The Aurora Veil Review

artist: Ne Obliviscaris date: 05/23/2008 category: compact discs
Ne Obliviscaris: The Aurora Veil
Release Date: 2007
Genres: Black Metal
Number Of Tracks: 3
A six-piece from Australia, Ne Obliviscaris offer three long compositions in their first demo "The Aurora Veil," with each track averaging eleven minutes.
 Sound: 10
 Lyrics: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
 9.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 10 
 Users rating:
 8.9 
 Votes:
 21 
reviews (3) 11 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
The Aurora Veil Reviewed by: Scourge441, on january 15, 2008
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ne Obliviscaris describe their sound as "music of many extremes including darkness, light, intensity, melody, brutalist and beauty." As pretentious as that may sound, their description is spot on. While the band could very simply be described as black metal, there is something distinctly Insomium or Opeth-like about their music in the seemlessly-blended heavy and acoustic sections, as well as counterpointal sections that bring to mind a more melodic version of Cynic or Spiral Architect (the members seem to be just as talented as these groups as well; Cygnus is a proficient bass tapper, and Dan was the winner of an Australian Fastest Feet competition). Indeed, the "black metal" tag misses the largely progressive nature of the music. If the extremely long songs didn't tip you off (As Icicles Fall, the shortest song on this 3-song demo, clocks in at over 9 minutes), then the sonic characteristics of the music certainly would. For example, while Tapestry of the Starless Abstract, the opening song of the EP, starts with a trem-picked riff and high-pitched screams that often characterize the black metal genre, it quickly shifts into an amalgamation of distortion, acoustic guitars, melodic bass lines, and violins. And, they blend them perfectly; each member can do his own thing, and it won't sound chaotic or ugly. Then, everything falls back into place again. This style is prevalent throughout the record, and adds much to the replay value. Every time you play the song, you notice something new, whether it be a interesting bass lick or vocal melody or interaction between said bass lick and vocal melody. // 10

Lyrics: "But wait! Does all of that musicianship mean the lyrics suffer?" Nope. The lyrics and vocals are crafted with the same effort as the instrumentation. If I may quote Forget Not: "Down by the waters, beneath the willow drapery/Cold, timeless princeCloaked in raven wings/With two penny moons, passage through the boatman/Across starlit waters, where dreamscapes are golden." The imagery paints the pictures clearly in your head. This is a skill so many lyricists lack; they can tell you what's happening, but can't show it. The images are amplified by the music as well; for example, the lyrics of Tapestry, which deal with the exploration of a person's darker side, are fairly depressing until the end of the song, at which point the music takes an uplifting turn to coincide with the character's ascent from the pits of his despair. The one issue I can see with the lyrics is the complexity of the language, which can hide the meaning of the song. However, this can be solved simply by paying attention in English class. As I said earlier, this band consists of some very talented people, and they use their abilities to the fullest, even if it scares some people off. However, this isn't usually an issue among metal fans. Both vocalists (Xenoyr on growls, Tim on cleans) bear an impressive set of pipes. Xenoyr goes through a range of high shrieks and low growls, and Tim has impeccable control over his melodies, as well as a very unique voice. // 10

Overall Impression: This is one of those CDs that takes a while to fully appreciate, but hits you like a raging bull on crack when you finally grasp it. Each song as equally impressive, although Tapestry of the Starless Abstract is my favorite at the moment. Every piece of the music is placed precisely where it belongs; there are no sections that feel out of place here, and it makes it very hard to find flaws. The only thing I hate is that there are no copies left to purchase (don't worry, they don't care if you download it, and links can be found on the Ne Obliviscaris thread in the metal forum). This extremely talented group of musicians has released something totally unique, and hopefully are very close to receiving the recognition they so rightfully deserve. // 10

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overall: 10
The Aurora Veil Reviewed by: metal7690, on january 17, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: It's only every so often that a musical entity comes along and pushes the boundaries of a genre. Sometimes they only bend the rules, finding a comfortable little niche on the outskirts of their preferred style. Sometimes, they break them completely. The former is loved by some, hated by some, maybe remembered, maybe not. The latter is nothing but respected. Rules are meant to be broken. Hailing from the Australian metal scene, Ne Obliviscaris (NeO) have done exactly that. The genre handbook is in the garbage, the stereotypes and expectations cast aside. What NeO have created with their critically acclaimed three song demo is nothing short of a masterpiece. Something that defies all preset notions. Something that makes listeners fully and completely aware of the sounds ushering from the speakers, each and every note: new, refreshing, introspective and truly unique. The sound is difficult to describe. It's cold and lifeless, yet filled with hope and spirit. It's melancholic and endlessly somber, yet passionately uplifting and serenely enchanting. It's a sonic landscape, a journey through the intricate web of human emotion and the undying fire that burns within each and every member. The first song, Tapestry Of The Starless Abstract is a breathtaking epic, laced with sorrow, driven by frustration, exploding with energy. Drawing from the various styles that are the genetic make-up of this band, the song begins with a barrage of apocalyptic black metal, all instruments running at full throttle. However, this is where all the expected sounds of aggressive metal come to an end, and the enigma that is Ne Obliviscaris steps in it's place. Breaking into a musical flourish that weaves intelligent composition with melancholic and classically fueled melodies, the listener becomes overwhelmed and engulfed by the enchantingly stoic and darkly serene atmospheres. Each of the three songs follow suit, combining a tonal assault of syncopated melodies and deeply sorrowful harmonies, laced within the context of an almost jazz-oriented groove, topped off by a masterful violin player in Tim Charles and a serenading classical guitar. The demo's second track, Forget Not, portrays all of these attributes proudly, starting off with the beautiful ambiance of Corey King's classical guitars. One by one, each member of the band slowly emerges into the collective sound, adding their own unique nuance to what starts off as a simple guitar melody, evolving the song continually and flawlessly. The masterful and revolutionary bass playing by Brendan Brown sets the free-flowing tone of the passage, while Tim Charles creates an isolated dissonance with his violin, an introspective soundscape that will captivate any mature listener. As the song builds to it's aggressive 12-minute climax, drummer Dan Presland fires away on double bass at nearly 900 beats per minutes, while band founder and vocal mastermind Xenoyr screams away his anger and frustrations over the lofty yet powerful falsetto vocals provided by Tim. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics to the album are, ironically, beyond words. I'm currently enrolled in a college level English class, and even my teacher, who proudly boasts of her Masters Degree in English and of her various achievments in literary study, was truly impressed. Consequently, I was allowed to choose Ne Obliviscaris lyrics for a class project, one in which other students had to decipher the passage in which I chose. Xenoyr manages to create such an ambient effect through his words; such imagery and perception, a depth that equals that of the music itself. I myself have never read better, nor as heavily intricate and complicated lyrics from any band, and I can't say I enjoy any lyrics more than I do these (lyrics are one of the main things I look at in a band.) They flow like the most sorrowful poetry, painting a passionate yet bleakly colored mosaic of images, experiences, exploration and an almost awe inspiring wonder. I can't really explain much more...I'd rather just give you samples. From "Tapestry of the Starless Abstract": "I call to the sirens/Echoing in sweet laughter/Broken hopes 'neath the surface/With haunting eyes they stare... they stare/Through black waters, weaving tresses/A figurehead warped, stares homesick afar/ Never depths... my dear despair/Never depthsmy dear despair." And from "Forget Not": "Masquerading, the grey vultures/Coalescing in black swansongs/...Of the dead/...As the dead sigh/Therein the quickening shadows/Kisses upon lifeless fingers/...As the dead sigh/...As the dead sigh/...Of always/As the dead sigh/Over the frontier of always/In remembrance, they are anthems/...The anthems/...Forget not/...For those gone/...Forget not/Never..." Of course, you'd need the context of the rest of the song to get the complete imagery. But, overall, I've never read lyrics that compliment the music so much. In a word: amazing. // 10

Overall Impression: Its multitude of components and the absolutely astonishing musicianship make The Aurora Veil an extremely satisfying listen, but it's not something that will come easily. Each listen will reveal new aspects to every song; new melodies, new harmonies, new textures and landscapes orchestrated and executed by one of the most creative bands I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. It's an acquired taste, but once you penetrate the fortress of musical prowess, it's unlikely that you'll find anything quite like it. Ne Obliviscaris truly has something special here. Combining their masterful musicianship with dark, brooding, and insanely emotional compositions, this could be the band that redefines the current genre of progressive metal. With lyrics that flow like the most melancholic poetry and the soundtrack to match, this band has combined all the key elements to create a gem of a demo. The Aurora Veil has got the metal community in its irresistible clutches, and has everyone clamoring for more. Expect a full-length in earl. // 10

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overall: 10
The Aurora Veil Reviewed by: Magero, on may 23, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well, to begin this review I would like to say that I find Australian metal to be something of an oddity. Living in Australia myself, I hear a fair bit and to be honest, not many grab me. Bands like Pathogen, Five Star Prison Cell and Terrorust are great to listen to, but they're nothing new. So when I kept hearing about this Melbourne band that was redefining Black metal or shattering genre boundaries, I thought they might be worth checking out. Boy was I wrong. Now, before you start crucifying me for that remark, I want to clarify my comment. Ne Obliviscaris aren't just worth checking out. They are worth putting on repeat and going for a voyage through the solar system with. They are worth listening to while you slaughter an entire village of monks. They are worth every single positive comment they've earned. I checked them out on myspace and all I can say is, that I was instantly blown away by Tapestry Of A Starless Abstract. The sheer, raw power created by this band blew me away. The raw, distorted chords of Matt and Corey, the blast beats of Dan, the anguished scream of Xenoyr, the amazing violin work of Tim and last but certainly not least, the fantastic, dancing bass of Brendan. // 10

Lyrics: Now, possibly the most amazing thing about this, is the lyrics. These lyrics are some of the most profound, well written lyrics I've ever heard. Like this gem from As Icicles Fall/Swept in tow to the danse macabre/In hand to the cold grasp of timeof time/Broken shutters gape open wide/Breathing in hoarse whispers on high The imagery these lyrics conjure just perfect. // 10

Overall Impression: I downloaded The Aurora Veil demo and to this day, cannot get over it. It's some of the most amazing pieces of music I've ever heard. The way Tim's clean vocals and violin weave in and out of the music while the chaos continues. The way Brendan's bass lines dance and play on the guitar work. It's just indescribable. The bass work is a special high light for me. As a bassist I love hearing bassists in bands prove their worth. And sure, some bands don't need fancy playing or showing off, but in this band, it's just as important in the overall scheme of things. And things like the bass solo at the end of Tapestry just high light this. The guitar work is fantastic. The trade off solos in As Icicles Fall between the guitar and the violin are just superb and fit perfectly. // 10

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