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Ne Obliviscaris - Urn

Format: Download
Released: 2017
Label: Season of Mist
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 9/10

Straight outta Australia, Ne Obliviscaris sound like the gifted and talented offspring of Opeth and Between the Buried and Me, with a distant relation to Mahavishnu Orchestra. Everyone in the band plays with Zappa-level proficiency, but - - on the “Urn” record, at least - - all of their technical displays get upstaged by Tim Charles’s haunting, marvelous violin leads.


Tim Charles also provides the clean half of the lead vocal duo, with mono-named (like Madonna or Jackee) Xenoyr delivering strongly Akerfeldt-ian lead growls.
The songs are intricate Prog labyrinths, but the listener is never lost or led to frustrating dead ends. Ne Obliviscaris bring their intensity with zillions of notes crammed into each section and lots of Xenoyr. There are some amazing moments! My first draft review after listening to the first 2 tracks, “Libera (Part I) - Saturnine Spheres” and “Libera (Part II) - Ascent of Burning Moths” which together form one piece, was “OMG THIS IS AMAZINGRTQ5WTH!!1!!1” (This is why we edit). “Ascent of Burning Moths” is mostly just an instrumental outro, but Charles’s violin is breathtaking here. If the entire album was like this, then it would easily get a 10 out of 10 rating. “Intra Venus” is another highlight.
The complex instrumental busyness business is fine, but for me, the unclean roar is probably a bit overused, which pushes me away, rather than pulls me in. A shame, because the best parts of this record engulf me completely, and I want to remain in the folds of the great music.
Anyway, I’ve vented some frustrations here, but overall, “Urn” is still a very strong album, definitely among the year’s finest.


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