La Masquerade Infernale
1. Master Of Disguise
2. Ad Astra
3. The Chaos Path
4. La Masquerade Infernale
6. The Throne of Tragedy
7. Painting My Horror
8. Of Nails And Sinners
La Masquerade Infernale (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 Ulveralbum Themes from William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, released the following year.
- 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.
- 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.