Ne Obliviscaris - Urn,
Founded in the Australian coastal city of Melbourne in the year 2003, Ne Obliviscaris took the inspiration for their name from the proud motto of Argyll, Scotland's Clan Campbell which means "forget not". From the start, this collective made it clear that they did not intend to follow any trends or walk on well-trodden paths.
This is their third album, and again shows their refusal to fit into any particular pigeonhole, but instead is out to prove that music (at least in its truest form) is indeed a living beast but isn’t something that will conform to anything in particular. Listen to certain sections of songs and one will be convinced that this is an out and out death metal act, but listen to others and it is obvious to anyone that they are acoustic folk, but to be honest Ne Obliviscaris are one of those incredibly rare things, a progressive band operating out of Australia.
For my sins, I have to go to Melbourne about once a month, and I see I need to keep an eye on their website and tie one of these trips in to catch these guys in concert, because if this album is anything to go by they are a force to be reckoned with. Each of the musicians is at the top of his game, and seems able to cope with any and all musical forms. Daniel Presland is a dab hand at powering the band from the back, and is full control of the double bass drum pedals, while guest bassist Robin Zielhorst has an incredibly warm and pronounced style (his impact is so strong that I do find it hard to understand why he isn’t a full member of the band). Matt Klavins and Benjamin Baret provide the twin guitar attack, riffing of shredding as the needs prevails, although they can also go acoustic. This then leads the twin frontmen of Tim Charles and Xenoyr. The latter is in charge of the crushed larynx approach while Tim is a clean singer, who also adds violin, but often in a full out frontal attack with the guitars as opposed to something more gentle and melodic, although he can do that as well when required.
This is a consummate act, and one that has produced an incredibly complex album which proves (if it was required) that those who enjoy playing music loud enough to burst ear drums often also have a great deal of musical talent and make their own rules. This isn’t gently straddling the lines between quite diverse genres, but is stamping all over them and proving that music is whatever the purveyor wishes it to be. There will be some who say that this is too progressive for their extreme metal tastes, while others will say that the guitars are too much and the drum attack is upsetting them. Me, I think it is bloody excellent and look forward to hearing a great deal more from them.