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4.00 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Album · 2023


1. Equus (12:13)
2. Misericorde I - As the Flesh Falls (7:33)
3. Misericorde II - Anatomy of Quiescence (9:22)
4. Suspyre (10:09)
5. Graal (8:53)
6. Anhedonia (3:43)

Total Time 51:53


- Xenoyr / harsh vocals
- Tim Charles / clean vocals, violin, viola, keyboards
- Benjamin Baret / lead guitars
- Matthew Klavins / guitar
- Martino Garattoni / bass
- Dan Presland / drums

- Emma Charles / additional violin
- Alana K / additional vocals
- Dalai Theofilopoulou / cello

About this release

Label: Season of Mist
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
March 24, 2023

Thanks to tupan for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
NE OBLIVISCARIS has been one of the most revered progressive death metal bands of the last decade and although the band and i started out on a bad note, i have completely had a turn around moment in recent months after revisiting the band’s phenomenal debut “Portal of I” which upon first listening about a decade ago seemed to leave me cold and unappreciative of the subtle intricacies that constituted its woven musical tapestry. Progressive death metal is a fragile beast that more often falls flat on its face than gracefully construct the proper kingdom where bombastic death metal excesses commingle with progressive rock pomp. When it’s done well though, nothing is better. Once i discovered the error of my ways i have gained a much deeper appreciation for this group of Aussies on the cutting edge of modern day prog metal.

Little did i realize a few months ago that NE OBLIVISCARIS was close to releasing the newest installment of their canon in the form of the fourth album EXUL arriving six years after the band’s last full-length “Urn” which seemed to find the band waning in its creative mojo and dipping in fan appreciation. Well EXUL seems to be rocketing the band back into the spotlight as prog metal’s most creative modern day band and it’s not really difficult to understand why this is the case. After all this extreme metal band that started out somewhere between black and death metal with progressive excursions has slowly shapeshfited itself into a tighter unit and while the black metal aspects have been primarily extinguished, these Aussies have veered into the world of classical to craft some mighty symphonic backings for their aggressive rampages bathed in thematic prose.

One of the key elements that has always allowed NE OBLIVISCARIS to stand out in the world of extreme metal is the use of the violin provided by Tim Charles and although strings have also helped carve out careers for doom metal bands such as My Dying Bride and Evoken, violins have not become a common staple in death metal but then again NE OBLIVISCARIS can hardly be considered a death metal band with its genre bending antics that have resulted in a sound that is unlike any other. With lush pastoral backings and excursions into true symphonic splendor, NE OBLIVISCARIS has tamed things down considerably since its raucous debut and steered things into a more focused easier-on-the-ears endeavor. A boon for those not acclimated to the extremes of harsh metal brashness and a bane to those who thrive on the most of extreme music of all.

One of the main differences between EXUL and the first two albums (somehow i missed “Urn”) is a much more pronounced addition of clean vocals that often act as the sole lyrical delivery as well as providing an all male beauty and beast effect of clean vs guttural growls. This is particularly dominant on the two part “Misericorde” which adds up to over 17 minutes of the album’s near 52-minute playing time. Unlike the debut the music is much more streamlined and less chaotic that meaning fewer hairpin turns and the experimental unorthodoxies have been tamped down big time. The focus on extended composiitons in the sense of classic symphonic prog is more the modus operandi. In many ways EXUL is a more polished and sanitized stylistic approach with a clear aim for some crossover success but hardcore metalheads need not worry. Although tamped down a few notches, the extreme metal effect is still rife with ferocious guitar riffs and growly growls as fertile as an alley cat in heat.

While personally i prefer the band’s first two releases i cannot say that this newest shift in stylistic approach is an unpleasant one at all. Sure it seems there are more clean vocals than anyone thought possible but lead vocalist Xenoyr proves to be quite competent as a metal crooner as he is hacking his lungs out. Overall not a bad update to the NE OBLIVISCARIS even if EXUL fails to match the wow factor of the band’s unbeatable classic debut “Portal Of I.” The best part about EXUL is that it excels on the progressive side of the band’s equation with thoughtful compositional fortitude trumping the lack of extreme metal dominance. Looks like this is going to be another huge hit for the band.

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