Review Summary: Progressive black metal, jazz, melodic death metal, flamenco with Opeth dynamics. In short, it's great.
When it comes to Metal there is always a good chance to find a quality band that stands out from the others in the stale and overcrowded genre. Many stick to the tried and true formulas, not bothering to inject any sign of originality in their music but instead ripping off some of the greats while still garnering great commercial success. Amongst the vast number of metal bands that expand in number with each passing day, comes one band that have gone against the grain and produced a demo of epic proportions, surpassing what many of their contemparies have tried to accomplish. I found this band "Ne Obliviscaris" while scrolling down "Be'Lakors" my space searching for something new. I found gold with this band.
"Ne Obliviscaris" are one of those bands that can not be pigeonholed into any type of genre. Their style is too eclectic and experimental to fit in with what most of the current scene is trying to pull. Their style recalls many influences ranging from black metal, progressive, jazz, melodic death metal, and flamenco. "The Aurora Veil" is a 3 track EP that averages about 11 minutes with each track. About 34 minutes long, this band pulls off quite a feat for just a demo. A 6 man group at the time when this was released, included two guitarists, a violinist/ back up vocals, a drummer, a bassist, and a main vocalist responsible for all the mayhem. While having a sound of their own, their song structures can be compared with the likes of Opeth and Agalloch. Not a bad comparison for a young up and coming band out of Australia. The music itself balances itself between the melancholy and aggression of metal with the technical structures of progressive music. They play the soft/heavy dynamics pretty well that would even make Opeth proud. Of course playing technical patterns wouldn't mean anything without good songwriting skills. Fortunately," Ne Obliviscaris" excel at creating the songs memorable while at a whole challenging. The production of the disk is better than most bands at their demo stages. Regardless, it captures the music with great emotion and I can hear each instrument cleanly.
You might have noticed that this band has a violin player. Tim's role is not diminished to just merging with the wall of guitars to create a mood but instead greatly shines during the instrumental sections as the vocals end and the acoustic guitar underlines the violin to near perfection. The guitar work from Matt and Corey is varied and excels at providing the crushing rhythms needed to maintain the aggressive metal edge to the music as well as shifting to the other direction with the occasional and well executed solos and clean riffing. The acoustic sections are played nicely as well, being able to balance the heaviness with the melody to a great degree. The vocal work is divided between Xenoyr who provides all the harsh vocals and the violin player, Tim who contributes the singing. Exonyr uses the higher pitched black metal shrieks with the lower growls typical to the death metal scene, Not quite as crisp as Akerdfeldt but still pretty good. Tim’s singing voice can be debated because at a few times they can annoy the listener but the bulk of the time they are delivered with great strength and emotion. A huge positive that I came upon while listening to this was that the bassist plays a great role. Brendan's bass lines can be heard greatly as the music begins to roll. "Tapestry" for example opens with a black metal feel as blaring double bass and a distorted riff opens the song with the bass work starting to be heard at the 4 second mark. The drums are a bit low in the mix but played with speed and dexterity. Blaring double bass and blast beat patterns during the faster paced sections and slower fills around the tempo changes.
In my opinion, this is one of if not the greatest demo I have ever heard. "Ne Obliviscaris have covered so much ground in a 34 minutes, being able to provide multiple genres into a solid Metal base with great success that I am hungrily anticipating their full length debut. Fans of Opeth and Agalloch or those who love music from the progressive rock and metal spectrums should definitely give this a spin. I am greatly impressed with what I have heard from this highly talented group of individuals and looking forward to the future.
Xenoyr - Lead Vocals & Lyrics
Tim Charles - Violin & Clean Vocals
Daniel 'Mortuary' Presland - Drums
Corey King-Guitar( left band, will be replaced.)
Matt Klavins - Guitar
Brendan 'Cygnus' Brown - Bass