Ne Obliviscaris
Portal of I


2.5
average

Review

by TerraIncognita USER (10 Reviews)
June 7th, 2012 | 94 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ne Obliviscaris display the blueprint of what could eventally become an excellent band.

What kind of album would be more tedious to listen to? An album that is terrible from start-to-finish or something that has moments of excellence buried underneath piss-poor execution? If Portal of I is any indication, the answer is the latter. Quite honestly, if there was ever an album that needed a heavy-handed producer this is it, because Portal of I is full of excellent ideas that simply need saving. Over the course of just about any track, one is bound to come across a smattering of excellent progressive death metal riffs, beautifully contrasting violin melodies, dynamic musical changes and powerful death growls accentuated by black metal shrieks. The opening track, for example, should have been a pinnacle example of progressive death metal done right due to its fast-paced black metal-tinged opening and Opeth-ish riffs, but the song quickly collapses in on itself. The first issue to arise is the band’s use of clean vocals that lack the power or range that the song truly requires. Of course, metal fans can generally ignore a bit of low-quality vocals if the music is worth the effort, but the extended acoustic interlude kills every bit of momentum the song had.

These momentum-killing interludes are a normal occurrence throughout the album, and are more responsible for ruining the album than any other element. It’s really a shame because if the sections on either side of the acoustic interlude had made up the entire song, it could have been excellent (assuming you can get past the clean singing). Elsewhere on the album, the songs suffer from a lack of continuity with the various sections seemingly tacked together without any regard to structure. Of course, jarring musical changes aren’t always a terrible thing. The issue is that these songs all seem to be trying to build towards an epic feel that just can’t be sustained when a song inexplicably heads in a direction that seems counter-intuitive to the track’s previous heading. This issue comes in addition to the problem of overall song length. Again, extended song lengths are not a terrible thing but they have be doing something interesting and maintain a sense of momentum (funeral doom being an obvious exception) or the songs suffer. Even the band’s best parts often get carried on for too long which causes the song to slowly fade to a dull drone (until the next inevitable random slow section).

Honestly, there’s no reason to give up on Ne Obliviscaris just yet because this is just their debut, and there’s plenty for them to be proud of. The heavier sections and the skillful way that they contrast with the violin melodies is something that they can definitely build on in the future. The harsh vocals, too, are excellently done and definitely provide an extra dose of power to the music. The unfortunate truth, though, is that these positive aspects are buried underneath the band’s inability to trim the fat and/or recognize when something simply isn’t working within the framework of the overall song. If, on their sophomore album, they can manage to integrate the slower passages into the overall songs, trim a few seconds from each repeating riff and work on the clean vocals, the band might very well end up with the album they were so close to creating here.



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user ratings (796)
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...

    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...

    Jacob Royal STAFF (4.5)
    Carefully calculated, Ne Obliviscaris' debut speeds by at an unrelenting velocity....

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

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Comments:Add a Comment 
TerraIncognita
June 7th 2012


25 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's not terrible and I even listen to it sometimes just for the really cool parts, but it's so annoying having to sit through all the fluff.

Willie
Moderator
June 7th 2012


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

I really like "Xenoflux" -- the rest is cool, though.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

Funeralopolis
June 7th 2012


11757 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pos

Digging: Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

TheNotrap
June 7th 2012


8121 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Have pos.

Digging: Pink Floyd - The Endless River

afergusonart
June 7th 2012


220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

review reads as a 3-3.5 rating i'd say, not a 2.5. still love this album

ti0n
June 7th 2012


1561 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The good old "oh my fucking god, clean vocals in metal". Can't u guys find another cheap excuse? Sry but neg'd.

"trim the fat" i like dat sentence

Digging: The Twilight Sad - Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave

Comatorium.
June 7th 2012


4186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Every time i read through the comments on this site and think "hm, sputnik has some of the more intelligent internet dwellers," a comment like ti0n's shows up.

Not sure what to make of the album. Its badass at times, but I do zone out for a good chunk of it and only certain parts catch my ear and demand my attention.

TerraIncognita
June 7th 2012


25 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

-review reads as a 3-3.5 rating i'd say, not a 2.5. still love this album -

If there wasn't all the negatives on the album it would definitely read like a 3.5 or maybe a 4.

-The good old "oh my fucking god, clean vocals in metal". Can't u guys find another cheap excuse? Sry but neg'd.--

I have to agree with Comatorium. First, if you actually took the time to read (and process/comprehend) the review you'd see that the complaint wasn't about the fact that they were including clean vocals -- it's that they're not that good. Shit, my last review was the first Queensryche album so I'm thinking that clean vocals in metal aren't my problem.

Scoot
June 7th 2012


17887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nothing wrong with clean vocals in metal if they're executed tastefully

they're just not in this case

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

Madbutcher3
June 7th 2012


1167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, pos.
I like this album's shorter 3 tracks, and I don't mind the longer ones, but they really need to keep the interludes under control.

Killerhit
June 7th 2012


5254 Comments


Great review

Yazz_Flute
June 7th 2012


18847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It feels to me like people are TRYING to not like this album now.

This was definitely a good critique of the album, though.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

Killerhit
June 7th 2012


5254 Comments


Maybe because it sucks?

rape
June 7th 2012


13 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

yea we have to try, it being so flawless and all

Comatorium.
June 7th 2012


4186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Review's pretty great, I pos'd it. Though i think it definitely reads as a 3 moreso than a 2.5, I dunno, there's that invisible
line I imagine with rating where it crosses from positive to negative when you go from 3 to 2.5, and this reads mostly
positive.

If you really think this album is a 1, and objectively has absolutely and positively no artistic merit... then fuck, I can't even
think of a witty remark as an addendum to your already apparent lack of musical knowledge.

Oathbreaker
June 7th 2012


1649 Comments


>apparent lack of musical knowledge.
>because we think Ne Obliviscaris is shit
You guys are just so up yourselves

RosaParks
June 7th 2012


14953 Comments


>green text
>is apparently clever now
no

camaraderie
June 7th 2012


988 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You guys are just so up yourselves


Buzzkillr
June 7th 2012


1541 Comments


You're doing it wrong though.

Oathbreaker
June 7th 2012


1649 Comments


">green text
>is apparently clever now
no"
when did I imply this you fucking dickwit?



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