Review 1651 : Ne Obliviscaris – Exul – English

Ne Obliviscaris is back.

Formed in Australia in 2023, the band led by Xenoyr (vocals, Antiqva, Omega Infinity), Tim Charles (violin/vocals), Matt Klavins (guitar), Benjamin Baret (guitar, Vipassi) and Martino Garattoni (bass, Ancient Bards, The Chronicles Project) celebrates its twentieth anniversary with Exul, its fourth album, which is released on Season of Mist.

The album was recorded with their former drummer Daniel Presland (A Million Dead Birds Laughing, Black Lava, Vipassi), who left the band in 2022, and with the participation of Emma Charles (violin), Alana K (vocals) and Dalai Theofilopoulou (cello).

Equus, the very long first track, gradually reveals its complex rhythmic before letting the most extreme influences crush it. Violin, clean vocals and screams take turns to give relief to melodious and worked riffs, demonstrating the musicians’ talent again, leading us towards a darker landscape, then towards a majestic break. The sound will ignite again with soaring leads which drive us back to the vocal parts, before giving way to Misericorde I – As the Flesh Falls, a darker and more abrasive track starting with heavy elements, followed by intense and haunting softness which creates an interesting contrast. The violin will bring those tragic sounds again while letting the other instruments unfold their rage before the mysterious break, but fury is never far away, and it leads us to Misericorde II – Anatomy of Quiescence, a softer but disturbing composition. The clean sound will eventually give way to saturation before skillfully mixing both, to welcome massive screams, and then to clean vocals. The heady final will fade away before Suspyre comes to slowly bewitch us by leading us into these fascinating waves of visceral chaos with a striking contrast which expresses itself with an impressive complexity. Of course, we have some incredibly soft and soothing parts, creating a really catchy duality which will come together on the final, to let Graal take over with dissonant and dark sounds, adding its violence a disturbing touch. The band will skilfully place some moments of quietness without ever leaving every instrument’s technicality, and it is with a touch of melancholy that the violin lets us join Anhedonia, the last track, where Tim Charles works alone in company of a keyboard and his faithful violin, for a soothing and deep final.

Ne Obliviscaris’ creative abilities are above mankind. Exul integrates rage, quietness and intensity to skillfully mix them under the banner of an uninterrupted and assumed technicality, creating an as structured as explosive vortex.


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