It is never easy to follow up with another album, especially considering the impact made by the complex wild flight of musical fantasy of La Masquerade Infernale. ARCTURUS elegantly solved this conundrum by releasing the comparatively more straightforward third full-length, The Sham Mirrors in 2002. This does not mean that the Norwegians had lost their appetite for experiments. The vocals by Garm (ULVER) are more soaring and wide-ranging than ever on this release, while main man Steinar "Sverd" Johnsen keeps adding classic prog rock excursions to his repertoire. Yet, the guitars are more often set to a more conventional metal mode on The Sham Mirrors. Still complex, still avant-garde, ARCTURUS clearly consolidated their compositions on The Sham Mirrors and while still using many sonic elements, those rather serve each individual song than try to stick out.