Ne Obliviscaris - _The Aurora Veil_
by: Kostas Sarampalis (4.5 out of 5)
A six-piece from Australia, Ne Obliviscaris (which is Latin for "Forget Not") offer three long compositions in their first demo _The Aurora Veil_, with each track averaging eleven minutes. They play a mixture of progressive black metal with many influences, including traces of jazz and even flamenco. Violin is extensively used in all three tracks, yet it is the guitars and an often prominent double bass drumming that offer the most exciting moments. There is plenty of experimentation, which more often than not works, like in the beginning of "Forget Not" with the Spanish guitar and melancholic violin. Other attempts fail to sound as successful, like the flamenco sounds of opener "Tapestry of the Stars".

The vocals are a mixture of clean singing and deep, flat guttural growling. The bass guitar is quite prominent, and the whole demo is crystal clear with a great production. Out of the three songs, "As Icicles Fall" stands as my favourite, with its aggressive energy, soaring guitar solos, a violin that reminds me of Celestial Season's first steps, and deep growls -- plus a general feeling that takes me back to my all time favourite demo, _Arrakis_ from Poland's Wintershadows.

What surprises is the skill and apparent maturity of the band, even more so since this is their first demo. The listener is kept engaged throughout the length of the disc, as the music flows up and down the aural spectrum; and even the mistakes of youthful passion and energy complement rather than detract from the experience. Sure, the clean vocals need quite a bit of work, and there are a few disjointed points in the music; but the pure emotion emanating from _The Aurora Veil_ is more than enough to satisfy the listener. This is certainly the best demo I have heard in a long while. It is miles ahead of the usual tone deaf attempts from most newly formed bands, it shows skill and promise, and it is also a thoroughly enjoyable listen.


(article published 24/8/2007)

8/13/2012 J Carbon 7.5 Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I
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