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Ne Obliviscaris – Exul

Ne Obliviscaris
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 19 March 2023, 9:35 AM

Aussie Extreme Metal band NE OBLIVISCARIS is back with a new album. Regarding the themes on the new album, Xen comments: ““Overall, there’s a darker core to this album, perhaps more ominous than previous releases,” he continues. “However abstract the lyrics are, they involve some form of unwanted departure — all journeys into torment, passion, longing and even despair. They touch on the process of physical and psychological destruction that comes from that sense or reality of being exiled, whether forced from one’s land, ostracized from a community, shunned by a religion, or even simply being treated differently for being who they are.” The album has six songs.

“Equus” is the first. Alluring violin notes and clean vocals cut through the initial landscape of heavy drums, bass, guitar, and harsh vocals. Their technical prowess is as good as ever. The song has a weighted, ominous tone of dashed hopes. The clean guitar passage after the half-way mark really represents this sound quite well. “Misericorde I – As the Flesh Falls” begins with a slow riff and harsh vocals. The interplay in the instruments is amazing. Each instrument is doing their own part, but it clicks together like the mechanical parts of a lock. The lead guitar work is also solid. “Misericorde II – Anatomy of Quiescence” begins with depressing but pretty piano notes and violin. The song has an early crescendo of smoking leads and emotive qualities but segues from there to a darker sound. The harsh vocals are very tormenting, but something is missing through three songs so far.

“Suspyre” is another highly technical song, with guitars and bass that move to and fro. The vocals vary from clean to harsh, and the violin carries much of the melody. The bass makes many accents, and the mood is darker. “Graal” was the first single release from the album. The clean vocals butt up again the harsh vocals with weight, while the guitars and bass dance around in the background. The instrumental parts are wonderful, and their prowess continues to amaze me. “Anhedonia” closes the album. It’s a short, three-minute closer. The mood is somber, and the vocals are very impactful. The title translates to “the inability to feel pleasure.” It might be the most succinct and most powerful song on the album. Overall, this was a good album, from outstanding musicians, but it lacked a bit of the punch and power of previous works from the band. I can’t help a slight feeling of disappointment in the music either. Maybe this is a transitional period from the band, as Presland recently left. Whatever it is, I hope their mojo returns soon, because they are way too special of a band.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 5
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

1. Equus
2. Misericorde I - As the Flesh Falls
3. Misericorde II - Anatomy of Quiescence
4. Suspyre
5. Graal
6. Anhedonia
Xenoyr – Harsh Vocals
Tim Charles – Violin & Clean Vocals
Benjamin Baret – Lead Guitar
Matt Klavins – Guitar
Martino Garattoni – Bass
Record Label: Season of Mist


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