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Released: May 7, 2012
Genre: Extreme Progressive Metal, Progressive Black Metal
Number Of Tracks: 7
After hearing it was nominated for one of the Albums of the year, I can see why. It's not completely ground-shattering inventive, but what it already does is amazing.
Portal Of I
Skyvalve2012, on december 04, 2012 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: I was looking around on iTunes one day when I saw "Portal Of I". I listened to a clip of "Tapestry Of The Starless Abstract" and... Wow.
Later, I bought the full album and was impressed. The Australian maniacs, Ne Obliviscaris (Latin for "Forget not") have quite the talent... The guitars and bass are top notch, the drums are fast, pounding, and fortunately not overboard with random beats, AND there is a violin... Yes, a violin, used on occasion to great effect. The production is clean and well produced, yet not overproduced (Whew!) // 8
Lyrics: The vocalists, Xenoyr and Tim Charles (who also does the violin) are a bit more refined than most. Xenoyr, who does all harsh vocals and lyrics, keeps his vocals death/black metal like, never straying to the "hardcore" scream, for once! His lyrics usually talk of the consequence of life and death, with dramatic results. Tim, on the other hand, keeps his vocals in a high baritone-tenor voice, although not like a screamo clean. It need a little bit of work, though it's definitely more refined that in there demo ("The Aurora Veil"). Overall, very good. // 8
Overall Impression: After hearing it was nominated for one of the Albums of the year, I can see why. It's not completely ground-shattering inventive, but what it already does is amazing. These guys have total potential, and I hope they will continue to impress on their next full-length and beyond. It is not the best ever, but it is very well done.
Overall, a coherent, solid debut, a definite recommendation! My favorite tracks - "As Icicles Fall", "Tapestry Of The Starless Abstract" and "And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope". // 9
Portal Of I
kratos379, on january 11, 2013 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Ne Obliviscaris first formed in 2003 and nine long years later, they released their first album, "Portal Of I". They first drew a lot of attention in 2006 for strong live performances, and then again with their EP "The Aurora Veil" in 2007, but now they have broken out as one of the great new metal acts in the past few years.
Combining black metal and progressive metal with several different genres such as jazz and classical, Ne Obliviscaris is a six piece from Melbourne, Australia. The band has the standard set of drums, guitars, bass, and vocals, but they stand out with their inclusion of a violin. The violin is not treated as an afterthought left in the background, but at times a leading instrument.
Right away the band starts out heavy with their opener "Tapestry Of The Starless Abstract". However as the 12 minute song continues, it relaxes into a more ambient sound, choosing to create a beautiful atmosphere with an acoustic guitar and the violin rather than going 12 straight minutes of metal. The band weaves in and out of these moments throughout the album, but it never becomes boring. Every member of the band utilizes his talents. In the song "Of The Leper Butterflies", an excellent bassline can be heard, a vast improvement upon many other metal albums that choose simply to drown out the bass in the mix. Often times double bass drumming can be heard in the background, but they always play with the song and can play quietly and subtly when needed. // 9
Lyrics: There are two singers in the band, Xenoyr, the harsh vocalist and main lyricist, and Tim Charles, the clean vocalist. Xenoyr is a black metal vocalist and can be heard yelling, screaming, and growling to great effect. The clean vocals fit in well with the songs. At times, they are soft like in the beginning of "As Icicles Fall" and at other times, strong and soaring.
The lyrics are full of imagery and manage to avoid being cheesy. Themes are abstract and touch upon exploration and death. In the track, "Forget Not", the lyrics exemplify the strong imagery of the band.
"Masquerading, the grey vultures Coalescing in black swansongs ...of the dead ...as the dead sigh Therein the quickening shadows Kisses upon lifeless fingers" // 9
Overall Impression: I would count "Portal of I" as one of the best releases of 2012 and I look forward to seeing more releases in the future from Ne Obliviscaris. My personal standouts would be "Of The Leper Butterflies" and "As Icicles Fall". Both are strong examples of the band's abilities to not only create beautiful atmospheres as well as showing off their instrumental prowess with fantastic guitar solos and a strong rhythm section. One of the only real problems with this release is that all but one of the songs are over nine minutes long. It's not a significant problem though since most of the songs were focused and didn't just wander off.
Also this is my first review, so please feel free to be harsh and unrelenting in your criticism. // 9