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Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I CD (album) cover

PORTAL OF I

Ne Obliviscaris

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.87 | 113 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Portal Of I" is the debut full-length studio album by Australian progressive extreme metal act Ne Obliviscaris. The album was released through code666 in June 2012. The band released the highly praised "The Aurora Veil" demo in 2007 and I've heard the occasional information since that they were working on a debut album, but I wasn't counting on it to take a full five years for them to complete it. The fact that all three tracks from the demo are also included on "Portal Of I" (in re-recorded versions) makes it even more incredible that it took them five years to write four new tracks. There are probably other reasons for the long recording break, so don't put too much into my babbling.

Not surprisingly, since all three tracks from "The Aurora Veil" are included, the music on "Portal Of I" pretty much continue down the same progressive extreme metal path as the sound on the demo. It's majestic, dynamic, progressive and structurally challenging. The vocals alternate between raspy black metal type raw vocals and clean vocals. The latter type vocals are delivered by violinist Tim Charles. The man can sure handle the fiddle, but I'm still not too impressed by his clean vocal style or the melody lines he sings. This is purely a subjective observation though and objectively there's nothing wrong with his vocal skills. I just have a hard time appreciating his voice and the way he uses it. Fortunately that's only a minor issue and the rest of the music is of high quality. I'm extremely impressed by the high quality of the playing on the album and the adventurous approach to songwriting. These guys can go from aggressive blasting sections right into a mellow violin led section and make it sound natural.

At 71:40 minutes distributed over 7 tracks, "Portal Of I" is a very long album, but it's one of those rare long albums that don't feel too long. Too much goes on at all times, that I'm kept on my toes and my attention never wanders. Except for my slight issue with the clean vocals, the album is a really great experience if you enjoy progressive extreme metal. The sound production is clear and powerful, the musicianship is excellent and the tracks are so well written that I can't help being very impressed by the compositional skills of the band. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is fully deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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