Ne Obliviscaris – Exul (Review)

Ne Obliviscaris - ExulNe Obliviscaris are an Australian extreme progressive metal band and this is their fourth album.

It seems like such a long time ago that 2017’s Urn came out – and it was – so it’s great to now have Ne Obliviscaris back with Exul. Containing 52 minutes of new material, Exul may just be Ne Obliviscaris’ best album yet.

Exul is a multifaceted platter of progressive metal layered with melodic death and black metal influences. It marries together progressive nuance, metallic aggression, and expressive atmosphere, all within an overarching framework of emotional weight and effortless beauty. This beauty may be born from darkness, and Ne Obliviscaris have plenty of heaviness and brutality to complement this, but a sense of flowing magisterial beauty is a defining aspect of Exul.

The heart of this new material will be familiar to any fan of the band, yet Exul is also simultaneously a refined and expanded version of Ne Obliviscaris. Exul is the sound of a band at their most adventurous and creative. It’s epic, yet also personal and drips with rich emotion. The band have really pushed themselves on Exul, delivering their most complex, technical, and intricate material, while also somehow managing to make it their most atmospheric, emotive, and affecting.

Violin continues to be a key component of the Ne Obliviscaris sound. The use of this evocative instrument has advanced further on Exul. Deeper embedded and entwined into the very fabric of the music’s being, Exul is resplendent with texture and layered feeling. This comes not only from the violin, of course, but it is still a major contributing factor to the album’s emotional impact.

All of these songs flawlessly combine extreme metal with exploratory progressive wanderings and neoclassical emotive expertise. Exul is a masterclass of creative emotive metal, one which is an essential listen for any fan of progressive metal. Do not miss this.


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