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Exquisite - 89%

Muloc7253, July 30th, 2008

Ne Obliviscaris have caused quite a stir on the underground as this, their first demo has recieved a ton of praise from many reviewers. They came pretty much out of nowhere with 'The Aurora Veil', and will probably release an album in the next two years that will be subject to even more critical acclaim.

Ne Obliviscaris play what is here described as progressive black metal, but that's pretty vague as progressive can mean anything. Well, they are progressive in the very traditional Dream Theater sort of way - talented musicianship, tempo changes, lots of different sounds and instruments and enough diversity to keep the hyperactive among us interested. They could be compared to Opeth, I guess, it's a similiar deal if you replace the growls for black metal shrieks (although there are some low growls included). Also, this does have a really good flow, and all the different tempos blend in rather well, which apaprently Opeth don't do so well (I don't really listen to Opeth so I don't know, but that's what they seem to get criticized for the most). There are lots of long and winding folk/acoustic parts featuring an assortment of instruments, the violin being quite a prominent one, especially in 'Forget Not'. Aside from the harsh vocals, there's also a clean vocalist, who does just as good a job. Infact, the clean vocals seem to play a bigger role than the harsh ones.

The instrumentation is brilliant, and is one of the main focuses of this demo. The harsh vocals are very well handled, the high-pitched variety sounding a lot like Dani Filth in his better days. The drummer (who won 'fastest feet in Australia' in 2006) is great behind the kit although he doesn't get too showy, which is good. The guitars are very well played, whether supplying rhythm with chuggy riffs or playing melodic leads. The clean vocals are good enough, and sound pretty standard fare for your general prog metal band. However, the members that shine through the most to me are Tim and Brendan, on violin and bass respectively. The violin plays a very large role, acting similiarly to the lead guitar, playing wonderful solos that add an extra beautiful dimension to the already complex and melodic music. The bass is highly proficient and goes beyond regular bass duties, being just about flashy enough to be noticed and add quality to the music without attention whoring. The whole thing would not be complete if one member were missing, as listening to this analytically shows how much every individual put into their performance to create these songs.

I personally like this a lot, and I can see Ne Obliviscaris having a great future ahead of them, not just because music like Opeth and Agalloch is popular now, but because they surpass these bands in terms of consistansy and keeping their music interesting. It's interesting enough for me, and I don't exactly have a vast attention span.