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Somebody has to say it. - 0%

mm799812, August 11th, 2017

Okay, I'm about to lay done some serious blasphemies here. That's just a warning for hardcore fans of this band and this album. You've been warned.

As a metal-head, I've listened to my fair share of underground bands. I can attest to the fact that it's fun to find an under-appreciated band and spread the love. It's great to turn a friend on to an awesome band.

However, as I've gotten older, I've also gotten more cynical, and am more disposed to criticizing metal than I used to be. This once infallible form of musical expression is no longer invincible in my eyes.

So, I've come to the conclusion that not all underground metal is awesome, and remain unappreciated for a reason. Not to say that Ne Obliviscaris is the most underground band ever... There's certainly crap that's even more obscure than these guys. Still, the fact remains that I won't be recommending Ne Obliviscaris to anybody anytime soon.

My first criticism of this album is the production... Long story short, I hate it. Way too clean and processed. It doesn't sound like something coming from a band. It sounds like a computer program. Every ounce of rawness has been squeezed out of the production, making it nearly impossible for me to enjoy how this album sounds on any level.

The production wouldn't be such a huge issue if the album didn't have numerous other flaws. Unfortunately, it does. For one thing, I can't stand any of the vocals on this album. The clean vocals are almost too whiny and the harsh vocals are not powerful enough to grab my attention.

Ultimately, my biggest issue with this album deals with the fact that this is a progressive metal album, and is two-fold; 1. This album is more concerned with musical masturbation than it is creating interesting songs, and 2. This album still feels unoriginal and derivative.

Regarding my first issue there, one of the worst things a progressive metal band can do is try to be too progressive... In other words, just throwing a bunch of stuff together without regard for cohesion or good songwriting. Ne Obliviscaris is absolutely guilty of that here. There are a lot of instrumental parts here all jostling for attention, and because of this, really none of them feel worthy of attention. As a result, the album is just a total mess to listen to.

But the nail in the coffin for any band calling themselves "progressive" metal is a sense that they're derivative. Look, I get it. All bands have to steal from somebody, but stealing ideas from other bands is not the problem... The problem comes from this feeling of "been there, done that" that plagues Citadel... It's also not an issue when the band is doing something particularly well, but, as I've already mentioned, I don't feel like that's happening here, either.

So, in the end, Citadel to tries to steal from all sorts of bands, like Opeth, My Dying Bride, etc., trying to do the good cop/bad cop routine. It's just that Ne Obliviscaris don't have the authenticity to come up with anything original or memorable.