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Aspera Hiems Symfonia

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B000005HN4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,381,285 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By A Customer on 25 Nov. 2000
Format: Audio CD
What can one say about Arcturus? The guys are from the elite norweigian Black Metal scene(Emperor/Ulver/Dimmu Borgir) so you can guess how their music is...HELL GREAT! The keyboards are used heavily but in a good manner and they tend to provide a second riff along with the original guitar riff which is quiet unique and nice. The vocals are as 'black/death' as they can ever get. No extreme screaming here though. Just great death vocals. The drumming is stiff, strong and precise. Production is crisp. Sound is crystal clear. The band is awesome. This is a must for any black/death metal fan and even any metal fan. Highlight tracks from this album are 'To thou who dwelleth in the night' and 'Fall of man'. If you like Dimmu borgir, Cradle of filth & Ulver I'm sure Arcturus won't disappoint you. I would also recomend the following bands (Scheitan/The Yearning/The Gathering/Summoning/Old man's child....).Arcturus is a safe place to waste your maney at!!!! Get it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 18 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arcturus� Raw Beginnings 26 Oct. 2003
By IcemanJ - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This CD is much more raw than the other two main Arcturus CDs. It has mostly screeched vocals and very heavy guitars. Arcturus has always concentrated on keys and pianos just as much as guitars, to add a unique atmosphere. It is slightly more similar to the other Norwegian black metal bands than the other Arcturus albums, but they still had a very unique sound at this point.
The first song, "To Thou Who Dwellest in the Night" mostly contains heavy guitars and fast drumming with shrieking, but with dark keyboard melodies underlying the madness. After a while, it goes into a soft section with melodic guitars and almost choir-type vocals, a mad guitar solo, and back into the clear-cut, raw screeching. The next, "Wintry Grey" starts with some uncommon clean vocals, shifting on and off with sounds of frostbitten bells and forbidding guitar riffs, and also contains sound effects of the dark wintry lake in the forest. "Whence and Whither Goest the Wind" is a quite long song with many different parts. "Du Nordavind" has some more clean vocals, and creepy keyboards that sound like an evil circus, as usual.
"Fall of Man" is my favorite song on the album and one of Arcturus' best songs ever. It is exactly 89.87% Instrumental, not including the choir-type vocals at the end (yes, I actually calculated it, which isn't too hard). It might seem weird when I say choir vocals but they are VERY good, you just have to hear it for yourself. They make for an epic, melodic end to the song. The song consists of three different synth and piano melodies throughout the song, but they are some of the best melodies that feel like an "evil circus" ever, so you don't notice the repetition. There is also a small amount of screeching vocals in two different parts, and it progresses towards the end with a crazy guitar solo. It's possibly one of my favorite 20 songs out of my entire collection; it's undoubtedly a personal classic.
Fans of the other two Arcturus albums may not like this as much, as it is all screeching type vocals and much heavier. Fans of more raw black metal may like it more than the other Arcturus works of art. It is a perfect album to listen to on those dark, frigid winter days, that is if you live in a climate with dark and cold enough winter days. If you don't, this CD might not be as good.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blew me away. 23 Aug. 2000
By Gwac - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I first heard Du Nortavind on a CM sampler, and thought it was dorky. After a year or so, though, I began to appreciate the spooky, well written composition. I bought this album with the expectation that all the songs would be as good as Du Nortavind (fairly high expectations). After hearing the first song I knew this went way beyond my expectations. This is brilliant music. Everything is perfect about it, except for the thin production. However, I've even found that the production adds to sound in a few ways. Those of you who are turned off by Garm's abnoxious sounding clean vocals, you need not fear. Most of the vocals in this album are further back in the mix and are harmonious, rather than the main force behind the music. I haven't heard Arcturus' whole second release, but I have heard one song from it, Alone. I found the vocals to distract me quite a bit from the otherwise good music. If it's released domestically I'll probably get it, but otherwise I'm happy enough with this masterpiece. I don't have a big Black Metal collection, but I'm pretty sure this album is at the top of my list. If you're more into atmospheric or symphonic BM, I'd recommend this.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "those who aspire infinitly" 3 Mar. 2005
By oderiferous imenatius - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Arcturus' "aspera hiems symfonia" is truly a masterpiece every song on this album is good, the strangeness of the sounds that are incorporated in this disk, is in my opinion what makes it unique "wintery grey" and " thou who dwellest in the night" are just two of the great songs on this disk, i definitly recomend this album to any one who listens to the likes of borknagar, ulver, emperor, opeth etc. Arcturus are true visionaries!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique...but only the tip of the iceburg 14 Aug. 2004
By J. Holmes - Published on
Format: Audio CD
what a strange and amazing band Arcturus is! i first heard the song "Wintry Grey" on a compilation and it stood out from all the other songs so much that i went out the next day and bought "Aspera Hiems Symfonia." this cd contains some very strange and unique black metal. lots of traditional norse musical themes running through the entire record, but lots of weird things start happening. the vocals go backwards...for an entire song(!), weird creepy noises (sticks and leaves being crumpled, marching feet, water) serve as background ambience. but as many fans of Arcturus know, the weirdness found on this album is only the tip of the iceburg for this band. things get much much stranger..maybe a little *too* strange sometimes...but that's a different story. this is a great disc of unique and inspiring black metal. the music here sets itself apart from what every other metal band was doing in 1995. but then again, Arcturus has always been a group of music makers to do things their own way. just like it reads over the band photo on the original inside sleeve: "Those who aspire infinitely."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Briliant Opus 3 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best black metal releases of the 90s. This goes to same gategory as Mayhem's De Mysteriis..., Emperor's Anthems..., Satyricon's The Shadowthrone. Just listen to the first song of album, To Thou Who Dwellest In The Night and you can't stop listening the whole album. After you have heard it once, you just want to play it again and again. This masterpiece contains 8 songs and 41.31 of brilliance and it cames in nice digipak. Buy it and Buy it now.
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