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A 6 piece metal band consisting of violin, 2 guitars, bass, drums, clean and extreme vocals; Ne Obliviscaris hail from Melbourne, Australia, and include a vast array of influences within their sound from progressive to black, thrash, death and melodic metal, and even western art music, jazz and flamenco. Creating music of many extremes, and with compositions often exceeding ten minutes in length, Ne Obliviscaris is at times very technical and complex and at others simple and subtle, creating an extremely original brand of metal that defies normal categorisation.

Initially formed in 2003, Ne Obliviscaris (pronounced; Nay Ob-li-vis-kar-is) hit the live scene February 2006 to widespread critical acclaim with many hailing their unique sound, intense live shows and extremely talented line-up (drummer Dan Presland recently won the Australian final of the Worlds Fastest Drummer Competition, crowning him as the Fastest Feet in Australia).
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NE OBLIVISCARIS albums / top albums

NE OBLIVISCARIS Portal Of I album cover 4.03 | 19 ratings
Portal Of I
Progressive Metal 2012
NE OBLIVISCARIS Citadel album cover 4.06 | 8 ratings
Progressive Metal 2014
NE OBLIVISCARIS Urn album cover 4.00 | 6 ratings
Progressive Metal 2017
NE OBLIVISCARIS Exul album cover 4.17 | 2 ratings
Progressive Metal 2023



NE OBLIVISCARIS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

NE OBLIVISCARIS The Aurora Veil album cover 3.92 | 4 ratings
The Aurora Veil
Progressive Metal 2007

NE OBLIVISCARIS re-issues & compilations


NE OBLIVISCARIS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)



Album · 2023 · Progressive Metal
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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.


Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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Impressive metal for the win!

Impressive bands have been sprouting up all over the planet in the past few years. Impressive in terms of musicianship and range of influences, they create complex as hell tracks and use impressive array of instruments. Australian outfit Ne Obliviscaris is one of them for sure. I don't really need my music to impress me, though. I want to be moved, shaken even, and it doesn't matter if there's a dozen of virtuosos soloing over each other or just one shrunken guy, playing a wistful song on an old guitar.

Ne Obliviscaris have skills, will and plenty of ambition. The first big fruit of their endeavours is more of a colorful patchwork than an accomplished piece of art, though. Now, I know that's a bold statement and I need some solid arguments to back it up. The guys crafted an intricate melodic black metal album, layered with death metal reminiscent of Opeth and Enslaved. If you add some elaborate violin/Spanish guitar passages, melodramatic (somewhat metalcore) clean vocals and extended-to-the-limits build-ups to it, you have Ne Obliviscaris in all their glory. The band sounds very professional but their pursuit of progressiveness is too obvious. Tiresome overuse of double bass drum doesn't help either. Before squeezing in as many ideas as possible, the band should keep in mind that music speaks for itself. Hence, the phrase "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" doesn't really apply here. While many ideas and themes are great, with some of them reaching the heights of beauty, they often seem detached and don't create a convincing whole.

While somewhat reminiscent of Unexpect, Ne Obliviscaris failed to create a solid basis for their ambitious ideas. Even though the songwriting is quite bold and aspires to grandeur, the music itself feels over the top at times. The album has its beautiful moments though, and I can see why it is praised by lovers of technically complex extreme prog metal. If, however, you're looking for a more mature approach to the genre, Portal of I may disappoint you a little.


Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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This confident debut by Ne Obliviscaris offers up an onslaught of progressive black metal reminiscent of what would happen if you took Sham Mirrors-era Arcturus, strapped a rocket to it, and fired it at the sun. Mostly eschewing the black metal tradition of ominous stage names and facepaint, this Australian crew offer up a vision of cosmic megalomania, Tim Charles and Xenolyr sharing the vocals in which they rant about goodness-knows-what whilst the band play up a storm. Whilst some prog metal groups go for a "proggy bit, metal bit, proggy bit" sort of structure, Ne Obliviscaris go for a more integrated approach, each and every second of the album standing poised between enchanting you with visions of unworldly beauty and punching your teeth in. In short, these lads are ones to watch.


Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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Ne Obliviscaris - “Portal of I” 13/20

46th place album of the year 2012

Of the many metal album of the year lists I have studied in order to diversify mine, Ne Obliviscaris’ “Portal Of I” seems to be one of the common factors in many. The album, which took all of 8 years to come to life, is 72 minutes of layered, complex, and sometimes quite beautiful progressive black metal. The exact genre of this work is debatable, with elements taken from both death and symphonic metal, and various bluegrass and classical influences on Tim Charles’ violin parts.

I discovered NeO after a recent series of concerts in Australia, aptly named “Progfest”. Due to the mediocrity of the New Zealand music scene and the non-existence of the New Zealand progressive music scene, I have recently turned my focus to these Australian bands, with hope they will bring this festival over the ditch one day. This has also led me discover other great Australian bands such as Be’lakor, and especially Chaos Divine (whose shirt I am actually wearing as I type). I later come to discover that one of the faces behind this festival, and its promotion company, Welkin, is Ne Obliviscaris vocalist and violinist Tim Charles. He really deserves all the congratulations he can get.

Portal of I consists of only 7 tracks in its 72-minute lifespan, with all but one falling over the 9 minute mark, and in their field of melodic extreme metal, it immediately brings Opeth into mind. Thoughts of Akerfeldt and his men come back throughout the record, with many of the tracks following the same song structures Opeth utilise, along with a couple of riffs (a certain one in “Forget Not” comes to mind) taken directly from the Opeth book of slides and slides and occasionally palm muting. I am not entirely familiar with the black metal genre, but the parts I understand from that scene hear are the use of ‘shrieked’ vocals (as opposed to growled) and excessive double-kick drumming. I have to admit, these are two of the weaker aspects of this album, and like with this year’s other melodic black metal release (Enslaved’s “RIITIIR”), I feel the album could be stronger without, but at times it definitely works with the mood.

Like with Opeth, and other black metal bands, the metal side of the music is less solo and riff-based, and more focused on the atmosphere, but when they do break out a decent riff, it is quite memorable (the opener of “Xenoflux” and about 7 minutes into “And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope” come to mind). Continuing with the focus on atmosphere, NeO often break from the pummeling of the black metal drumming to acoustic instrumental passages, again reminding of Opeth, but with more use of violin, and often all 5 instrumentalists join in without it being cluttered, to create a very ambient, almost post-rock atmosphere. These are very relaxing, especially the break in the opener “Tapestry of the Starless Abstract”, which relies on relaxed fingerpicked chords with violin solo, you become almost lost in the music.

Despite the very nice effect both the clean vocals and violin have on the music, at times the parts seem like more of an afterthought, wavering over the heavy music, rather than flowing within it. This is especially evident during “Of The Leper Butterflies”, and the last few minutes of “Tapestry of the Starless Abstract”, especially with Xenoyr’s growling underneath, often the listener is bombarded with far too many things to focus on.

I was thinking about going through this album track-by-track, but it would be over 1000 words long, and I would end up repeating myself. So I’m just going to focus on one track here. The best, the most important, and the title track. Although there aren’t any title tracks as you can see, the phrase “Ne Obliviscaris” is latin, and often used as a motto (most famously for Scottish clan Campbell), translates roughly to “Forget Not”. “Forget Not” is also a unique name for a track, because it’s the only one on the album that doesn’t have an insanely badass name (“Of Petrichor Weaves Black Noise” is probably my favourite song title of all time). It is also the longest (tied with “Tapestry…”), so the band obviously wanted it to be the ‘centrepiece’, and with a 6.5-minute instrumental intro, it really does stand out.

The intro to Forget Not is the best part of the album, and one of my favourite pieces of music released this year. It focuses primarily on the violin, with all the other instruments falling around it, unlike many times in the album, where the violin feels added on the top. Tim Charles gets some of his best runs on the violin here, and the entire atmosphere of the music is incredibly relaxed. It slowly builds up to the black metal drumming and the best riff of the album. Stolen straight from the Opeth book, I honestly couldn’t care. After 5 minutes and 57 seconds of build up, that slide riff is what sells this album for you. If you didn’t want to buy it after that, you can’t hear right.

And that’s not it. Less than half of the song completed, “Forget Not” now goes into metal mode, but it is still as melodic as ever, but this time it’s Tim Charles’ vocals in the focus, with Xenoyr’s growls crunching underneath. The thundering climax of the song showcases some of Charles’ best vocal work.

A masterpiece of how to build a song, and have every piece of the build up pay of with the combination of the Opeth riff and Tim Charles’ wonderful tenor. The return of the violin at the end, this time soaring over the top of an epic black metal part is truly wonderful. This is the part when you really need to have the bass down a bit, because otherwise you’ll miss it. This is a song I think everyone should hear. No matter your opinion on black metal, this is a masterpiece of music.

This review has been rather positive, and I’m sure anyone (no one?) who has read the whole thing is wondering how it reflects my rating of 13/20. This is just my opinion of it, because I dislike growls and the black metal drumming. Both of these dislikes are petty, but it does affect my lists and rankings. However, I feel every time I listen to this, it should be higher, and in time I’m sure it will move up. Like with any über-complex album, the more you listen, the more you hear and understand, and the more beautiful it becomes.

How many times have I played this album: 10 Will I play it again after this: Yes. Plenty of times. And that, I think, is the sign of a great album, regardless about what my ranking gives it.

Originally posted on my facebook page/blog


Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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"Portal Of I" is the debut full-length studio album by Australian progressive extreme metal act Ne Obliviscaris. The album was released through code666 in June 2012. The band released the highly praised "The Aurora Veil" demo in 2007 and I´ve heard the occasional information since that they were working on a debut album, but I wasn´t counting on it to take a full five years for them to complete it. The fact that all three tracks from the demo are also included on "Portal Of I" (in re-recorded versions) makes it even more incredible that it took them five years to write four new tracks. There are probably other reasons for the long recording break, so don´t put too much into my babbling.

Not surprisingly, since all three tracks from "The Aurora Veil" are included, the music on "Portal Of I" pretty much continue down the same progressive extreme metal path as the sound on the demo. It´s majestic, dynamic, progressive and structurally challenging. The vocals alternate between raspy black metal type raw vocals and clean vocals. The latter type vocals are delivered by violinist Tim Charles. The man can sure handle the fiddle, but I´m still not too impressed by his clean vocal style or the melody lines he sings. This is purely a subjective observation though and objectively there´s nothing wrong with his vocal skills. I just have a hard time appreciating his voice and the way he uses it. Fortunately that´s only a minor issue and the rest of the music is of high quality. I´m extremely impressed by the high quality of the playing on the album and the adventurous approach to songwriting. These guys can go from aggressive blasting sections right into a mellow violin led section and make it sound natural.

At 71:40 minutes distributed over 7 tracks, "Portal Of I" is a very long album, but it´s one of those rare long albums that don´t feel too long. Too much goes on at all times, that I´m kept on my toes and my attention never wanders. Except for my slight issue with the clean vocals, the album is a really great experience if you enjoy progressive extreme metal. The sound production is clear and powerful, the musicianship is excellent and the tracks are so well written that I can´t help being very impressed by the compositional skills of the band. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is fully deserved.


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m@x wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Thanks Jake for the suggestion !!!


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