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The pick of 07 - 93%

deepred, March 6th, 2008

Who would have thought it? Album of the year? An AUSTRALIAN band? Playing black metal? And a DEMO?

As an Australian myself, I am often the scene's biggest critic. It frequently lacks inspiration, particularly the black metal scene. But this release has simply blown me away and Ne Obliviscaris have the potential to rival the likes of Deathspell Omega, Negura Bunget and Blut Aus Nord in terms of impact on the ever-stretching constraints of black metal.

The Aurora Veil had the potential of being yet another gimmicky 'progressive' release - "black metal with violins, ooh, big deal". But after hearing this, you'll wonder how the violin hasn't become an integral part of black metal. It is, after all, perfect for expressing beauty, sorrow, madness and hate. And there can be no doubt about either the quality of musicianship or composition here.

Around a core of pummelling bass drumming, the bass guitar pops and bubbles like Shaun Malone on Cynic's 'Focus'. That's the groundwork. The songs build to epic crescendoes featuring stunning interplay between the highly technical guitar riffs, the frantic dancing and wailing of the violin, and overlaid above all this are the brilliantly composed vocal harmonies. The screams, growls and clean vocals are all immaculate and arranged with a maturity rarely seen in metal.

Bring on the full-length!