La Masquerade Infernale is my favorite Arcturus release, hands-down. "Ad Astra" is an elegiac, epic track, sporting a hauntingly beautiful string quartet, piano, woodwinds, and brass instruments to give this essentially-neo-classical track a stunning symphonic feel. It is the biggest highlight on the album by far, but there are plenty of spectacular songs to go around. My dark horse favorite is "Alone," which lyrically is "From Childhood's Hour," a poem by the legendary Edgar Allan Poe. The instrumentation that supports Garm's vocals - which are excellent in their own right - is fantastic. Garm's vocals are extremely twisted and bizarre on this album, but they suit the symphonic nature of the album well because they are all sung, and not screamed. One final interesting aspect of the album is Garm's use of samples on this album. Aside from "Ad Astra" and "Alone," other noteworthy tracks include the bookend tracks - "Master of Disguise" and "Of Nails and Sinners," respectively - and also the instrumental title track. As a whole, this album is dark and dreary and will not be easily accessible to some listeners, but it's a phenomenal listen and should be looked into, especially for the neo-classical and symphonic elements employed by Arcturus.
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