It was reissued in 2003 by Candlelight Records, given a somewhat louder remastering and without the hidden track before track 1.

The hybridization of avant-garde music, electronic music and progressive metal was used by Garm at the same time to make the Ulver album Themes from William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, released the following year.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Master of Disguise" 6:42
2. "Ad Astra" 7:40
3. "The Chaos Path" 5:33
4. "La Masquerade Infernale" (instrumental) 2:00
5. "Alone" 4:39
6. "The Throne of Tragedy" 6:33
7. "Painting My Horror" 5:59
8. "Of Nails and Sinners" 6:06
Total length: 45:12
  • The album is actually 1:27 longer because of the hidden pretrack on track 1.
  • Lyrics of "Alone" are taken from a poem by Edgar Allan Poe.

Easter Egg[edit]

Track 6 is subdivided into 66 parts. At the end of the track, the subtrack counter has increased to 66, making the display show 666.

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel and staff[edit]

  • Hans Josef Groh - cello
  • Dorthe Dreier - viola
  • Vegard Johnsen - violin
  • Svein Haugen - double bass
  • Simen Hestnæs - vocals on "The Chaos Path", backing vocals on "Master of Disguise" and "Painting My Horror"
  • Carl August Tidemann - lead guitars on "Ad Astra" and "Of Nails and Sinners"
  • Idun Felberg - cornet on "Ad Astra"
  • Erik Olivier Lancelot - flute on "Ad Astra"
  • Børge Finstad - mixing
  • Pål Klåstad - technician, engineering (strings)
  • Marius Bodin - engineering (drums)
  • Gandalf Stryke - mastering

References[edit]