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The Marmite Of Music. - 95%

Perplexed_Sjel, October 5th, 2007

Progressive black metal is a genre i'm not very familiar with. I've little or nothing to compare Ne Obliviscaris to, but in a sense I suppose that's a good thing. From what little I have heard of this obscure sub-genre, it hasn't been very good. Ne Obliviscaris are one of the many bands I stumbled across when searching for new music. So, I ran straight to Metal Archives in search for information. An Australian black metal band, there are quite a few good acts out there. Drowning The Light, Pestilential Shadows and Abyssic Hate to name but a few.

Now, if you've ever heard Ne Obliviscaris, you'll know it's completely absurd to compare them to any of the aforementioned bands. They don't sound similar whatsoever. In any way, shape or form. Considering the fact that there are a number of good Australian acts in the genre already, all of which I like, I decided it would be a wise idea to set about listening to some of their material. What I came across was a highly interesting act.

Black metal isn't just a stereotype to Ne Obliviscaris like it is to many of the acts in the genre today. It's not about lo-fi production which sounds like you're riffing over a blender. It's not about creating a 'grim' or 'kvlt' look in order to appeal to fans solely based around that and it's certainly not about creating one dimensional music that loops on itself time and time again to create a short lasting affect upon the listener. Ne Obliviscaris can be compared to certain food products. Odd, yes, but hold on. There are certain types of food, as with certain bands, that people will either love or hate. There simply is no middle ground when it comes to a band like Ne Obliviscaris.

Their style doesn't allow people to merely sit on the fence and state, 'well, it was all right'. They're far too diverse and innovative for that. Some might say Ne Obliviscaris have outdone themselves by using the vast array of instruments that they have done. Such a claim is ridiculous in this respect. Certain genres, such as classical, allow a number of musicians to play together at one time. Ne Obliviscaris have hit the nail on the head here. They blend instrument sounds together harmoniously. From the incredibly fast drums to the use of the violin which adds depth to the soundscapes.

Diversity and dynamics are key to Ne Obliviscaris. The use of both clean and harsh vocals are used to great effect. Harmoniously merging and creating one atmosphere together in such a stunning manner. The vocals are a particular high point, especially the clean vocals. They're strangely catchy. The constant pounding of the drums are a notable addition as well. Not only is the drummer the fastest in Australia, but he is gifted in other ways as well. He doesn't simply pound one beat after another, hoping something will sound all right together. He uses a vast array of techniques to portray the best sound across to the listener, which is incredibly pleasing to the senses. His ability to shift from a fast pace to a slower pace is typical of all of the members of Ne Obliviscaris. From an aggressive fast approach, to a slower acoustic section which lightens the mood before the onslaught continues. Dynamism rules all. The violins, as aforementioned, add a new spark. They create a painfully beautiful sound. Enhancing the already laid down soundscapes.

My personal highlight would be Tapestry Of The Starless Abstract.