Ne Obliviscaris
Portal of I


4.5
superb

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
May 28th, 2012 | 1401 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The new demigods of prog-metal

Portal of I is a stirring trans-genre metal debut that's not easy to appreciate for its full impact immediately. Instead, Ne Obliviscaris demand attention from the opening blackened death barrage of "Tapestry of the Starless Abstract", but challenge listeners with clandestine grace - a nearly inaudible pizzicato violin poses as a dulcimer amidst a prog breakdown. This is only a microcosm of their true specialty in seamlessly integrating unconventional instrumentation or ideas; they breathe life into an almost tired genre throughout the complete course of Portal of I. The parallels to Opeth are obvious, yet the Australian metallers forge new territory by using black metal (and using it well) where it has been traditionally unwelcome within the "confines" of progressive metal. More realistically, PoI is reminiscient of a more highly evolved Devin Townsend experimentation - coupling atmosphere with SYL-esque ferocity sans the skullet and fart jokes.

Instrumentally, all musicians are consummate professionals and hold their weight at a very minimum. The screams are evil and the clean vocals aren't vomit-worthy like most prog; "Of the Leper Butterflies" has one of the most memorable choruses for the genre in recent memory. The solos are technical and melodic, the bass is audible and actually useful, and the blast-beats are unrelenting. Notably and emphatically, the violin steals the show on recordings like "Forget Not" with emotion practically dripping out of every bowed note. More important than instrumental prowess, however, is the package as a whole. Portal of I delivers a well-conceived and meticulously planned composition that has obviously been years in waiting. Music like this isn't made overnight, and the results are telling. Ne Obliviscaris have made their case for replacing Opeth atop the prog-metal pantheon in one strike; their next effort has a lot to live up to.



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user ratings (742)
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4
excellent
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    Michael Snoxall (4.5)
    What we've all been waiting for......


Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
May 28th 2012


9543 Comments


Must be nice, always getting your reviews featured as staff.

Album sound pretty interesting, seems to be the general consensus at least. Probably going to have to check this out, normally not a fan of prog much.

Digging: Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood

kingsoby1
Emeritus
May 28th 2012


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it's awesome.

conesmoke
May 28th 2012


5217 Comments


Yay some featured prog metal from my neck of the woods. Quite excited to hear this. m/

MichaelSnoxall
May 28th 2012


12163 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I missed out on seeing them last week. That was a bummer.

Acanthus
May 28th 2012


9543 Comments


Finding the cleans really weak sadly.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
May 28th 2012


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

kind of lame at times, but makes sense when you listen to the whole thing. grows on you

jimmykidd
May 28th 2012


528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is ridiculously good.

MichaelSnoxall
May 28th 2012


12163 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Am I the only one who loves the cleans?

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
May 28th 2012


7112 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this is fantastic. Really dig the black metal styles on here and the violin is always kick ass.

jimmykidd
May 28th 2012


528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love the cleans also. ^

sifFlammable
May 28th 2012


2741 Comments


violins and cleans in metal

CANT B GUD

MichaelSnoxall
May 28th 2012


12163 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

's'if, flammable.

Keyblade
May 28th 2012


14836 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If only the redone tracks were better, this probably would have been a 5 in time. Ah well.

Digging: Strawberry Switchblade - Strawberry Switchblade

Tyrael
May 28th 2012


20876 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ooooooh

not a 5

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

taylormemer
May 28th 2012


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Can't wait for some free time to check this shit.

Wolfhorde
May 28th 2012


13353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Ooooooh

not a 5"
For once, me and Fairy here agree.

Piglet
May 28th 2012


4654 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

probs in the top 10 black metal albums of all time

Tyrael
May 28th 2012


20876 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

'probs in the top 10 black metal albums of all time'

ehhhhh

Also Wolf I meant it in a way like wtf Youssef isn't giving this a 5 and being super hyperbolic like with his last 2 reviews

Buzzkillr
May 28th 2012


1541 Comments


I'm guessing none of you have ever heard of Ana Kefr.

Funeralopolis
May 28th 2012


11363 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not that great

Digging: Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick



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