Ne Obliviscaris

Ne Obliviscaris‘s 2014 sophomore album Citadel was one of my top 3 albums for that year, and now 3 years later, the Australian progressive extreme metal collective look to have another of my top albums for 2017 in Urn.

The incredibly ambitious and hard to describe sound of these guys is in force again,  as Urn again delivers a tour de force of style melding and experimental, forward thinking and progressive metal with elements of black metal, technical death metal, symphonic metal and classical music.

Like the band’s prior two releases, this is no simple or quick listen and once again the focus of the music are the impressive dual vocals  (powerful bellows of Xeynor and clean croons of  violinist Tim Charles) and the violin that flocks many of the tracks. The constant shifting and twisting of the complex  but extreme music that come across like Opeth meets Transiberian Orchestra meets Lindsey Stirling meets Decrepit Birth be too much for some listeners, but the band has a knack of delivering some form of epic chorus, violin moment or moment of clarity that ties everything together.

What is amazing about the album is that even though its a 6 track album, it feels like a sprawling, epic hour plus album. Only opener “Libera (Part I) – Saturnine Spheres” and mid point centerpiece and standout 11 minute number “Eyrie” goes over 7 minutes as the band somehow mange to deliver all of their considerable styles and skill in a succinct 45  minutes.

The kaleidoscope  of sound is sheer joy to behold in its entirely. While there are great individual riffs or  moments, it’s all part of a great interwoven musical tapestry that isn’t just about riffs or solos, but these sweeping all encompassing larger sonic vignettes that come together to forge something beautiful (last few minutes of “Eyrie”, about 3 minutes into “Urn (Part I) – And Within the Void We Are Breathless”, closing of “Urn (Part II) – As Embers Dance in Our Eyes”).

Like  their US counterparts Black Crown Initiate, Ne Obliviscaris is pushing the boundaries of extreme music and ensuring the future of metal has a bright , shining path forward.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
December 4th, 2017


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