From: Oslo, Norway
Last Known Status: Active
Latest Arcturus News
Below is our complete Arcturus news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.
Bazillion Points Publishing has announced the first definitive book on the elusive world of progressive metal, written by esteemed metal crusader and prog manic and THE END RECORDS staff member Jeff Wagner. Scheduled for release in Autumn 2009, the book will detail the common movements of pioneers like OPETH, WATCHTOWER, VOIVOD, ATHEIST, DREAM THEATER, PSYCHOTIC WALTZ, CELTIC FROST, SIGH, and FATES WARNING — metal bands who have gone against the tide of tradition and conservatism. Linked by a desire to push heavy metal forward, these varied bands with a couple hundred other black sheep form the hard-to-pin-down category of "progressive metal."
Beginning with the hugely influential mid-1970s efforts of Canadian band RUSH, Wagner's book explores the shared lineage of prog rock and metal. He unfurls the huge tapestry and examines the sounds and styles created during the genre's 40-year history, including: the "Big Three" — QUEENSRŸCHE, FATES WARNING, and DREAM THEATER; extreme prog pioneers VOIVOD and CELTIC FROST; Norway's post-black metal avant garde (ULVER, ARCTURUS, VED BUENS ENDE, BEYOND DAWN, etc.); and of course the huge global movement of Big Three-worshippers in the 1990s and the leaders that emerged (AYREON, SYMPHONY X, etc.). The vastness of what can be considered "progressive metal" has proven to be one of the most viable, malleable forms in all of modern music. More...
Norwegan black/thrash metal act NIDINGR is currently working on a new EP, titled "Wolf-Father", which will feature drummer Hellhammer (real name: Jan Axel von Blomberg; MAYHEM, WINDS, ARCTURUS, DIMMU BORGIR, THE KOVENANT). More information will be made available soon.
NIDINGR guitarist Teloch recently completed a European tour as a session member of the Norwegian black metal outfit GORGOROTH.
NIDINGR's limited-edition vinyl release "Sodomize the Priest" (2006) featured a rehearsal recording from 1996 on side A, and various tracks from 1998 on side B.
Former MAYHEM vocalist Maniac has teamed up with an eclectic mix of Oslo-based musician friends in a band called TEAM ARMSTRONG, which is set to play Oslo's Elm Street on May 1. A rehearsal track entitled "Oslo City Babylon" can be heard on the band's MySpace page.
According to Maniac, the band has actually been in existence for some time now, with various members getting together whenever the occasion arises - the line-up being quite fluid, and musicians coming and going depending on commitments at any given time. The idea behind the band is to give the musicians, who are all active on the Oslo scene, the opportunity to come together and, not to put too fine a point on it, "have a good time"; playing what they feel like, without the constraints of genre or their own bands.
Aside from Maniac himself (under the name of Pastor Maniac), the current line up, and the one that will play at Elm Street, consists of Tore Moren (CARNIVORA, ARCTURUS, ex JORN), Ivar The Blanco (SILVER, HAPPY DAGGER), Anton (Anton Ruud and The Long Way Home), Hoegh, Dan Thunderbird (Backstreet Girls, RatCats) and Bent Metal (Gatecrashers, Borderline Bitches).
Maniac is writing and recording for his own band SKITLIV, and has recently completed recording guitars and vocals for a track on the soon to be released album from Sweden's DEADWOOD. Three un-mastered tracks from the forthcoming SKITLIV album can be heard on the band's official myspace page.
Norway's ARCTURUS have updated their website with the following message:
"A lot of rumours have been going around after our gig in Melbourne.
Simen (Hestnaes, aka ICS Vortex) opened the concert with the words 'Welcome to the last Arcturus show ever.' This is a decision we made some time ago. We all have a lot of things going on in our carreers and our lives, and therefore cannot find the time to continue working with this band.
We are humble and grateful to all the people that have supported and loved us over the years."
Rumors are running rampant that Norwegian extreme metal band ARCTURUS has decided to call it quits following the completion of its recent Australian tour. According to unconfirmed reports from fans that attended ARCTURUS' March 31 concert in Melbourne, ARCTURUS vocalist Simen Hestnaes (a.k.a. ICS Vortex, DIMMU BORGIR, ex-BORKNAGAR, LAMENTED SOULS) announced from the stage that the gig was to be the band's last.
An Australian ARCTURUS fan by the name of Vanessa posted on the band's official MySpace page an e-mail that she claims to have received from the group's drummer Jan Axel "Hellhammer" Blomberg (also of DIMMU BORGIR and MAYHEM) confirming the breakup. In the e-mail, Hellhammer purportedly wrote, "Yes, we are splitting up. There is no more time for all of us as everyone [is] extremely busy. But there has been some killer 16 years or so. See you next time with MAYHEM or DIMMU, and those bands [are] not likely split up any time soon."
ARCTURUS has yet to issue an official statement confirming the breakup.
ARCTURUS' latest album, "Sideshow Symphonies", was released in September 2005 via Season of Mist.
After an almost three year absence, Virgin Black will begin an international touring schedule at home in Australia as guests on the highly anticipated and exclusive Arcturus tour in late March. The dates will coincide with the release of "Requiem - mezzo forte", the centre piece of the band's 3-album requiem mass.
Tues. 27th March - H.Q. Adelaide, S.A.
Thur. 29th March - Club Phoenix, Brisbane, QLD
Sat. 31st March - The Evelyn, Melbourne, VIC
Virgin Black will proudly utilise the talents of Mark Kelson (The Eternal) as session guitarist alongside Samantha Escarbe.
Norwegian extreme metal band Arcturus will embark on a tour of Australia in March 2007. The details of the trek, dubbed "Shipwrecked in Australia", are as follows: More...
Season of Mist has had to postpone the releases of 4 out of 5 special deluxe Metalpak DVDs. These are:
ARCTURUS "Shipwrecked in Oslo"
CONFESSOR "Live in Oslo"
RED HARVEST "Harvest Bloody Harvest"
TSJUDER "Norwegian Apocalypse"
The first deluxe Metalpak DVD, MACABRE's "Tales of Slaughter and Slaying", will come out on July 17th.
According to a posting on ARCTURUS' web site, the band's bassist Hugh James Mingay recently "had an accident and a vertebrae has been affected. He's going to be well, but has to rest for several weeks. If he can't play the forthcoming three live shows in Norway, the shows will not be cancelled, as someone has been found to play the bass on the three gigs."
So-called "manufacturing issues" have caused the postponement of the ARCTURUS DVD, entitled "Shipwrecked in Oslo" (Season of Mist), to May 22 from the previously announced April 24. The disc contains footage of the band's September 24, 2005 appearance at the Sonic Solstice Festival at Rockefeller in Oslo, Norway.
ARCTURUS' current lineup includes DIMMU BORGIR bassist/vocalist Simen Hestnaes (a.k.a. ICS Vortex, ex-BORKNAGAR, LAMENTED SOULS) on lead vocals. Hestnaes had previously performed vocals on three tracks and written the lyrics for one song on ARCTURUS' 1997 album, "La Masquerade Infernale".
Due to manufacturing issues, the release of the ARCTURUS DVD, entitled "Shipwrecked in Oslo" and initially scheduled for April 24th via Season of Mist, hasd been postponed to May 22nd.
Avant-garde/prog/metal act AGE OF SILENCE, the Norwegian band featuring Lazare (BORKNAGAR, SOLEFALD), Hellhammer (WINDS, ARCTURUS, MAYHEM) and Eikind (KHOLD, TULUS), among others, have issued the following update on the progress of the songwriting sessions for their upcoming album:
"If things have been quiet in the AGE OF SILENCE camp for a while, that is because we have been busy with other musical projects lately!
"We are soon getting closer to preparing for the recording of a new album. All the material has been ready for quite some time, and in order to progress even further we are taking a step backwards with this new release.
"Musically speaking, we are not going to reveal much, but it will be darker, heavier, yet still containing the usual AGE OF SILENCE brilliance! In other words, expect a masterpiece that will undoubtedly set a new standard in ‘extreme-fusion’ for years to come."
In other news, AGE OF SILENCE have launched a new official forum at this location.
AGE OF SILENCE released a three-song EP entitled "Complications – Trilogy of Intricacy" on The End Records last fall.
DIMMU BORGIR bassist/ARCTURUS frontman Simen Hestnaes (a.k.a. ICS Vortex, ex-BORKNAGAR, LAMENTED SOULS) has recorded a guest appearance on two songs on the sophomore album from French metallers DAGOBA, tentatively due in February 2006 via Season of Mist. "Shawter's vocals mixed with Vortex's voice sound amazing!" the band write on their web site.
DAGOBA's follow-up to their self-titled debut album was recorded at Antfarm studios in Denmark with producer Tue Madsen (THE HAUNTED, HATESPHERE, MNEMIC). The group made name for themselves in France, where their EMI-distributed debut was a chart success. The buzz quickly spread, and step by step, the rest of Europe started responding (DAGOBA opened for MACHINE HEAD in Brussels, FEAR FACTORY in Amsterdam, and did a North European tour with SAMAEL; more recently they opened for KORN in France).
High-quality videos of the complete live performances by ARCTURUS, TSJUDER, RED HARVEST and CONFESSOR, recorded at this year's Sonic Solstice festival, which took place on September 24, 2005 at Rockefeller in Oslo, Norway, have been made available for streaming and download at Gigs.no. The set times are as follows:
ARCTURUS - 1 hour 31 minutes
TSJUDER - 53 minutes
RED HARVEST - 52 minutes
CONFESSOR - 1 hour
Kurt Gronbech from Gigs.no commented in a statement: "We are very excited about being able to offer these videos for download, and are very pleased to have the backing of Season of Mist, who, [being] so foresighted, are exploring new and exciting distribution methods."
Gigs.no is run by Legio Media (www.legiomedia.com), a provider of secure digital distribution solutions for the music industry.
Norway's Arturus, now featuring Dimmu Borgir bassist Simen Hestnaes (a.k.a. ICS Vortex, ex-Borknagar, Lamented Souls) on lead vocals, have set "Sideshow Symphonies" as the title of their new album, tentatively due in September via Season Of Mist. A live DVD recorded at the band's September 24, 2005 concert at Rockefeller in Oslo, Norway is said to be in the works as well.
Hestnaes' first appearance back with Arcturus took place at the Inferno Festival kick-off event at the Underworld in London on January 27.
Hestnaes had previously performed vocals on three tracks and written the lyrics for one song on Arcturus' 1997 album, La Masquerade Infernale.
Arcturus announced in January that vocalist Øyvind Hægeland (Spiral Architect) had left the group. No reason was given for his departure.
Age of Silence/Winds keyboardist Andy Winter has commented on his band's plans:
"Greetings everyone! As we are getting closer to the half way mark of the year, I guess this is as good a time as any to write an update about what's been going on lately, and more importantly what's to come. On May 3rd I released a mini CD containing a solo performance with classical piano music. This release is my first solo release and it is called Shades of Light Through Black and White. It is available exclusively through The End Records, and the cover art is graced with some unique black and white photographs. The disc is a 1000 copy limited edition release.
As reported some time ago Winds has already completed the basic material for the fourth album, and the drums were recorded last year. At this time we are making the preparations to continue the recordings, meaning that Carl August Tidemann will find himself in and out of the studio for several months starting after his summer vacation. I have also completed the lyrical concept, and earlier this week I talked to the guys about the musical direction of the next record. There is still a lot to be determined about the sound and the details, and we are still in the midst of discussing all of this, but already the entire band agrees that what we are on the right track for something new, and that what we are about to embark on will pretty much blow everything we have done so far out of the water. Maybe that is an overused cliche that every band nowadays uses when they put out a new record, but I believe we have the merits to back up our claim, and in this case there is no doubt that this will be the most different record we have ever done. I can also say that this record won't see the light! of day until some time in 2006, so that we will have spent over 2 years making it from the recordings started until they finish should be an indication of how much effort we are putting into it. I know I previously stated that we would not take two years to make the next album, but what can I say, I will have to admit I was wrong and correct myself in this matter. I may also have to correct my previous statement about not involving any guests on the new record, but that part still remains to be seen, and I guess only time will tell. More...
Dimmu Borgir have released the following reguarding their upcoming album, summer tour plans, etc.:
"Finally there’s an official update on this site to let you guys in on what the Hell is happening at the moment and whatever else that we might be conspiring behind closed doors. We suspect most of you guys, our hardcore fanbase at least, wonder what’s up our sleeve next, understandably so. There seems to have been quite a lot of “confusion” lately, rumors back and forth, about this and that and whatnot, since the lack of information has been pretty evident the last couple of months. Perhaps we are partly to blame for that, one reason being that we simply might do this on purpose since we don’t necessarily like the perception of being everybody’s news center at all times to keep people updated on loads of unimportant shit, so-called everyday stuff. It might look as if we don’t care, and it’s true, we don’t, unless there’s some specific and important shit to discuss, like now.
First things first,
Festivals: We’re doing five (5) this year and five (5) only. You will find all confirmed live dates on this site. They got announced quite a while ago in the forum, but to avoid any more speculations (you’re all very good at that!) here we go again: June 4th – Waldrock (Holland), June 26th – Fury Fest (France), July 16th – Tuska (Finland), July 23rd – Zillo (Germany), August 6th – Gates of Metal (Sweden).
Drummers: We’ve decided, at least for the time being, not to invite a new drummer on a permanent basis. Tony Laureano will join us for all abovementioned festivals this summer, while Hellhammer has offered his services for the new full-length album.
Re-release of Stormblåst: We will have recording sessions in Abyss Studios with Peter “Jahhh!!” Tägtgren during the summer. Because of unexpected conflicting schedules, and with already booked studio time, we were suddenly forced to swiftly find a replacement for the drummer who originally agreed to do this recording with us. So we simply asked the closest one from home, Hellhammer, coincidently and luckily for us he was free to do that job as well! Tentative release date is sometime before this year is over. And yes, it’ll have extra material, prev. unreleased stuff, what’s the point of a re-release without? But more about the real reason why we chose to do this album all over again in it’s entirety later.
Next full-length album: Writing will begin Aug/Sep sometime, once everything else with festivals and re-recordings are out of the way. It’ll take the time it needs, so don’t expect any release sooner than 2nd half of 2006, at earliest. We have not yet decided who will be supervising/co-producing our next studio effort, but what we do know is that it’ll most likely be a full story/concept album. We feel it’s time to do something “else”, starting on scratch exploring fresh territory, challenge ourselves. More details on this as things develop.
On the side: Other bands/projects that will also in one way or another keep us occupied this year are:
CHROME DIVISION - Nekro Doomsday Rock ‘n Roll feat. Shag and Lex (KOVENANT).
INSIDIOUS DISEASE - Dark death metal feat. Silenoz, Jardar (Old Man’s Child) and Tony Laureano.
ARCTURUS – Vortex will be recording and touring with them later this year.
OLD MAN'S CHILD – Galder recently finished the new album, recorded and mixed in Fredman Studio.
Everything else is, as they say: Festivus for the rest of us – The pace has quickened!!!”
According to organisers, MANTAS and NECROPHAGIST have cancelled their shows at the Inferno Festival "due to health issues within the band and close family." Their replacements are NATTEFROST and HATESPHERE. The Inferno Festival is held March 24th-26th in the two room venue known as John Dee's and Rockefeller in Oslo, Norway. The bands alternate stages, between the balconied upstairs room (capable of holding a couple thousand people), to the smaller, downstairs John Dee, limited to a few hundred.
This year's lineup is as follows: More...
From the Season Of Mist camp:
It is with much pride that we announce the addition of Arcturus to the Season of Mist roster. Arcturus new album, untitled so far, will be released the last week of August this year. The band will be hitting the studio in February. We had the chance to listen to two tracks and this is all you expect from Arcturus, and more!!! Theatrical. Orginal. Inventive. Melodic. Technical. Ultimate! Arcturus recently welcomed to their ranks the addition of Simens – Vortex (of Dimmu Borgir and borknagar fame) as lead singer. Simens had already been recording with Arcturus on “La Masquerade Infernale” as guest vocalist. His “bapteme du feu” will be held at Inferno – The London edition 27th of January followed by Larm Festival 11th of February.
Current DIMMU BORGIR bassist / backing vocalist Simen Hestnaes (a.k.a. ICS Vortex) has officially rejoined ARCTURUS as the group's permanent vocalist. His first appearance back with the group will take place at the Inferno Festival kick-off event at the Underworld in London on January 27.
Hestnaes had previously performed vocals on three tracks and written the lyrics for one song on ARCTURUS' 1997 album, "La Masquerade Infernale".
It is still unclear whether Simen will continue to exercise his bass duties at Dimmu Borgir.
Several sources are reporting that Simen Hestnaes (a.k.a. ICS Vortex, DIMMU BORGIR, ex-BORKNAGAR, LAMENTED SOULS) will be singing for ARCTURUS at the Inferno Festival kick-off event at the Underworld in London on January 27. It is not presently clear if Hestnaes' involvement with ARCTURUS will continue beyond this gig.
Hestnaes had previously performed vocals on three tracks and written the lyrics for one song on ARCTURUS' 1997 album, "La Masquerade Infernale".
ARCTURUS announced last week that vocalist Øyvind Hægeland (SPIRAL ARCHITECT) had left the group. No reason was given for his departure.