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Loses its value after time.. - 65%

Saethiaal, September 19th, 2008

Ne Obliviscaris are a six piece Australian band who hails from Melbourne, Australia. They a play a genre of music that is very hard to define, some would call it progressive black metal. But what they play isn't black enough to be called black metal, its really hard to pin them down to one genre. If we did, we would be getting into genre extremities such as "melodic progressive symphonic black metal" (I mean come on, who's seriously going to call it that?). They have also drawn comparisons to bands such as Agollach and Opeth, but really they don’t sound too similar to either of them. They are like a mix of those two bands and Emperor, but with a violin.

No matter how you put it, having a violin in metal is always going to sound pretentious. But Ne Obliviscaris manage to make it sounds rather good without being amazing and it adds to the overall atmosphere without sounding like as some would describe it “wankery” at points. At times it takes over from the guitar as the lead instrument, and even has a few, as I would describe them “solos”. They also have two vocalists, one who does the falsettos and the other who does the harsh vocals. I think this is a great idea, especially when they intertwine and overlap over the top of each other, at different points, the roles move back and forth, with one taking the lead while the other provides background vocals. While at other points it just focuses on one of them, it sounds good without sounding like too much is going on at once. The drummer is the real highlight here though, he won the Australian leg of the Fastest Feet award, and you can tell this from some of the blast beats, it sounds like machine gun fire. When he isn’t doing blast beats he shows that he is a very, very solid drummer.

The best song on this demo is probably, “Tapestry of the Starless Abstract”, it starts off as brutal and heavy as you will hear on the entire demo, with the machine gun blast-beats and the Emperor-esque riffs, then Xenoyr comes in with the harsh vocals. After a few minutes of this barrage a jazzy bass line comes in with a rather good violin solo (well i'm no expert on the instrument, but it sounds pretty good to me). At the end of the song, which is surprisingly uplifting (unlike the melancholy we usually hear coming from these bands), we are hit with, what I find to be very good lyrics in::

“Symphony for the pilgrim… intrinsic wake.... opulent discordant arabesque, Setting sail from paradox lost to a paradise found... Paradise, my paradise found”

The next song on the demo is “Forget Not” and for some reason, the intro to this song sounds like the music you hear in the game Diablo when you’re in the city. One of the qualms I have with this song is that the intro is a little long, but besides that the song is rather decent. The final song is “As the Icicles Fall”, which really highlights the drummer and the clean vocalist’s abilities at the beginning, before exploding at around the 1:30 point and not looking back at all from that point.

One of the main problems with this demo is that some of the songs seem to have points which where they drag on for about a minute or so longer than they should, usually at the beginning or end of the song where they just have pointless interludes or acoustics. I usually fast forward to the bits to where it gets much heavier, which leads me to the conclusion that this band is much better when they play faster, this music seems more interesting and draws you in more than it does when they slow down.

To sum up, this demo is hopefully a good preview for what we can hopefully expect from their upcoming album to be released sometime in 2009.

Edit: The album has lost it's value over time, it almost seems like a gimmick having the violin in the band. Although this is still a decent release but lets hope they release something better this year.