Ne Obliviscaris are at the forefront of progressive metal

Australia’s progressive metal innovators Ne Obliviscaris are around for quite some time now. Formed in 2003 the band worked hard for a long time to perfect their progressive style of metal. They now have recently signed to Season Of Mist for their second album ‘Citadel’. All signs point into the direction of success now with the new album and a successful crowdfunding campaign that saw the band reaching their funding goal in a flash. The money from the campaign will be used to take Ne Obliviscaris on tour to parts of the world the band didn’t have the chance to visit yet.

The term progressive metal is used rather lightly these days for any band that deviates from the beaten paths of the different metal subgenres. Ne Obliviscaris is one of the bands that has truly earned this trademark over the years. ‘Citadel’ is another proof of that. On ‘Citadel’ the band combines aggressive and brutal metal in complex song structures with melodic parts that are headed by the use of the violin. Harsh and clean vocals go hand in hand together.

‘Citadel’ includes only six songs. The album starts with the trilogy ‘Painters Of The Tempest’. ‘Part I: Wyrmholes’ is a 3-minutes acoustic introduction that features Tm Charles on violin. The main part of the trilogy and centre piece of the album follows with the 16-minute ‘Part II: Triptych Lux’, a complex song that features all the trademarks of Ne Obliviscaris. The main body of the song consists of extreme metal structures with harsh vocals intercut with three major breaks throughout the songs. These breaks then include all the other influences that make Ne Obliviscaris a progressive band. The breaks show references to folk, jazz and even flamenco using violin, acoustic guitars and clean vocals. And just when you thought the song had turned into a direction away from metal the bands hits you right in the face with the next brutal riff and harsh vocals. ‘Part III: Reveries From The Stained’ is then a 3-minute outro to the trilogy that again features Tim Charles on violin and lets again shine through jazz and flamenco influences.

Up next is ‘Phyrric’, with only just under 10 minutes the most straight forward song on  ‘Citadel’ if there is anything like straight forward on this album. ‘Phyrric’ shows more of the variety of ‘Painters Of The Tempest’. Another feature of a progressive band is always the great musicianship. Ne Obliviscaris do not disappoint in that area. The solo work on ‘Phyrric’ is truly state of the art and outstanding.

The album then finishes with the 2-part song ‘Devour Me, Colossus’. The 12-minute ‘Part I: Blackholes’ goes right into fifth gear with an aggressive riff and more double-bass action. The song then features more clean vocals. Violin is again dominant in a big break in the middle of the song. ‘Part II: Contor’ is then the acoustic outro that you would expect after the first five songs.

Ne Obliviscaris have honed their craft over more than a decade in the studio and with many live performances. If you are open-minded about metal and a not afraid to listen to metal that truly breaks the rules and boundaries ‘Citadel’ is an album for you. It seems that now is the time for Ne Obliviscaris’ to take the band to a whole new level. ‘Citadel’ is a great album from one of the up-and-coming metal bands that stretch the boundaries of music. I am looking forward to seeing Ne Obliviscaris on stage performing ‘Citadel’.

8.5 of 10

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