Pros-A solid mix of progressive music and black metal
-Violins and classical guitars mesh with distortion guitars, screaming, and heavy metal drumming well
-The atmosphere created is unique
-Most lyrics are fresh and interestingly sung
-The demo is FREE through their myspace, and despite only being a demo is very high quality.
Cons-"Icicles Fall" pales in comparison to the other tracks
-Cheesy lyrics on the song "Icicles Fall"
Full ReviewTrack Listing:
1. Tapestry of the Starless Abstract
2. Forget Not
3. Icicles Fall
It seems that I am growing fonder and fonder of the heavy metal underground. Daily we turn on our radios on our way to school and work and hear the most mundane pop music in the world. Even artists who are a part of the heavy metal scene, like Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, and Judas Priest have been hitting the airwaves with the same song over and over. It feels like "Crazy Train" by Black Sabbath has been a radio stable since its release. This aggravates me because music changes, yet so many people avoid examining these changes. Some of the best works of music and art go unnoticed until long after their due. Ne Obliviscaris is yet another band who has released a free album of high quality material, worthy of public recognition.
Now, there is no doubt that Ne Obliviscaris has earned themselves an underground cult following in their home country (err, continent) of Australia, as well as on the cyberweb. I have personally joined these ranks, perhaps most officially when I originally contacted the band via e-mail to order a shirt. Interestingly enough, I was greeted with an actual response from the band members who handle all of their transactions. A few days later I received another e-mail informing me that they were having difficulty with getting the shirts pressed, however they decided to throw in an additional free, limited edition (50 copies I believe) of a new shirt never to be seen again. A few weeks later, I had just acquired two high quality shirts from an awsomely personal band. It is fascinating to see other musicians in their natural state, instead of as the symbol that they so easily become.
Ne Obliviscaris' The Aurora Veil is a solid demo. For being just 3 songs long, it clocks in at over a half and hour. That is longer than most pop albums! Of course, length is not everything. This band is able to pull off length without sacrificing sound.
Musically, Ne Obliviscaris is fascinating because of their usage of a full time violinist/clean vocalist. They label their music poignently as progressive black metal, which is a fairly accurate depiction of most of their music. Take the distorted guitar tones, tremelo picked riffs, raspy screamed vocals, and blast beats of black metal; and mesh those ideas with the calmness of light progressive rock, and you will undoubtedly be left with none other than Ne Obliviscaris.
In terms of the individual songs, "Tapestry of the Starless Abstract" is easily the most noticeable. As if the difference in song title does not imply its excellence in comparison to the other. It begins almost like a generic black metal song, but quickly ushers itself into new terrority with a calm classical guitar/violin interlude; leading into a lot of clean singing mixed with screamed vocals. The riffs are are solid and the ending is just great. "Forget Not" is almost equally as good, however it deterrs from the "black metal" concept which is intriguing; yet left me (an individual who loves the genre) yearning for more of the black metal atmosphere. That said, its really just me nitpicking. I love the song. It is very calm. A lot of classical guitar is used and clean singing. "Icicles Fall" is the worst song on this album, as far as I am concerned. Its not "bad", it is just hard to take in because the lyrics are so cheesy. Some will inevitably like it, others will see how it pales in comparison to the two other songs.
My minmal complaining aside, take into consideration again that this album is free and relatively long. Ne Obliviscaris produces high quality music, and I see them going far in the future. They are currently working on their new full length album (alledgedly going to record stores).
In ClosingNe Obliviscaris could be labeled in genre as violin metal. Easily the most attractive point for the band is the inclusion of a real violist, who plays beautifully. If you are interested in music that blends more of a realistic alternative string instrument (relative to the frequently found synth strings on other artists records) then look no further. Ne Obliviscaris is really paving the way for a new breed of heavy metal. The fusion of black metal with progressive rock/metal is pretty astounding.