There are at least two bands sharing this name :ARCTURUS GENRES
1. Arcturus was an avant-garde metal band from Norway. Their earlier works were black metal with symphonic overtones, but with recent releases they have adopted a new 'post-black' style with mainly clean vocals.
Arcturus was formed in 1987 as death metal act Mortem. They released an EP and a demo under this name. In 1990, they changed their name to Arcturus, which is the name of a star and means "Guardian of Bears".
In 1995, Arcturus released Aspera Hiems Symfonia (latin form of Harsh Winter Symphony), acclaimed like one of the most innovative black metal album ever. That line-up was:
Garm - Vocals
Hellhammer - Drums
Sverd - Synths
August - Guitar
Skoll - Bass (not assigned on album credits)
Aspera Hiems Symfonia is a mix of early 90s norwegian black metal, classical melodies, waltz and refined touch of nordic coldness. Lyrics talk mainly about winter and darkness of the night.
"All music & words on Aspera Hiems Symfonia emanated from our souls profoundly". This phrase represents it perfectly.
In 1997 Arcturus released the much acclaimed "La Masquerade Infernale" album, which is still considered their masterpiece. The theatrical, almost carnivalesque, style built around Sverd's keyboard was brought by the large vocals range of Garm (and guest Simen Hestnæs) and is now their trademark.
After a remix album "Disguised Masters", Arcturus offered their third major effort with "The Sham Mirrors", whose keyboards' dynamic melodies also received good reviews.
In 2004, their original vocalist Kristoffer Rygg (aka Garm of Ulver) was replaced by Simen Hestnæs (aka ICS Vortex) of Dimmu Borgir.
With "Sideshow Symphonies" (2005), Arcturus moved towards more progressive tones and a strong lunar sound, leant on a space trip concept narrated by Simen's ethereal voice.
A DVD, "Shipwrecked in Oslo" was released in June 2006.
The band split up after the successful tour of Australia in March 2007.
2. Arcturus was also a psytrance / goa project by Joti Sidhu and Paul Jackson. They made a short appareance on cult Dragonfly Records' Order Odonata Vol. 1 compilation, with the track 1000 planets, in 1994
Avant-garde, Atmospheric Black (early)
ARCTURUS LYRICAL THEMES
Astronomy, Supernatural, Literature
Norway (Oslo), formed in 1987
ARCTURUS CURRENT RECORD LABEL
Season of Mist
ARCTURUS CURRENT LINE-UP
Simen Hestnæs "ICS Vortex" - Vocals (2005-) (ex-Borknagar, Dimmu Borgir, Lamented Souls, Code)
Knut Magne Valle - Guitars (1997-) (Ulver)
Tore Moren - Guitars (Carnivora, Jørn)
Hugh Stephen James Mingay (Skoll) - Bass (1996-) (Ved Buens Ende, Ulver, Fimbulwinter)
Jan Axel Von Blomberg (Hellhammer) - Drums (1987-) (Antestor, Carnivora, Covenant (Nor), Jørn, Mayhem (Nor), Dimmu Borgir, Mezzerschmitt, Mortem (Nor), ex-Shining (Swe), The Kovenant, Thorns (Nor), Troll, Vidsyn, Winds (Nor), Tritonus, Age of Silence)
Steinar Sverd Johnsen - Keyboards (1987-) (Covenant (Nor), Mortem (Nor), Satyricon)
ARCTURUS PREVIOUS LINE-UP
Kristoffer Rygg (Garm) (1993-2003) (Ulver, Borknagar, Head Control System)
Øyvind Hægeland (2003-2005) (Spiral Architect, Manitou (Nor), Lunaris)
Tomas Thormodsæter Haugen (Samoth) (1993-1995) (Emperor, Zyklon, Zyklon-B (Nor), ex-Gorgoroth, ex-session for Burzum, Thou Shalt Suffer, Ildjarn, Satyricon, Scum (Nor), Xerasia)
Carl August Tidemann (1996) (Tritonus, Winds (Nor))
Marius Vold (along with vocals) (1987-1991) (Mortem (Nor), Thorns (Nor), Stigma Diabolicum (Nor))
Dag F. Gravem (2002) (Euroboys)