Ne Obliviscaris
Portal of I


4.5
superb

Review

by Jacob R. STAFF
May 16th, 2012 | 57 replies | 4,138 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Carefully calculated, Ne Obliviscaris' debut speeds by at an unrelenting velocity.

About a year ago, there was immense hype for Unexpect's latest album titled Fables of the Sleepless Empire, and I never quite understood why. The grandiosity was there, full-fledged in symphonic form. The prog noodling was there, quite extensively to say the least. And lo and behold, there were even quirky vocals to sate my progressive hunger. Yet it was a major letdown, all because of how grand it actually was. The ambition reduced the album to a collection of tracks that could never find their footing, and Unexpect fell into the pitfall that many progressive artists eventually do. This type of album is what I was expecting to hear when I heard about Ne Obliviscaris, for the hype seemed to overexaggerate on every level and be premature. However, it's safe to say that Portal of I is the type of album I was looking for in Fables of the Sleepless Empire.

Portal of I looks like the damned cheesiest thing ever if you’re the sort to judge a book by its cover (I mention this because I know I absolutely did in this instance), and this mindset leads to a bit of unwarranted skepticism towards Ne Obliviscaris. Perhaps what’s most impressive about the group, though, is how they pull off a decent amount of cheese perfectly, incredibly tastefully. Yes, the album does match its cover perfectly. Only in the most magnificent of ways, though, and in the classiest. The band shows maturity on many levels; for instance, during moments where the songs' twists and turns are even approaching being stale, the music always takes a new direction entirely. Examples like these indicate why Ne Obliviscaris' debut full-length is such an exciting and engaging progressive release, one is a long journey but a rewarding one that flies by; and this immediate level of enjoyment is a true indication of what the genre is capable of when the brush is in the right artist’s hands.

Ne Obliviscaris have created an album that’s diverse on many levels, incorporating the atmospherics of black metal whilst never neglecting the technical proficiencies of the progressive movement. The vocals are also perfectly diverse, switching from growls to shouts, from croons to shrieks to fit whatever’s necessary. And one common characteristic of many progressive groups is the inability to write a cohesive song (mandatory BTBAM comparison, etc.), but here each and every song stands out on its own as a certifiable movement. Each track bolsters impact, and knows exactly how it aims to shake the ground below its listener. However, while they're all entities of their own they collectively share key instincts that make the album as incredibly cohesive as it is. While each track is perhaps 9 minutes on average, they never feel unnecessarily bloated - each moment comes across as if it had been carefully calculated, blueprinted on multiple score sheets. The balance between proficiency and emotion deserves to be mentioned as well, seeing as the album features some of the craziest instrumentation I've ever heard, and is still one of the most emotional albums I know. The guitar solos are written in context of the song, and this benefits the album greatly. The mature stance taken on songwriting, as well as the overarching sense of class, ensures that Portal of I will have a long lifespan in the progressive metal realm, and perhaps even the black metal one. They will only grow more potent, and their next release will be even crazier.



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user ratings (727)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Agingman (4)
    The overall feel of Ne Obliviscaris is around their melodic bridges which showcase the ban...

    Samuel Mclean (5)
    Ne Obliviscaris ensure you Forget Not this masterpeice, a truly astounding album that all ...

    SgtShock (4.5)
    Ne Obliviscaris have produced a fantastic debut LP that effortlessly masters dynamics, emo...

    TerraIncognita (2.5)
    Ne Obliviscaris display the blueprint of what could eventally become an excellent band....

  • Cyan1d3 (2.5)
    With shortened song lengths and a trimming of musical fat, Ne Obliviscaris could have prod...

    Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS (4.5)
    The new demigods of prog-metal...

    Michael Snoxall (4.5)
    What we've all been waiting for......

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Comments:Add a Comment 
LoneWanderer
May 16th 2012



180 Comments


Good Lord...look at that average rating..This must be something.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 16th 2012



10011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Oh Lordy yes it is. Check it out, man.

"And Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMorAdnCixg

"Xenoflux" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wa4zqBwPVE

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

Wolfhorde
May 16th 2012



12070 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Getting little too much hype tbh.

MichaelSnoxall
May 16th 2012



12163 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Damn, now I don't have the only review for this.

Wolfhorde
May 16th 2012



12070 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'd bet 50 bucks there might even be another one.

ThunderNeutral21
May 16th 2012



3864 Comments


actually unexpect is better than this

MichaelSnoxall
May 16th 2012



12163 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, probably.

ThunderNeutral21
May 16th 2012



3864 Comments


"And one common characteristic of many progressive groups is the inability to write a cohesive song (mandatory BTBAM comparison, etc.)"
neg 1/5

Funeralopolis
May 16th 2012



11029 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album may be a wank fest but don't take it out on the reviewer.

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

ThunderNeutral21
May 16th 2012



3864 Comments


yeah omaha knows about cohesive metal scurrilous 4.5!

MichaelSnoxall
May 16th 2012



12163 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I've never understood the BTBAM hate.

Oathbreaker
May 16th 2012



1649 Comments


>I've never understood the BTBAM hate.
>Album Rating: 4.5
"I have no problem with Wankfests" said Michael, a batabamia native. "As long as they keep their violins I'm okay."

Wolfhorde
May 16th 2012



12070 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I've never understood the BTBAM hate."
They are just massively overrated.

MO
May 16th 2012



18260 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i'm finally giving this album lots of listens, really damn good

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

MichaelSnoxall
May 16th 2012



12163 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

BTBAM are overrated, I'll agree on that. But I still think they're pretty great. And I hate guitar wanking bands. If they make something enjoyable, memorable and creative as well as technical, it's fine. But if it's all out wankery that sounds like incoherent shit (see band: Dream Theater), then I have a grudge.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 16th 2012



10011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Only Progmaster would be wise enough to
a. Neg based on one phrase
b. Judge reviewer credibility from one album rating

The hype IS crazy, but that doesn't always mean it isn't indicative of something within the album that deserves attention.

Gyromania
May 16th 2012



15200 Comments


Jacob, quick question: Did you post this at The Alt Review too? If so I'll sign in and approve it.

MichaelSnoxall
May 16th 2012



12163 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I don't know if Oathbreaker is trolling or if he just has a knife up his urethra.

MO
May 16th 2012



18260 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the instrumental section in the middle of Xenoflux is realllllly good

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 16th 2012



10011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Matt, not yet. I'm definitely going to submit it tonight though.





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