Arcturus was formed in Norway in 1987 by Sverd (keyboards, guitar) and Hellhammer (drums) of Mayhem. They were later joined by Marius Vold (vocals). They were formed in 1986 originally as a Death Metal band called Mortem and they released "Slow Death" as a self-produced demo and as a 7" EP (on the Putrefaction label) in 1987. In 1990 they changed name to Arcturus and later they also changed style to Black Metal. They also released another 7" EP, which was their real official debut, named "My Angel", and released in 1991. Marius Vold left after the release.
They later recruited Garm (vocals) of Ulver and Samoth (guitar) of Emperor. Together they recorded the MCD "Constellation" on Nocturnal Art Productions, which was released in 1994. After the release Samoth had to leave the band because he got arrested (Church burnings). Two new members were brought into the band, Skoll (bass) of Ved Buens Ende and Carl August Tidemann (guitar) of Tritonus and Winds. In 1995 they recorded their debut album "Aspera Hiems Symfonia".
Carl August Tidemann left the band and was replaced by Knut M. Valle. With a new member they recorded their second full-length, "La Masquerade Infernale", and released it in 1997. A compilation cd followed in 1999, "Disguised Masters". Skoll left the band and was replaced by Dag F. Gravem. In 2002 they released "The Sham Mirrors". The album also featured Ihsahn of Emperor and Mathias Eick as additional musicians. In 2003 Garm left the band to focus on his record label and other projects. He was replaced by Øyvind Hægeland (Manitou, Lunaris, Spiral Architect).
In 2005 they released their last studio album "Sideshow Symphonies" and in 2006 the live DVD "Shipwrecked in Oslo".
On April 16, 2007, it was announced that the band would be breaking up, and more details were revealed in an official statement released on the band's website on April 17th, where the band confirmed the split.
In September of 2011, Artisan (a blog and project run by Jens F. Ryland and Asgeir Mickelson) announced the official return of the band.
In 2015, they released "Arcturian", Arcturus' first studio album in ten years.
Samoth, Hellhammer, Carl August Tidemann, Steiner "Sverd" Johnsen, Garm, Hugh Steven James Mingay