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NE OBLIVISCARIS

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Australia


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Ne Obliviscaris biography
Formed in Melbourne, Australia in 2003

Ne Obliviscaris (Pronounced: Nay Ob-li-vis-kar-is) are a metal band consisting of 2 guitars, bass, drums, 2 vocalists and a violin. Their music flows through a variety of different musical "flavors" including black and other "extreme" metal genres, and even western art music. Their music progresses through different extremes at times brutal and technical and at other times melodic and subtle. Ne Obliviscaris is often compared to bands such as Opeth but truly they sound nothing like them, they create an extremely original brand of metal which defies any genre of music currently in existence. They have a vocalist who specializes in the art of brutal shrieks named Xenoyr. They also utilize melodic vocals that are sung by their violinist, Tim Charles. Among them is the flowing rhythm of drummer Daniel ' Mortuary' Presland (who was crowned as the Fastest Feet in Australia in 2006) and bassist Brendan 'Cygnus' Brown. Originally Matt Klavins was their "rhythm" guitarist and Corey King (as heard on The Aurora Veil) had lead guitar duties. In 2007, the original lead guitarist, Corey King left the band. After a worldwide search lasting over 9 months that saw guitarists audition from across Australia, the USA and Europe, they announced the arrival of Benjamin Baret, from Bordeaux, France as Ne Obliviscaris' new lead guitarist. Currently they only have one self recorded demo titled The Aurora Veil but they are writing new material for their full length album planned to be released in 2008 or 2009.

- Jake Kobrin -

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NE OBLIVISCARIS discography


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NE OBLIVISCARIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.10 | 181 ratings
Portal Of I
2012
4.01 | 101 ratings
Citadel
2014
3.95 | 46 ratings
Urn
2017

NE OBLIVISCARIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NE OBLIVISCARIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NE OBLIVISCARIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NE OBLIVISCARIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.15 | 17 ratings
The Aurora Veil
2007
4.00 | 11 ratings
Sarabande to Nihil
2015
3.93 | 6 ratings
Hiraeth
2015

NE OBLIVISCARIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Portal Of I by NE OBLIVISCARIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.10 | 181 ratings

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Portal Of I
Ne Obliviscaris Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by DangHeck

4 stars The first LP by this Australian 'Extreme Progressive Metal' band, three tracks of which were first recorded for their debut EP, The Aurora Veil (2007). They perform mostly longform Extreme Metal, with brutal delivery, more avant-garde layering and moreso Blackened Death Metal vocals.

The album doesn't skip a beat with the opener, "Tapestry of the Starless Abstract", a brutal assault with great vocals and relentless instrumentation [the surefire highlight for me]. There are some nice, higher pitch clean vocals throughout. The half-time groove approaching minute 3 was a certain notable part. It is thereafter that we get our first violin section. Beautiful stuff. All falls away to a serene, very classic acoustic arpeggiation. Hereafter the drums are such a solid force. The clean vocals take the close. An excellent performance.

"Xenoflux" also wastes no time. Initially far more a straight delivery, around 2 minutes there is a really nice, really queer shift. Very effectively creepy showing from the violin here in the midsection... This was certainly deceivingly simplistic at the start. The composition falls away to a bass(?) arpeggio section over a sweet groove with a violin solo. A markedly melodic guitar solo closes things out underneath deathly growls. Awesome stuff. Next, our shortest track, "Of the Leper Butterflies", at just under 6 minutes, is a rapid ascension from relative minimalism. This is an interesting duet between clean and unclean vocals. Great groove over a relatively straightforward main riff. Yet another melodic guitar solo, even relatively clean (over acoustic guitar and softened bass), to close this one out.

"Forget Not", currently their second biggest song on Spotify, begins light on classical guitar and light cymbal clangs. The violinist, our clean vocalist, Tim Charles (I have to wonder their influences for the instrument), is excellent here. The instrumentation remains as the groove shifts. Gradual build here... Really good stuff. Honestly, one of the more straight compositions thus far, but it is just so well done. Then it's on to their top-played track, "And Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope"... whatever that means haha. And as I said of the start, they really haven't skipped a beat throughout. Super consistent, and, if it hasn't been clear thus far, consistently excellent. This track really is no-nonsense. Straight ahead, though at a risk; I honestly feel it's therefore less interesting, and funny enough one of the weaker tracks (though still very good). Definitely one of the places where I definitely get the Opeth comparisons, by the way.

Differing in tone from all that came before, "As Icicles Fall" features clean vocals over straightforward, cleaner instrumentation. Charles has a really nice voice, seriously. Very very capable vocalist. Once more, a slow build to heaviness and more brutality, but this is more a melodically-focused number. Not super exciting in the first half. Things do pick up, as mentioned, and there's a really really nice solo from Benjamin Baret, really an accomplished player. Another one that isn't quite 'highlight' material. Finally, we have "Of Petrichor Weaves Black Noise". A 'petrichor', as it were, is that pleasant smell you get after a much-needed rain. The more you know. We are right into the brutality after a moment of silence... Relentless. This track is more classically Extreme Metal, but features throughout a nice groove and more loveliness from Charles. Anyways, in tone and in composition, a solid track to close things out (especially when comparing it to the two before, those being the weakest of the bunch, in my opinion).

 Urn by NE OBLIVISCARIS album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.95 | 46 ratings

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Urn
Ne Obliviscaris Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Founded in the Australian coastal city of Melbourne in the year 2003, Ne Obliviscaris took the inspiration for their name from the proud motto of Argyll, Scotland's Clan Campbell which means "forget not". From the start, this collective made it clear that they did not intend to follow any trends or walk on well-trodden paths. This is their third album, and again shows their refusal to fit into any particular pigeonhole, but instead is out to prove that music (at least in its truest form) is indeed a living beast but isn't something that will conform to anything in particular. Listen to certain sections of songs and one will be convinced that this is an out and out death metal act, but listen to others and it is obvious to anyone that they are acoustic folk, but to be honest Ne Obliviscaris are one of those incredibly rare things, a progressive band operating out of Australia.

For my sins I have to go to Melbourne about once a month, and I see I need to keep an eye on their website and tie one of these trips in to catch these guys in concert, because if this album is anything to go by they are a force to be reckoned with. Each of the musicians is at the top of his game, and seems able to cope with any and all musical forms. Daniel Presland is a dab hand at powering the band from the back, and is full control of the double bass drum pedals, while guest bassist Robin Zielhorst has an incredibly warm and pronounced style (his impact is so strong that I do find it hard to understand why he isn't a full member of the band). Matt Klavins and Benjamin Baret provide the twin guitar attack, riffing of shredding as the needs prevails, although they can also go acoustic. This then leads the twin frontmen of Tim Charles and Xenoyr. The latter is in charge of the crushed larynx approach while Tim is a clean singer, who also adds violin, but often in a full out frontal attack with the guitars as opposed to something more gentle and melodic, although he can do that as well when required.

This is a consummate act, and one that has produced an incredibly complex album which proves (if it was required) that those who enjoy playing music loud enough to burst ear drums often also have a great deal of musical talent and make their own rules. This isn't gently straddling the lines between quite diverse genres, but is stamping all over them and proving that music is whatever the purveyor wishes it to be. There will be some who say that this is too progressive for their extreme metal tastes, while others will say that the guitars are too much and the drum attack is upsetting them. Me, I think it is bloody excellent and look forward to hearing a great deal more from them.

 Urn by NE OBLIVISCARIS album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.95 | 46 ratings

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Urn
Ne Obliviscaris Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Australian band NE OBLIVISCARIS was officially formed in 2003, and became an active live band three years later. An initial EP appeared in 2007, and in 2012 their full length debut album "Portal of I" appeared. Since then a further two EPs and two more studio albums have appeared. "Urn" is the most recent of these, and is set for release in late October 2017 through French label Season of Mist.

Ne Obliviscaris does have something of a buzz around them, and the word is that they tend to deviate from most common norms in the metal environment that is their home. That they are innovative, creative and perhaps even non-conformist as a general rule. For me they do indeed come across as one of those bands that have tossed the book of rules into a nearby fire and chosen to go their very own way, for better as well as for worse.

This isn't a band that will appeal to traditionalists. They are far too progressive and sophisticated for that for starters, and the fact that the shortest track here that isn't a standalone or dual part epic clocks in at a bit more than seven and a half minutes does in itself make a statement I'd say.

The music itself is complex and quirky, filled with small details here and there to complement the driving and dominant elements. Tight riff textures with a light tone and something of an indie or alternative flair to them, but explored in extreme metal intensity, is one of the calling cards of the band. They will include their fair share of slower, darker toned rich guitar riff and impact riffs as well as the staccato, stomping and intense riffs you expect from a band with a foot inside the extreme metal spectrum too, but there's also room for delicate wandering and plucked acoustic guitars, both as a dominant instrument details in gentler phases of the compositions as well as a gentle, underlying supportive one on the harder hitting and more intense passages. Hammering, intense drum patterns alternate with more intricate, quirkier and slower paced rhythms as needed, and the use of alternating growls and melodic lead vocals fits these landscapes very well indeed. With, unless I'm much mistaken, a slight tendency for the instrument support of the growls to be darker and rougher than for the clean and melodic vocals. And there's the violin of course, used to add a melancholic timbre here, a dramatic solo there, and chaotic, twisted and distorted sounds and timbres both here and there. That we are treated to some alternating guitar and violin solo spots is a nice bonus feature.

The compositions are mainly structurally complex affairs, with numerous changes and alterations in pace, tone and intensity. From aggressive extreme metal and black metal to delicate wisps of what might be described as chamber music. Some sections appears to be closer to progressive rock in expression, others progressive metal, some of the acoustic driven sections have something of a folk music undercurrent to them as well I guess, but these are all parts of a greater extreme metal totality, adding flavor and variation to this core foundation of the band.

Those generally fond of extreme metal bands that are creative, sophisticated and inclusive in a progressive context should find plenty to enjoy on this third album by Ne Obliviscaris. This is intense, dramatic music, with interludes and transitions of a gentler nature as a fixed feature, and also an album that documents how the sound of the violin fits perfectly also in extreme metal. An album worth investigating for those who are familiar with the description progressive extreme metal and tend to enjoy music described in such a manner.

 Portal Of I by NE OBLIVISCARIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.10 | 181 ratings

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Portal Of I
Ne Obliviscaris Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by RuntimeError

5 stars Very faulty record that still demands my attention after many spins!

Australia's NeO (Ne Obliviscaris) have become quite a big name in their respective genre. Opeth's legacy is certainly strong with these guys, but the instrumentation and aesthetics are completely different. NeO brings a lot of new things to the table - most certainly the violin, which sometimes creates hauntingly beautiful melodies over heavy guitar riffing. The music underneath the melodies change often and in very surprisingly ways. This is one of the reasons it took me long to get into this record as well. Vocals used here are both clean and harsh, often joining together to build up a climax.

The album opens with the very black metallish 'Tapestry of Starless Abstract' which goes through many sections and different moods, finally setting into calm section in the later stages. This formula is used quite often in this record.

'Xenoflux' is the heaviest song on the album, going through a few extremely good riffs in the beginning while going to a very heavy growling section. The bass climax is quite wonderful here.

'Of the Leper Butteflies' is a shorter song. Not very memorable during first playthroughs but it's still quite a good track in the end. It goes through a wonderful bass tapping/melody section where the guitar provides nice support to the bass riffing and violin is used as a nice staccatto instrument in the backround. Very good songwriting here! The album centerpiece 'Forget Not' is a gorgeous piece of progressive metal, featuring clean vocal chants and wonderful violin work by Tim Charles. This is, along with 'Of Petrichor Weaves Black Noise', my favourite track.

'As Isicles Falls' is most certainly the weakest song on the album and considering the lenght of this debut, it should have been left out. I always skip this one as there is nothing exceptional here compared to the rest of the songs.

'Of Petrichor Weaves Black Noise' is a superb closer that creates wonderful athmosphere where the listener can sink into. Lot's of wonderful riffs and riff variation always progressing to somewhere different.

This album requires quite many listens to appreciate it fully. Many tracks feel disjointed at first and the growls feel often unnecessary. However the end result is very satisfactory and original piece of progressive metal that IMO deserves this high rating. This is much better than the next album (unfortunately). The drumming is also the weakest link of this album. Too much ridiculous double kick runs that often ruin the mood of a good section. A good drummer knows when to restrain himself and this album doesn't showcase anything other than his fast playing ability.

 Hiraeth by NE OBLIVISCARIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2015
3.93 | 6 ratings

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Hiraeth
Ne Obliviscaris Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by CassandraLeo

4 stars Consisting of the band's earliest material, the band's Hiraeth EP reveals the band emerging fully formed as if from the head of Athena. While it's not entirely clear if the material has been re-recorded, the compositions here are very strong, not at all what one would expect from a band yet to record even its first demo. The performances, regardless of whether this is a re-recording, are of the high standard one would expect from this august band, and the recording quality is particularly good for a limited release (although the mastering could be better; there's some clipping). This material isn't as good as the material on The Aurora Veil or the band's two full lengths, but it is still well worth hearing for fans of this band. It will probably be almost impossible to track down a physical copy of this release, but it's possible the band will release the material digitally at some point in the future, and it's strongly recommended you acquire it if they do.
 Sarabande to Nihil by NE OBLIVISCARIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2015
4.00 | 11 ratings

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Sarabande to Nihil
Ne Obliviscaris Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by CassandraLeo

4 stars It's not entirely clear where in the Ne Obliviscaris chronology the compositions on Sarabande to Nihil fit. Some sources have claimed they are Portal of I outtakes, while others claim they predate The Aurora Veil.

In any case, they have been re-recorded for the band's limited edition Sarabande to Nihil EP (one of a pair of limited-edition EPs they handed out to supporters of their crowd funded tour campaign), and they sound great. It's not entirely clear why the band chose not to release these the first time around; they're not as lengthy as the tracks on The Aurora Veil, but they're hardly embarrassing throwaways. The quality of the material may have been perceived as slightly less than the three tracks that did make the cut, which isn't exactly untrue, but when one considers the overwhelming quality of the band's demo, this really isn't a fair comparison to make.

As with Hiraeth, the recording quality here is great, although there is once again clipping in the mastering. And as with Hiraeth, this will probably be impossible to locate in physical form, but interested fans are urged to track down digital versions. Given the paucity of this band's output to date, every little bit of new material is a revelation, and what's here doesn't disappoint.

 Citadel by NE OBLIVISCARIS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 101 ratings

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Citadel
Ne Obliviscaris Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Rowsol

3 stars I've listened to this maybe 20 times over and Portal Of I probably 50 times. I feel I have enough experience to write my experience with this.

If I had to rate my top songs from them it would be: (in this order)

Forget Not Xenoflux Painters of the Tempest Tapestry of the Abstract

Citadel is a much shorter album than the previous and not as good. I see people on the internet saying Citadel is better than Portal Of I, and I have to disagree. That's not to say it's not good, it's still a 4 to me. "Portal" was just that damn good.

Citadel has only a few stand out parts in my opinion. The last 5 minutes of Painters, and 4:00 and 9:00 of "Devour Me, Colossus".

Portal had the middle of Tapestry, the last half of Xenoflux, and the entirety of Forget Not that was excellent.

I saw someone compliment their choice to make this new album shorter than Portal. Why? Portal was 70 minutes and great the entire time. Why would they want to shorten it?

I guess that's all I have to say.

 Portal Of I by NE OBLIVISCARIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.10 | 181 ratings

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Portal Of I
Ne Obliviscaris Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This confident debut by Ne Obliviscaris offers up an onslaught of progressive black metal reminiscent of what would happen if you took Sham Mirrors-era Arcturus, strapped a rocket to it, and fired it at the sun. Mostly eschewing the black metal tradition of ominous stage names and facepaint, this Australian crew offer up a vision of cosmic megalomania, Tim Charles and Xenolyr sharing the vocals in which they rant about goodness-knows-what whilst the band play up a storm. Whilst some prog metal groups go for a "proggy bit, metal bit, proggy bit" sort of structure, Ne Obliviscaris go for a more integrated approach, each and every second of the album standing poised between enchanting you with visions of unworldly beauty and punching your teeth in. In short, these lads are ones to watch.
 Portal Of I by NE OBLIVISCARIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.10 | 181 ratings

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Portal Of I
Ne Obliviscaris Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by CCVP
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Next big thing in progressive metal? Maybe in the future, but definitively not for now

From time to time, a band arises in the progressive rock (and metal) community that claiming the position of possible big guysin the scene and, in 2012, Ne Obliviscaris has taken that place. Obviously, for being in such position, their debut album was for many times discussed and talked about by the community, so I had to see (or hear) for myself if all what was being said did in fact made sense. Also, I feel that it is necessary to mention that, however big the amount of positive feedback, there were people bashing the guys for not being original and claiming they were mere copiers of Opeth and generic symphonic black metal bands. Even though the band had previously released a demo EP some years back, Portal of I is my first contact with this Australian progressive black metal group.

Since the beginning, from the very first song, you can see that, to some degree, the people that praise this album does indeed have some reason in doing so. The compositions in general are indeed impressive and they evolve gradually, they are carefully crafted and well developed, denoting that the guys from the world's largest island did take their time writing and sharpening the material they had for Portal of I. Also, there is the impressive violin and solo guitar parts that, together, amount for the best elements in the whole album; indeed, they are truly awe inspiring, specially the violin parts. Another quite interesting part of the band's opus are the lyrics which, in spite of not making much sense themselves (if taken literally), are quite beautiful in the way they sound and how you need to twist and turn them to get their true meaning.

However, this album does not comes without flaws. starting with the compositions, the strongest element in this album, even though they are very well crafted, the band allowed their influences to be too much in our face, instead of letting them to subtly guide themselves. The most obvious ones are Opeth, which guides most of the album's light - dark, forte - piano, growling vocals - clean vocals aesthetics (these are the whole musical concepts of Portal of I); and Borknagard, whose influence can be felt in how the band portrays their melodic black metal lines, much in the same vein as the Norwegian band does themselves.

Another issue I have myself with this album is with the mixing and mastering. Starting with the former, I feel that whoever mixed this album cared mostly for the base part of Portal of I's sound, because the drums and the bass are way too high. They are so loud that at points they drown mostly every other thing, besides the violin and the highest notes from the solo guitar. Everything else gets inaudible, the music turns into a mass of blast beats, repetitive bass lines and some indistinguishable noise which consist in all other instruments and the vocals. As for the mastering, there are also some problems with the music's loudness; instead of just keeping how the instruments were, the person responsible for the album's mastering decided to make everything louder, making the music get clipped at times, further worsening the problems of the bad mixing.

Rating and Final Thoughts

Having addressed both strong and weak points in the band's output, I must say that both sides on the prog music community are right in their claims to some extent. The guys from Ne Obliviscaris do have a strong chance to impress us in the future whenever they choose to release another album (or when they decide to re-record or re-release Portal of I without so many flaws regarding the mixing and mastering and making their influences less apparent).

For now, however, I feel that, in spite of releasing an album with strong compositions, Portal of I is so fundamentally flawed in such important instances that for some moments the album's qualities are unimportant.

Everything considered, I think that the three stars rating is the most appropriate for this particular album.

 Portal Of I by NE OBLIVISCARIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.10 | 181 ratings

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Portal Of I
Ne Obliviscaris Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars Although I am just over the ditch as it were, I must confess to not knowing a great deal about Australian bands (apart from the more well known ones such as The Angels, Cold Chisel etc). But, one of my favourite prog albums of all-time hails from there (Aragon's 'Don't Bring The Rain') so when I saw this described as "Intense Progressive Extreme Metal like you never heard before" I was intrigued. I then noticed that it had been mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Ihsahn, Katatonia, Devin Townsend), which also got me interested. I mean, why would someone of this stature be involved with an unknown band from Australia? What is going on?

It didn't take long to find out the answer, all I had to do was put it on the player. This is an incredibly intense album, and in many ways indescribable (which isn't exactly helpful to anyone who hasn't heard it). It is clear that these guys are operating at an incredibly high musical level with a line-up that includes violin, two guitars, bass, drums (which is intense, I mean, they can all play but the speed of these double bass drum hits are stunning), clean and extreme vocals. Their influences are at times classical and progressive while at others they go through the extreme genres of black, thrash and death metal while also not being afraid to be extremely melodic at some times and insanely over the top at others, and of course you can also add jazz and acoustic noodlings to the mix as well.

But what makes this work so incredibly well is that it doesn't feel like a hotchpotch when one is listening to it, it just makes total musical sense. There is a clarity and single purpose of vision that is outstanding, and I won't be surprised to see this make 'album of the year' in many quarters ? not bad for such a complicated and complex musical offering. All power to Aural Music for digging these guys out and giving them the opportunity to impress on a larger stage. Of course, now I know about them I'll have to see if they're heading this way for some gigs ? you never know.. www.auralmusic.com

Thanks to burritounit for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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