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Ne Obliviscaris

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Ne Obliviscaris Portal of I album cover
4.12 | 194 ratings | 8 reviews | 45% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tapestry of the Starless Abstract (12:01)
2. Xenoflux (10:01)
3. Of the Leper Butterflies (5:52)
4. Forget Not (12:04)
5. And Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope (11:35)
6. As Icicles Fall (9:24)
7. Of Petrichor Weaves Black Noise (10:43)

Total Time 71:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Marc Campbell "Xenoyr" / harsh vocals
- Tim Charles / clean vocals, violin, producer
- Benjamin Baret / lead guitar
- Matt Klavins / guitar
- Brendan "Cygnus" Brown / bass
- Daniel "Mortuary" Presland / drums

Releases information

CD Code666 ‎- CODE073 (2012, Europe)

2LP Blood Music ‎- BLOOD-030 (2013, Finland) Remastered by Ken Sorceron

Digital album

Thanks to Derek*Peth for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy NE OBLIVISCARIS Portal of I Music

NE OBLIVISCARIS Portal of I ratings distribution

(194 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(45%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

NE OBLIVISCARIS Portal of I reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 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.

Review by kev rowland
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..

Review by CCVP
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.

Review by Warthur
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.
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 their choice of 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; a 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 on lead guitar, 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).

Latest members reviews

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 n ... (read more)

Report this review (#1566952) | Posted by RuntimeError | Wednesday, May 18, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Ne Obliviscaris - "Portal of I" 13/20 46th place album of the year 2012 Of the many metal album of the year lists I have studied in order to diversify mine, Ne Obliviscaris' "Portal Of I" seems to be one of the common factors in many. The album, which took all of 8 years to come to life, is 7 ... (read more)

Report this review (#823571) | Posted by Gallifrey | Tuesday, September 18, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars So for those of you who do not know who Ne Obliviscaris are, they are an upcoming Progressive Extreme Metal band from Australia who have been around since 2003. The name "Ne Obliviscaris" itself is a Latin phrase, which translates into "lest you forget". Before the release of their debut album wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#780443) | Posted by Codera the Great | Saturday, June 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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