Well, this song is very different from the band - at least the beginning is unusual!
Ne Obliviscaris have returned with their first single since 2017's Urn.
Equus is our first taste of the Melbourne extreme progressive metal (with violin) band's new music and comes from the group's upcoming fourth album, Exul, slated for release on Friday, 24 March 2023.
The track opens with beastly, pounding drums and was recorded while Dan Presland was still the drummer. He has since departed the band and currently plays in Black Lava.
A 12-minute opus, Equus is the album's opening track. It takes us on a journey of movements, time and key changes, wailing violins, and the interplay of clean and screamed vocals; Martino Garattoni's bass is nice and high in the mix, and it tells an emotional story.
Equus is for the lives lost in the 2019-2020 Australian bushfires and the families left behind.
"Equus is dedicated to the lives lost during the lethal bushfires that scarred Australia in 2019-2020," vocalist Xenoyr revealed on social media.
"Alongside the people who died or were affected, many millions, if not billions, of animals were killed or displaced from their natural habitats; the enormity of this is something that will never be forgotten and should not be ignored. It is also a warning that the world we live in is changing from the damage we as a species have contributed to."
He added, "Within this video, the dancer represents a scorched Mother Earth, from horror to humanity, ever in tune with the heart and flow of the song (and world), and ultimately aware of the inevitable and ever growing destructive cycle we are in."
Exul was finally mixed and mastered in July 2022; the band began recording in March 2020, but due to American producer Mark Lewis, Benjamin Baret and Garattoni being stranded overseas indefinitely after Australia closed the international border, the process almost completely broke the band.
“Overall, there’s a darker core to this album, perhaps more ominous than previous releases,” Xenoyr said. “However abstract the lyrics are, they involve some form of unwanted departure — all journeys into torment, passion, longing and even despair.
"They touch on the process of physical and psychological destruction that comes from that sense or reality of being exiled, whether forced from one’s land, ostracised from a community, shunned by a religion, or even simply being treated differently for being who they are.”
Pre-order Exul here and watch the Equus music video below.