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Ne Obliviscaris - Citadel Award winner

Ne Obliviscaris
by Dave “That Metal Guy” Campbell at 02 November 2014, 12:56 AM

NE OBLIVISCARIS is a six-piece, Progressive/Extreme/Melodic Metal band based out of Melbourne, Australia, formed in 2003. After spending nearly nine years rehearsing and enduring line-up changes, the band released their debut album “Portal of I” in 2012, to much critical acclaim. Hailed for their creativity, immense complexity and technicality, the band has been gaining attention as many Metal bands of old used to, through word of mouth. “Citadel” is their second album, and contains six tracks. “Painters of the Tempest” leads off the album, in three distinct parts. “Wyrmholes” is the first part of the track. Gently it enters, with a haunting piano melody that sits squarely on the fence between sinister and benevolence. The tortured, eerie violin brings a supernatural element to the track, especially as it descends into a maddening thunder. This is about as interesting and subtly epic as an opening song on an album could be. “Triptych Lux” is the second part of the track and by far the longest on the album. It wastes no time coming at you with a dissonant intensity, and thick, rich layering of multiple melody lines. The Death vocals are ardent and agonizing, and the contrasting violin and clean vocals provide that contradiction that is so prevalent in this style of Extreme Metal. The second movement sees the song turns to a soft, thoughtful passage where the music shines with harmonies. The third movement combines elements of both previous movements in a reprisal fashion, weaving everything together so beautifully, in a crescendo of emotion. In the final part of this song, “Reveries from the Stained Glass Womb”, the acoustic guitar and violin dance together with a Latin feeling. “Pyrrhic” is the only stand-alone track not part of a series of movements. It enters dark and heavy and thunderous, with chord progressions that are markedly unusual, yet oddly familiar at the same time. This quality is something I find completely unique to this band. How they do it remains a mystery but is exactly what provides the fabric to the sound here. About two-thirds into the song, they pause to return to some more accessible melody and build on it from there, riding out strong and beautiful to the end in the same way you enjoy a good sunset.

The final track, “Devour Me, Colossus”, is divided into two parts. The first part is entitled “Blackholes”. This is the culminating track for me. There is so much grace and reverie above the bed of aggressive, powerful Death Metal that is simply stunning in its delivery. This was a very poignant moment in my listening experience. I especially enjoyed the clean vocal passage connecting the beginning and ending of the song. “Contortions” is the second part. Aptly, the violin playing imparts just that feeling. It twists and clings over the piano, grating metal on metal at times and soaring into the heavens other times. This band is so unique that you will find no other encompassing their sound. I mean, how many other Metal bands can successfully work violin into their material and have it sound as heavy as it does? To know them is to study them as if you would a classical masterpiece of the 18th Century. You can break down most of the individual elements, but finding a way to describe their interconnectedness is no easy task. Instead, I challenge you to just take in the full glory of each track as a whole. Because it is here where you will find how stellar this album really is. There is growth noted here in “Citadel” from their first album. The brutal Death and technical elements did not need further development and have remained as strong as ever. I am still however in awe at how sharp the band is and the instrumental prowess of each of the members. The percussion is simply outstanding; a truly consistent display of musicianship throughout each track. What they were able to do here with the new album is allow the music to breathe more and expand with a little more melody and beauty into each piece. It’s a grandiose but totally accessible alignment and hybridization of sublime musical transcendence, and an album that you simply cannot do without.

5 Star Rating

1. Painters of the Tempest – (Part I) Wyrmholes
2. Painters of the Tempest – (Part II) Triptych Lux (Movement One: Creator, Movement Two: Cynosure, Movement Three: Curator)
3. Painters of the Tempest – (Part III) Reveries from the Stained Glass Womb
4. Pyrrhic
5. Devour Me, Colossus – (Part I) Blackholes
6. Devour Me, Colossus – (Part II) Contortions
Xenoyr - Vocals, Lyrics
Tim Charles - Violin, Clean Vocals
Matt Klavins - Guitar
Cygnus - Bass
Benjamin Baret - Lead Guitar
Dan Presland - Drums
Record Label: Season Of Mist


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Edited 10 June 2023

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