Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ne Obliviscaris - Urn (2017)

I do not mind when band keeps it minimalistic when it comes to naming new releases, but Ne Obliviscaris please, this is close to ridiculous. Three letters, that's all? I swear to god, when I first read about this album, all I saw was that it was named "Um". Then I saw that itty bitty tiny space between the r and the n, and it all made sense... but it still felt strange with such a small title. That is Ne Obliviscaris in a nutshell, simplistic in titles, complex in sound.

So this is the Australian band's third release, and at this point in their career, you kind of know what you are going to get from them. It is just what you would expect, it is six tightly packed songs that are filled to the brim with extreme technicality, a healthy mix of soaring clean vocals and brutal harsh vocals, and let us also not forget the generous use of violins, a registered trademark for the band. It is a style that does not suit everyone, but I have been down for the ride ever since their debut "Portal of I".

So we got a collection of 6 songs at our disposal... well, technically there are only 4 songs, but two of them are split into two parts each. Still, they are certainly meaty songs that fill up some time (45 minutes to be exact). During that time, the band flex their muscles and show off all of their abilities, from the intense drumming of Daniel "Mortuary" Presland, to the beautiful strokes of Tim Charles' violin. They once again show that they are among the elite when it comes to pure playing ability, creating such fantastic melodies with both the simple and difficult techniques.

But there is a big problem with "Urn". No matter how much I rave about the technicality of the record, and how much work and effort has been put into it, I just do not get the same angelic feelings that I received from "Citadel". Why? Because "Urn" is not showing that the band has evolved, they are still in the same spot as they were last time we heard from them. You can easily hear the same patterns as in their predecessors, which makes "Urn" very predictable. You know when they are going soft, or when they are turning up the tempo, it is so god damn predictable, and it annoys the hell out of me.

With that said though, it is hard not to get enchanted by the music, because it is still made with some really good precision. When the album reaches the most epic bits, you can just feel your skin crawl from how good it sounds. And while I do not really think there are any songs here that matches the level of the best Ne Obliviscaris songs has to offer, I still get a lot of enjoyment from such epic pieces as "Eyrie" and both parts of the title track.

So even if "Urn" is same same, but different, it is still another proof that Ne Obliviscaris is a true elite band. There are no other band out there like them, with a sound that really stands out in the metal sphere. These guys are too talented to be stuck in one place, and I hope that they can see that. I do not want to see this band becoming the technical extreme progressive symphonic death metal answer to Motörhead. So yeah, "Urn" is no revolution for the band, but it is still a damn good record that fans of the band will absolutely love.

Songs worthy of recognition: Eyrie, Urn (part 1 and 2)

Rating: 7,5/10 Saturnine Spheres

More reviews of Ne Obliviscaris

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