Ne Obliviscaris – Citadel


Album

Citadel

Label

Season Of Mist

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

Enslaved - Opeth

Summary

In a league of its own.

Rating

80 / 100

In the same way an AFL season can (and should) be viewed as a marathon not sprint, this notion should be equally applied in reference to Ne Obliviscaris’ music. However, while the duration of the music is long there is nothing laboured, gruelling or painstakingly prolonged about the Melbourne boys’ style.

Extending observations to the overall listening experience, Ne Obliviscaris offer just that – an experience. Forget shallow arrangements and empty sonic rhetoric, this is the current blueprint for careful and well-planned composition. It’s music born from its precision and attention to detail. The sound is cascading instead of aggressive, dynamic instead of imposing.

Sophomore album ‘Citadel’ – even at only album number two– is a defining point on the career timeline. It’s not too dramatic to assert this as a ‘sink or swim’ release. For all the charms and deserved praise predecessor ‘Portal Of I’ received, the sentiment can easily be forgotten with a lacklustre follow-up.

A collection of six songs, with key and specific parts (Painters of the Tempest, Devour Me Colossus, and neat middle point, Pyrrhic), ‘Citadel’ presents a lot to absorb. It’s not a bad thing, just deserves an immediate disclaimer.

Part I: Wyrmholes’ is the appetiser; akin to something Howard Shore would draw upon in a film score. ‘Part II: Triptych Lux’ presents a familiar base. The juxtaposition of engaging black metal and violin-led prog/classical elements is again well represented and similarly well balanced. The fundamentals that made pre-existing tracks namely, ‘And Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope’ and ‘Xenochrist’ excel are again evident, with attempts made to develop these ideas. There feels like a stronger European influenced harmony working in tandem with the remainder this time around as lead vocalist Xenoyr and clean singer Tim Charles trade delivery.

Part III: Reveries from the Stained Glass Womb’ is again another instrumental moment, while following track, the aforementioned ‘Pyrrhic’ declares itself as the heaviest moment and probably the most straightforward of the assortment.

The production is crisp and defined, which, in reference to this release, needed to be. Unlike a gritty hardcore album, ‘Citadel’ required a glossy, clear and distinct sound otherwise what was crafted would’ve transferred to the ears of the listener in an unintended and, perhaps, underwhelming way.

Already, Ne Obliviscaris are one of Australia’s elite. Perhaps in a few years, we won’t be referencing the band as “one of” but simply the “one”.

Conclusion

What ‘Citadel’ achieves is highlighting the versatility of the local metal scene. It’s not all an over saturated metalcore market, Australia is equally capable of producing a more sincere and developed heavy sound too.

Tracklisting

1. Painters of the Tempest (Part I): Wyrmholes

2. Painters of the Tempest (Part II): Triptych Lux

3. Painters of the Tempest (Part III): Reveries from the Stained Glass Womb

4. Pyrrhic

5. Devour Me, Colossus (Part I): Blackholes

6. Devour Me, Colossus (Part II): Contortions

 

 

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