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A True Metal Gem - 98%

typoofreality1, September 4th, 2007

A True Gem.

This is one of those releases that makes the listener go ‘wow’ immediately after he/she has heard it. Keeping in mind that this release is a mere demo, the average metal listeners would probably crap themselves thinking what Ne Obliviscaris could do with a full-length album. A truly unclassifiable creation, it is breathtaking from the first drumroll and doesn’t let the listener go until the last seconds of Its 33 minute entirety.

Ne Obliviscaris can be pigeonholed most easily into the ‘progressive black metal’ genre, but that wouldn’t even come close to doing justice in describing the multitude of sounds to be heard on this album. The black metal elements on this album can be easily identified, as Ne Obliviscaris has the typical black metal format down perfectly. Xenoyr’s rasps slice through the air over well-done tremolo riffage and pulse-pounding drums. Unlike many typical black metal demos, these heavier distorted sections are done cleanly and with remarkable precision.

What really makes this release amazing however, are the times in it when black metal takes a musical back seat. Ne Obliviscaris takes many long instrumental breaks, and they are tasteful as well as virtuosic. The star of the show is violinist/vocalist Tim Charles, who switches back and forth between well-crafted violin leads and breathtaking clean vocals. It is among these qualities that makes this release such a refreshing listen. Even the bass, and instrument that is criminally underused in much of black metal, comes out in full force here, as there are many creative and inventive basslines to be found on this album.

Just because less-then-typical sections are highlights of this release doesn’t mean that the good ol’ high-gain guitar goodness isn’t to be found here. Among the well done black metal riffs on this album are breathtaking guitar solos played both electrically and acoustically. There is no wankage to be found here, and Ne Obliviscaris’ guitarists sound like masterful shredders with decades of practice. The keen listener should be able to pick up hints of jazz and flamenco in the guitar playing.

The lyrical content on this album is potent and poetic, and the fact that the lyrics are both growled and sung cleanly only make the allure of the lyrics more interesting. The best vocal parts of this album happen when both the clean and the harsh vocals are done at the same time. Never before have I encountered a band with such vocal and lyrical flexibility as Ne Obliviscaris and their compositions are sure to impress the most stubborn musical elitists.

The Aurora Veil contains three lengthy tracks, each totaling between nine and twelve minutes. Each track contains long acoustic sections, brutal black metal passages, bombastic drumming, artful vocal melodies, and just plain spectacular musical harmonies. If I had to pick the best one, I would say Tapestries of the Starless Abstract, but every song here is a killer. This demo is well worth your time to pick up, and this band has amazing potential. Recommended for fans of all metal.


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